1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our past memories of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Boarding was very good, fast and efficient. Cabin good. We chose mid ship and it was a very quiet cabin. Lifeboat drill was ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our past memories of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Boarding was very good, fast and efficient. Cabin good. We chose mid ship and it was a very quiet cabin. Lifeboat drill was chaotic to say the least. We were all called to the theatre, checked off and then sent out to the muster point on deck. There chaos ruled. Checking people off again and then proceeded to demonstrate the life jacket ( why couldn’t this have been done in the theatre). We were on 2nd sitting so went to the restaurant after the show. We had to queue initially to wait for the first sitting to clear and then directed to our table. However some very drunk idiot decided to make a spectacle of himself and complain about the wait. Generally the meals were lukewarm which was extremely disappointing. They would have been nice if hot. Our restaurant servers were very nice and efficient but the bars were understaffed and took too many orders on at once. However one bar steward shone in the raffles bar working very hard and friendly. Entertainment was excellent especially Angelina and Lee. As a group the singers weren’t great but when the sang solo they were very good. The dancers were top class also. The solo violinist was excellent also. We enjoyed the excursions apart from the coach on return from Brussels which dropped us quite a bit away from the terminal. Getting on and off the ship for excursions were smooth on the whole. Found the ship to be rather small for our liking so probably wouldn’t go again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first time on this ship.It was very good. Embarkation was very. Quick and smooth. Our cabin boy was lovely. The service in the bars was very slow at times,they need more staff. The entertament was great the boys ... Read More
This was our first time on this ship.It was very good. Embarkation was very. Quick and smooth. Our cabin boy was lovely. The service in the bars was very slow at times,they need more staff. The entertament was great the boys and girls never stopped working,they made our trip Really great, hope the same troop will be on. there when we go again. The food was very Good on some nights and not on others,depends on what you order.. Our cabin was nice and big,the sink in the bathroom needed to be up dated though .Shower was nice and big too. The drinks price was the same as in a pub here.coffee machine was very nice and on all day.I liked the door of the ship and how it was laid out. On disembarkation they need to have the sign that says this side for the bus to car park and the other for taxis in the HALL where the baggage is. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I went on this cruise with 5 friends and for a short European market cruise it was perfect. There were some points for improvement yes but on the whole it was what I expected. We chose the VIP package so we could access whatever we wanted, ... Read More
I went on this cruise with 5 friends and for a short European market cruise it was perfect. There were some points for improvement yes but on the whole it was what I expected. We chose the VIP package so we could access whatever we wanted, however service was quite slow and you could only order one drink at a time and only your own drink and each time they had to produce receipts for signing - all very time consuming and the process used a lot of unnecessary paper - there must be a digital alternative? The main restaurant was perfect and it could also be used for breakfast and lunch too and most didn’t - we used the buffet a couple of times but because of time parameters of shore times etc the footfall was so concentrated we could not sit together if we could find seats at all, cutlery and cups etc ran out and we vowed not to use the buffet anymore when it was so busy. On the ‘sea” day we treated ourselves to the private dining (as we had a birthday) - 9 courses at The Chefs Table. However the person who took the booking made it for the wrong day and should not have accepted our booking as it was already full - apparently "he tried to find us"!!! on a ship not too hard!!! When we arrived we were treated as though we were in the wrong, and the whole situation was handled abysmally. The entertainment was middle of the road as you would expect too - the staff worked very hard. We stopped at Amsterdam , Hamburg and Antwerp. Amsterdam was the shortest stop and one we preferred. No market here but we got our own Anne Frank tickets and looked around alone. The centre was within walking distance. Next was Hamburg - the market here was the best with the parade- however it was a Saturday and v v v busy. The centre was 15 mins by taxi and cost 24 euros- the boat supplies10 courtesy buses but we decided not to queue. Lastly was Antwerp, within walking distance, we also enjoyed. All in all it was a nice pre xmas break, go with a group you know you will make your own entertainment with and you will have fun, however do not expect impeccable organisation, service or luxury. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship was good in parts; Positive aspects - - Embarkation was smooth (once we'd eventually found the car park) - Public areas clean and well presented - Entertainment in theatre better than anticipated (if a little ... Read More
Ship was good in parts; Positive aspects - - Embarkation was smooth (once we'd eventually found the car park) - Public areas clean and well presented - Entertainment in theatre better than anticipated (if a little jingoistic) - Drink prices reasonable - Excursions good value and efficiently run. However on the negative side - Muster drill - it would have been helpful if it had been made clear in advance that this was to be held outside on the open deck . Many passengers turned up dressed for the meeting points which were inside and were clearly unprepared for spending half an hour outside in December. Service - the impression was that a high proportion of the staff were completely inexperienced and had just been recruited en masse from a dole queue somewhere in eastern Europe. Although there were honourable exceptions some of the bar staff had little idea of concepts like "short" or "tall" or indeed what was on their menus. Training appeared to have been non existent and there was a tendency for less experienced members of staff to avoid any interaction with customers - which resulted in waits in excess of an hour to be served at some times - in a half empty bar! Also had the unusual experience of receiving a whiskey and ginger in a pint beer glass. Food - in the main restaurant was served slowly and often received cold. Some was absolutely dire - notably "chicken lollipops" which were battered Chicken bones, devoid of any meat (recycling at its finest). Desserts were generally poor both in quality and quantity and generally reminiscent of a fairly rough all inclusive eastern mediterranean resort. - We sampled the delights of main restaurant breakfast once only on the first day. That was quite enough. Buffet breakfast was marginally better, but totally inadequate for the number of passengers trying to use it. Buffet lunch was sparse and looked unappetising - we didn't risk it. By the time we had reached Antwerp we gave up, lunched ashore and brought cakes back to stave off hunger in the evening. Best meal of the trip. - Special mention needs to made of the wine waiter who not only appeared to be unable to open a bottle without customer assistance, but also had a retention shorter than a goldfish - having taken our order he reappeared at the table a few minutes later asking if he could take our order . . . - The shop was slightly bizarre. If you had a fetish for Whittard Teas or Greek olive oil, you would love it. Otherwise choice was a little limited and essentials virtually non existent. - Disembarkation was "different" - we had to vacate cabins by 7 in the morning (a full hour before docking) and all Express passengers (probably about 50%) had to assemble with luggage in the Atrium. Overcrowded is an understatement. Three final points - - This may sound critical of the staff - it's not intended to be; it felt rather the result of inadequate training than any failing of individual members. - It's a shame that a ship which has got things so right in some areas is let down so substantially in others. - Would we use CMV again? Unless we were convinced that the service and food issues had been resolved, not a chance! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Decided on this cruise as it was going to Hamburg, and we thought it was a nice change to go on a winter short cruise visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. Unfortunately, ... Read More
Decided on this cruise as it was going to Hamburg, and we thought it was a nice change to go on a winter short cruise visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. Unfortunately, it cannot said to be the same for the ship. It looked as if the heart has been taken out of it since it was known as Arcadia with the P&O fleet. The service was dreadful. In the restaurant we waited over an hour for our main course, which did eventually come, but it was cold. The wine waiter was clueless, he didn't know the difference between a bottle of wine and a glass of wine. On the formal evening when the table waiter distributed petit fours, he just tipped them onto the desert plates. One lunch time in the buffet, had to point to staff on duty that the battered fish was under cooked. They just didn't seem to care. These are just a few examples of the bad service, the list goes on. The couple of shows were in our opinion of a very low standard. The Entertainment Manager tried to make jokes which made us cringe, they were years and years old, and not very funny. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Have been on ship when previously owned by P & O as ~ Arcadia, and she was lovely. The ship now has very poor interior fabrics including plastic chairs and tables. The service is extremely poor, the food was even worse. Dining in ... Read More
Have been on ship when previously owned by P & O as ~ Arcadia, and she was lovely. The ship now has very poor interior fabrics including plastic chairs and tables. The service is extremely poor, the food was even worse. Dining in the restaurant was an experience so be missed, we were seated behind a large pillar, and had nothing to look at other than a net curtain which was falling down the the stewards caught their feet in it each time they walked by the table. Despite reporting this to the deputy head waiter, nothing was done about it. Only met two stewards who were any good at all, the rest were positively ignorant of the requirements of cruise ship passengers. The entertainments and officer were so bad they were cringworthy Arrived late at all ports except on return to Tilbury. Embarkation and disembarkation at Tilbury was terrible, not an experience to be repeated in any way, shape or form. Cannot express how bad it really was, it was a nightmare. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose this cruise as it was such good value, booked about 8 week's before departure, myself, husband and two friends. Everything ran smoothly from start to finish, dont have a bad word to say about this cruise! Cabin was lovely, we ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was such good value, booked about 8 week's before departure, myself, husband and two friends. Everything ran smoothly from start to finish, dont have a bad word to say about this cruise! Cabin was lovely, we had an outside room on deck 6 which was a nice quiet location. Having tea making facilities and a fridge in the room was very helpful. Food was excellent, both in the buffet and in the main restaurant. Afternoon tea in the buffet is particularly good. Yes it could get busy in there at times but thats to be expected when you are catering for so many passengers. We always managed to get a table in there. Staff were friendly and helpful in all areas of the ship. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and it's not as luxurious as that but for the price paid I didn't expect it to be! Overall, four very happy passengers already looking to book another cruise for next year on Columbus. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and ... Read More
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and walked on board without much queuing. The waiting area had plenty of seating, a small coffee bar and was nice and warm. Our cabin was a nice size (I already knew this from OV) but the wooden furniture was the original and so was the bathroom. This was OK though and the shower is really large. The air con worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our cabin was on deck 5 at the front (5120) and had a lot of movement on rough days. I was seasick and would recommend a higher level and central if you suffer from this. There seemed to be a lot of crowding in the Bistro buffet on level 12. We had to find a seat (not easy) then take turns to get our food. I had never experienced this on OV so I can only assume that it was the time of year and no-one was eating outside. The food here was average. Breakfast was very good, lunch didn't have much choice of hot food and it didn't look that appetising. The desserts were moussy!! and the hot choice seemed mainly to be a sloppy variation of bread and butter pudding. The thing that put us off the most though was that it was very cold in there. On the second day we decided to use the Waterfront restaurant (waiter service). We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of food compared to the Bistro so we continued to use it.... and it was lovely and warm. The afternoon tea was nice with delicious biscuits and scones with fresh cream and jam.... yummy. The entertainment was quite poor and there wasn't a huge amount going on, especially during our day at sea. I liked the comedian though.... very old jokes but he pulled it off because he was likeable. The decor in the public areas was nice and looked refurbished. There is quite a lot of seating around the ship and it didn't feel crowded (except the Bistro) even though the ship was full. I'll finish on a positive as we really enjoyed our cruise. The staff were excellent. They worked hard and were always helpful and friendly. Also our fellow passengers were so friendly which made all the difference. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and ... Read More
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and Razamataz of some of the modern ships but more of the old time glamour and comfort. They had bars and drinking areas to suit all, from the boisterous to the quiet and relaxing. The food from the buffet to the formal dining rooms was some of the best that we have had on something like sixteen different cruises. The level of cleanliness throughout the ship was something to behold, at busy times they even had full time cleaners stationed in the toilets. On the entertainment front the dancers were outstanding as were the resident singers, unfortunately the specialist acts who were Comedians from a bye gone day on TV did not appeal to us although a lot of the guests enjoyed them. The Captain of the ship was a star in as much as he toured the ship at least once a day and was prepared to talk to anyone even those few who had a complaint. We enjoyed the experience that much that we have signed up for CMV 120 day world cruise on the Columbus in January 2019 Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this cruise because of the Comedy Legends which we had experienced on a previous cruise. The embarkation was very quick, we had journed by coach from Victoria coach station which due to traffic took 1 & half hours. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the Comedy Legends which we had experienced on a previous cruise. The embarkation was very quick, we had journed by coach from Victoria coach station which due to traffic took 1 & half hours. We found the cabin rather tired though the beds were comfortable, the wash basin was old and did not hold water very well due to a worn mechanical system. The shower though was perfect. Another problem was that the ship was draughty, especially the main entertainment centre the 'Palladium' on the right hand side so we sat on the left which was slightly better, we did have one session when the temperature was decent but soon was back to draughty a couple of hours later. The entertainment was generally good, after all we did go to see the comedy hero's who did not dissapoint. The in house entertainment team did a good show, the dancers were very good, the singers were let down by a poor sound system which was far to loud, do they not have a desibel meter, I did hear that some people that had earing aids took them out. The food was generally good though in the self service bistro was not pipping hot even when there at the start of service, the 'Waterfront' where the evening dinner was taken the menu was sometimes difficult to understand to those who did not have the experience in this type of dinning, also the service was a bit long winded. During the hotter days there were plenty of sunbeds around but the we had the old problem of towels on beds but no bodies. Over all we had, for us, a pleasent 15 days but don't think we would book another cruise on the Columbus. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either ... Read More
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either none existent or very poor with things like creative writing with Sanjay or Knit and natter, or book folding and to top it all balloon shaping as I said stuff you would do in an old folks home.I;m not knocking old people as I'm nearly 69 myself, but I ain;t dead yet. and the show team was one of the worst I have ever seen and I have been cruising for 21 years 2) The food in the buffet resturant plantations was not much better than average 3) I have never been on a ship where you can;t get anything to eat after 9pm because everywhere is closed 4) There was a big screen on the sun deck which wasn't used once, there was never any music being played to create an atmosphere, it was the most boring of cruises. 5) The Taverners pub and I use the term pub loosely was showing the same classical guitarist for the whole 15 nights. Now you show me a pub that has a classical guitarist playing for 15 nights and under normal circumstances, I will show you an empty pub I could go on and on but I won't. All I can say is if you like to be entertained and enjoy good food whenever you wan;t to eat then avoid C&M like the plague, they and their cruise director Ian are clueless. Needless to say, I won't be cruising with them again Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Please note that this was an german review translated with google-translator without any correction. Orginal review in german language you could find at german page holidaycheck.de Think it may be interesting to read a review from a ... Read More
Please note that this was an german review translated with google-translator without any correction. Orginal review in german language you could find at german page holidaycheck.de Think it may be interesting to read a review from a complete other side. We are only guest...on an english ship...... What can one expect from an 8-day cruise (Lidl-Reisen) for 569 EUR in the Glücks indoor cabin? Can you book such a trip at all or should you better leave your finger off? We "dared" the attempt and embarked on a 1-week journey in early October 2018 towards Norwegian fjords from Amsterdam. The three German reviews at Holidaycheck meet the core and we can understand many points of criticism from our own experience or confirm. Apart from the 3 Holidaycheck reviews, we also have about 135 English reviews at cruisecritic. co.uk so that we roughly knew what we were going to get involved with. The CMV Columbus is an older type of vessel with very few balcony cabins, mainly outside cabins with closed windows and inside cabins. The ratio of passengers: staff is 2: 1 Who has already used the old Tui Mein Schiff 1 or Tui Mein Schiff 2 (now Herz), will find their way immediately, because the ship concept is almost identical. Who likes this concept, knows what he is getting into. Modern is different, because much has come conceptually in the years. The CMV Columbus runs for English audience, which is very old. Maids of all kinds are on the agenda, the average age of the English guests is felt at least 65 years and is apparently without limit. Everything is aligned with this audience, i. You can not expect German entertainment program and it is not offered. On the ship, it is more leisurely and quiet outside the meal times. The staff is present, always friendly, but also not overly motivated or professionally trained. On 3 days we experienced it after waiting of at least 20 minutes that we were not served, because the bar staff just overlooked us. At other bars, however, it worked quickly and smoothly. Since we only used the buffet restaurant, it could happen that our drinks were already removed by the over-motivated pickup staff while we got our dessert. Certainly isolated cases: We would describe the motley international 615 person crew as "always striving". There is certainly still room for improvement. A large part of the staff is apparently busy with cleaning tasks, the somewhere is constantly wiped and cleaned. The public areas are very clean, which also includes the public toilets. It rarely happened that not just a "cleaning devil" went in or out when you were near a toilet. Due to age, there is rust on the ship and it is only from afar a "White Lady". A lot of paint covers some things and every craftsman is happy that he does not have to sand himself down to the bottom of all the layers of paint. The ravages of time and the environmental influences gnaw on the substance. However, one does not feel really uncomfortable when you know what you are getting into. In the early evening, the German and Dutch guests a "free show program" offered, because before the dinner or the evening show you can see only Austakelte elderly ladies and gentlemen who are full of anticipation of the food or show the other audience. This is obviously the main purpose of the cruise for many older guests. We took note of it with interest, because nobody has to participate: The buffet restaurant offers at all times an almost identical food, which you have to get yourself. Incidentally, water, coffee and tea are included all day. The coffee has no pampering aroma, but is quite ok in terms of taste. A rating is always a matter of attitude: compared to my ship 1 or even 5 you can understand the negative reviews. But taking into account the travel price and that as a German here plays only an absolute supporting role among older English guests, a purely negative rating would be unfair. In our opinion therefore: satisfactory - sufficient. Eat Adapted to the English audience. Breakfast, lunch, coffee / cake, dinner (and midnight snack). In quantity more than adequate, comparable to the food of a department store canteen. Every day changing meat-fish-vegetarian dishes. Salad bar available, partly preserved partly fresh. Bread for Toothless (age-appropriate). There is no ice cream, but various sweet desserts (also warm puddings etc.). We only used the buffet restaurant (also for breakfast). Cabin We had booked an inside fortune cabin (EUR 569) and received for this price an outside cabin with porthole on the lowest person deck (4) midship. All cabins have apparently identical 17.5 square meters. The beds are narrow and relatively hard. We really liked the many storage drawers (closet). Shirts, blouses, jackets etc. can be hung very well in a kind of walk-in closet. The air conditioning is apparently centrally controlled. The mini bar was available (empty), the hair dryer we found at the end of the trip in a lower drawer, the TV was not used (as a test, we have the programs through and only discovered RTL). Overall, it was very quiet (no noise from the side cabins audible). Towels were changed daily. The bathroom area rather small, the shower relatively comfortable (size). A bit daunting was the scoured sink with white paint on the tap. Since one had the impression, it was still the Erstausstattung. Our cabin steward was very friendly and the cabin / bathroom always made a cleaned impression. Because of the washbasin one would actually have to devalue to "bad", generally a satisfactory to sufficient in view of the total price, however, it is better. Service Cabin steward 5 stars. The other staff was friendly and helpful, if not always capable. Our English is actually understandable; unfortunately not understandable enough for some. With ice / no ice seems difficult ... If one receives instead of 2 drinks only one, but in duplicate, one asks oneself already, in which language one actually ordered. The other offered services such as excursions, hairdresser or photographer we did not use. Sports We have noted the shows, but leave after the second song at the latest. In the bars there was live music (classical), which you can also listen to (even if you are not a classical fan). Rock & Pop does not exist (but you know that before), so that the music "did not bother us". With a few books in your luggage you are on the safe side :-) Trips In-house easily possible; no waiting time when leaving the ship except for Tilbury. Tips Beverage package beforehand: The 7th day is free of charge, so you have a moderate drink price for a one-week trip. When it comes to glass sizes, we sometimes wondered from which country the standard was made? However, that's all the same with a drink package (all-in). Non-alcohol beverage package also includes non-alcoholic beer. At incl. Alcohol Pact are the soft drinks included (which was not previously apparent). Hot drinks outside tea / coffee in the bistro restaurant are extra. Tips: Are included in the tour price! This regulation (comparable to Tui Mein Schiff) already applies, so that you can tip only on personal ideas (or nothing). Envelopes or prompts are none. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this cruise mainly because of its destination, Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was absolutely brilliant, so well organised, as was disembarkation. The onboard Staff were brilliant, helpful and friendly. The ship itself was ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of its destination, Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was absolutely brilliant, so well organised, as was disembarkation. The onboard Staff were brilliant, helpful and friendly. The ship itself was a little dated and was in need of some TLC. Although I read in the brochure that it had been refurbished last year, well I think they some parts!!! The entertainment was awful. The night club was really only for the German passengers and it was every night, surely they could have put something different every night or every two nights so everybody would benefit. The Broadway show was horrific I think we lasted 10 minutes. The comedian was good and performed twice. All the rest of the entertainment was very boring and I wouldn't rate it at all. When we reached Amsterdam we had booked with Cruise Excursions online as I wasn't aware that you could book on the ship. When we disembarked I asked the Cruise and Maritime official where to go to get on the hop on and off the bus. His reply was "you didn't book it with us, so I can't help you!! Really? Otherwise we had a pleasant trip. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have time.) But I did see the equipment and was suitably impressed. I was rested and had learned new skills. I had FUN. The food was great,and I was on a very restricted diet. But the catering manager really looked after me.The staff and crew were lovely. Again I felt looked after yet respected. The sanitation rules were quite strict but I felt physically safe to use the handrails and public facilities due to seeing them almost consistently cleaned. Ive even adopted the sanitation procedures at home and my hands and nails have never looked better. As for the enrichment activities.I am now the proud owner of a lovely hand made flower and beautiful pop up card. I could never do anything like this before. The craft centre activies were great.Lovely people teaching and a great social event too. Now to the entertainment.I read in another review that there was only one guest performer.True. But he performed twice on my cruise and both shows were completely different.After seeing him the first time I couldn't wait to see him again. The dancers and singers were fantastic.Im a music teacher (violin and piano)and ex dancer so I really do know what Im talking about.Well trained talented people who were a joy to watch and listen to.Another special mention should go to the band.Excellent musicians. As for the two young female pianist and violinist.Absolutely beautiful.So hardworking and so very talented. The magician Ian who was cruise director was another hardworking and talented man. I hate magicians generally but I thought Ian was very good and was also a lovely approachable person with lots of personality and always made time for anyone. The last time I felt like this about a holiday was in Orlando at the Dusney parks. I felt looked after and valued. i will definitely chose to go with C&M again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because it was visiting places I am ashamed to say we had not yet visited - although virtually on our doorstep! We have cruised a lot - once or sometimes twice a year for the last 40 years with various shipping ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was visiting places I am ashamed to say we had not yet visited - although virtually on our doorstep! We have cruised a lot - once or sometimes twice a year for the last 40 years with various shipping companies. On this cruise leaving from Tilbury we were to visit Kirkwall in the Orkneys, the Isle of Skye then onto Ireland and finally France. Generally the ship is nice but not sumptuous by any means. Checking in was trouble free. Our window cabin was smaller than most and definitely very tired. The Pink plastic sink had seen much better times, part of the ceiling was not fitted properly, the chair had numerous stains, the soap dispenser in the shower was empty, the air conditioning was noisy, but the worst crime was NYLON sheets (I did not know they still made them)etc. however we had no intention of spending our holiday in the cabin so we accepted it. On complaining about the sheets we were given cotton mix ones. We do not do self service so we ate in the waterfront restaurant for breakfast and dinner. This was like two different experiences! Breakfast was hurried, bacon dry and hard, sausages like cardboard but worse the tea was always cold - the coffee looked better. In the evening the service was much more civilized, food hot and tasty with plenty of choice and no rush - we were second sitting. Evening entertainment passed the hour before dinner with a drink in hand but I would not go to see any of them off the ship although the violinist and pianist were excelllent. The singers were shouting most of the time even though they had mikes, the comedian and magician were OK. Certainly not the best on board entertainment and during the day very little "events", mainly a quiz or two, a lecture and a lot of private functions. Excursions were very expensive, average £45 per person for half a day. To sum up - you get what you pay for. We got this cruise on a second person half price deal, which talking to others was the deal most people went on. Do not expect a high dining experience, do not expect chocolates on your pillow or towels made into animals, do not expect free toiletries (we got a mini bar of soap and shower gel that was pretty unpleasant), Do expect to pay £2.80 for a bottle of water (yes!!), do expect to be treated like cattle for breakfast and lunch and do expect to vacate your cabin by 7am on the last day but not be allowed off the ship for another 2 to 3 hours. Would I go again? At the right price I would but I do think that for maybe no more than £10-20 a head they could include some little extras that make the holiday a bit more memorable - and please get rid of the nylon sheets! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned from my first cruise ever. All previous sailing has been on a 49 feet friend's yactht. Vowed that I would never go on a cruise. But always wanted to go to the Baltic including St Petersburg. So a cruise was the best ... Read More
Just returned from my first cruise ever. All previous sailing has been on a 49 feet friend's yactht. Vowed that I would never go on a cruise. But always wanted to go to the Baltic including St Petersburg. So a cruise was the best option, particularly since visa arrangements in Russia were made easy. Must say that some reviews I read were not promising and depressed me. But after a highly efficient boarding procedure at Tilbury, my first impressions of Columbus were most favourable. As a solo (very well catered for with solo events and dedicated solos restaurant tables), we were well looked after. Treated myself to a superior ocean view cabin with tea making facilities/ fridge/ proper window. Food, staff and entertainment were excellent. On board lecturer (Dave Wright) giving lecturers on the Romanovs etc was first rate (shown by the fact that his lectures were packed out). The show team were good and enthusiastic and the pianist and vlolinist ladies first rate. The ship ran like clockwork. Shore excursions well organised and reasonably priced. Bar prices very reasonable. Staff were lovely. The whole experience on and off board was very very positive. The positives outweighed the inevitable negatives a hundred fold. The self service Bistro could get a bit manic at times so necessary to plan the visits. Air conditioning in any establishment not conducive to clear air passages. Some shore excursions (particularly St Petersburg) not helped by several cruise ships being in port at the same time. Would I retur?. Yes, definitely, provided there was a purpose I wanted eg to see specific places or on board activities eg Choral cruise. Thank you CMV. Good luck for your future success. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We took 40 people on the cruise around the British Isles aboard the Columbus. The itinerary was excellent and we managed to get in to every port! Every single person was more than happy with the ship and the destinations . Admittedly, we ... Read More
We took 40 people on the cruise around the British Isles aboard the Columbus. The itinerary was excellent and we managed to get in to every port! Every single person was more than happy with the ship and the destinations . Admittedly, we did have surprisingly good weather which helped but three months later people are still taking about their good experiences. Embarkation was very smooth and efficient, there was no waiting around. We were aboard the ship and the luggage was in our cabins within an hour. The cabins are larger than average with plenty of storage. The shower had plenty of room to move and there was a full length mirror. The ship was clean and well maintained. The staff worked hard to ensure public areas always looked good. All the staff were friendly and helpful. Unlike some of the larger ships staff got to know you and made sure that you were well catered for. There was plenty of choice in both dining rooms. The food was delicious and presented beautifully. The staff were attentive and ensured dietary needs were attended to. The ship has been renovated. The public areas are comfortable with plenty of seating. The evening entertainment was varied and there were quizzes, music and dancing every evening as well as the theatre entertainment. We would most definitely go on another cruise on the Columbus, it was great value for money and bar prices were not inflated. Highly recommend to others. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Background We have had around 40 cruises, mainly on the 'ultra' luxury lines but with the occasional exception such as Celebrity and RCL. We have also had many cruises on the 'premium' lines such as Oceania. Our CMV ... Read More
Background We have had around 40 cruises, mainly on the 'ultra' luxury lines but with the occasional exception such as Celebrity and RCL. We have also had many cruises on the 'premium' lines such as Oceania. Our CMV cruise was suggested by friends and 6 of us cruised together. Cruising with friends definitely increases the 'glass half full' mentality and does, admittedly, make you a little less focused on finding fault! The itinerary (around Britain) was an inspired choice - but then the weather was as good as you are ever likely to get on such a routing. Boarding What a joy to have such a short journey to Tilbury and a remarkably efficient and quick boarding process through a terminal that even had its own charm (a bit like Dover). We arrived at our appointed time and queued for no part of the process - and were warmly greeted in the atrium. Impressive start. First impressions We are used to a variety of ship layouts and facilities. We did a quick scoot around and were quickly impressed by a number of things. The rear staircase is huge and eats a massive amount of space. The rear of the ship is entirely clear of cabins so there are extra small seating areas of varying size according to deck. One accommodates two hot tubs and there is even a bar on one level. Seating is comfortable but with fixed rake sun beds with padded cushions. Lounge / bar areas were large and comfortably furnished and in good order - as was the decor, in general, throughout the ship. The overall impression was of a ship that was surprisingly well maintained for its age / price point and one that was far more spacious than the modern equivalent. Cabin We had chosen a standard outside limited view cabin - and by a process of detailed research chose one that appeared to suffer little obstruction to the view. As it turned out the room was spacious, with the equivalent of what is termed 'walk in wardrobe' by some other lines. The view across the prow of a tender was well worth the saving made - although the downside was the commotion when the tenders were lowered and the fact that there is a crew walkway immediately outside the window! Neither downside left us regretting the choice. There was a multitude of drawers and the bed was comfortable. Linens were adequate only. The plastic bathroom was in OK shape with a spacious shower. The worst thing was a basin tap that was distinctly dodgy but working. Hot water was plentiful. Dining Not since a few trips on Cunard have we had traditional dining. Our pre-arranged table for 6, late dining, was waiting for us and we enjoyed the advantage of a consistent wait team who worked hard to look after us well. The dining room is large but unusually split into smaller parts by tall dividers. Consequently a feeling of a dining hall is avoided. The menu choices across a starter, soup, salad, main, dessert, coffee course were many and varied and there were 'always available' options too. I think most people would say that the quality of the ingredients was largely what you might buy at home. But others would say that the ingredient quality definitely reflects the cruise price point. Two extra cost mains were offered - and we had the surf and turf which was extremely good. We never used the buffet for an evening meal but did for breakfast where the choices were extensive, the egg station well managed and, we felt, never too crowded. To illustrate that we used the same table on the outside terrace for every morning of the cruise. Specialty restaurants were used on no less than five occasions - so good were they. The Indian option uses a section of the buffet restaurant in the evening and is attended by suitably uniformed Indian staff. The food is proper Indian food - a bit limited in choice but terrific quality - using, in part, a tandoori cooker on the pool deck. The desserts were little less than extraordinary and not what we have ever seen in any Indian restaurant outside of India! The Grill restaurant is in a separate room on the pool deck and again offers a high quality experience with a decent range of choices. Meat quality compared to our high quality local butcher. Entertainment We focused on the production shows, performed twice for the two dining sittings. There were a dozen singers and dancers and a live band. The quality of the productions far exceeded expectations although not every music genre performed was to our taste. We tried one of the 'guest' performers one night but it was so woeful we missed all others so cannot comment further. Each bar had its own dedicated musician(s) with all but one being, in our view, excellent quality with consistent enthusiastic performances each night. Lectures There was only one sea day so we had no expectation nor need for an extensive enrichment programme. Just as well as the one lecture we did attend was poor quality in the 'death by power point style'. Ports What made the cruise so enjoyable was the terrific range and variety of ports, most of which we had never visited before. It was a real reminder of how much there is to see on your door step! We had a very different sort of day at every stop - mostly pre-arranged self sorted activities but with two ship excursions which were essentially 'transport only' that facilitated visits to Tresco (Scilly Isles) and Sark (Channel Isles). Both wonderful days. Tendering Several ports were tender ports. With the exception of one day they were managed efficiently with no undue waiting around or bun fights around the embarking areas. Return trips never involved more than 10/15 minutes of waiting. Bars / VIP Package We had invested quite a hefty sum in the all inclusive package - that includes gratuities, water and 50% discounts in special restaurants among a few other things. Bar staff were thick on the ground and there were fewer waits for drinks than we have experienced on all inclusive lines! The staff were friendly to a fault and responded well to our warm and friendly approach. Equally we only waited once in the dining room for wine to appear on time. Drink quality was good but then we steered away from cocktails which might have been less good. Wine quality was poor, We found a decent enough red (Malbec) and a sparkling white but the 'by the glass' white wines were dreadful, really dreadful. However, did we get good value? Yes I believe we did..... Staff Exceeded expectations says it all. As a completely random example, there was routinely someone permanently in the key public toilets at busy times, and there was always stair hand rail cleaning going on, bar staff cleaned every singly scrap of surface at the end each evening, room steward was attentive etc etc. Some staff needed slightly better language (English) skills but with patience we always got there in the end. They came across as a happy cohesive bunch of people. Passengers(!) The huge majority were Brits - lovely people who were focused on having a good time. Formal nights saw a real effort to dress up. You got the feeling that staff were generally being treated in a respectful way by the passengers - something we have seen missing sometimes... Disembarkation This was handled in a really low key way. Nothing was mentioned about it until the night before and even then it was possible to select 'self service' and simply walk of the ship as soon as clearance was given. Lessons for others to learn?! Summary We thoroughly enjoyed our trip on a largely well run ship that is being well maintained. No it is not new / modern but the value for money is remarkable and the concessions necessary to achieve the price are entirely bearable. We would certainly cruise CMV again for the right itinerary. ((Obviously others might disagree but this review reflects our PERSONAL views!) Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are relatively new to cruising, this was our seventh. After reading some of the reviews we were a little apprehensive. Bu t the ship far exceeded our expectations. We used the long stay car park at Tilbury, very smooth and quick, ... Read More
We are relatively new to cruising, this was our seventh. After reading some of the reviews we were a little apprehensive. Bu t the ship far exceeded our expectations. We used the long stay car park at Tilbury, very smooth and quick, although we arrived early we were processed straight through to the ship. The Columbus is a tremendous ship, very spacious and modern. The cabin ( deck 5 outer) was as good as any we have had, this includes P&O and Celebrity among others. The dining arrangements work very well, we had late sitting, so straight from the early show and in to dinner, then on to the various music venues. The entertainment was superb, led by the brilliant cruise director Ian. Food, out of this world, I don't know what some of the other critics expected, we could not fault this cruise. Our first CMV cruise, definitely not our last. Thank you for a wonderful holiday. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our third time with CMV and the first time on Columbus. Previously we had been to Iceland on Marco Polo and Scandinavia on Magellan. We have also cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Tilbury is convenient for us to drive ... Read More
This was our third time with CMV and the first time on Columbus. Previously we had been to Iceland on Marco Polo and Scandinavia on Magellan. We have also cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Tilbury is convenient for us to drive and park. We chose the British Isles cruise because we liked the idea of seeing lots of places that we might not otherwise visit. Embarkation: fast and efficient. We were in our cabin with most of our luggage within 35 minutes of parking the car, most of that time being spent waiting for the car park shuttle bus to fill up. Cabin: we had a large junior suite cabin. Masses of storage space. Fridge, safe, tea and coffee making stuff, very comfortable bed, sofa, armchair and balcony. Powerful shower in bathroom. A small TV but we only turned it on once. There were five or six movies showing each day but we never watched any. The cabin was kept very clean, as was the rest of the ship. Perks with the junior suite: daily plate of fruit and canapes, free laundry (wash only, not ironing), and priority tender tickets – these were very useful, see below. Food: Waterside restaurant was very good. We had breakfast and dinner there every day except two mornings. We had second sitting for dinner at a table for eight. Excellent choice over five courses every evening, quality was often excellent and never less than delicious. Only niggle was that staff were over-zealous in clearing the table before everyone had finished eating. We never felt the need to try the speciality restaurants. The Plantation Bistro was always very busy. We had one lunch and two breakfasts there. Plenty of choice, reasonable quality, just very busy. Never had time to try the afternoon tea. Drinks: we did not buy a drinks package. Prices for a glass of house wine or a cocktail seemed reasonable to us. Quality of the drinks was ok, nothing stunning, though they did do a decent Margarita. Service in the bars was usually prompt and cheerful. Hemmingway’s did reasonable coffee. Entertainment: live entertainment is not one of CMV’s strong points, but it is not a high priority for us. We made one trip to the evening show in the Palladium, for an ABBA tribute which was done well, but there was nothing else on that merited attendance, though our dinner companions went most evenings and seemed to enjoy it. The classical guitar in Taverners bar, and the piano/violin in the Atrium were good. The duo in Connexions had more enthusiasm than singing talent. Activities: there were various things going on during the day, but as we were usually in port we did not participate. We did make good use of the card room for the little spare time we did have, because there was usually someone else there who wanted a game of bridge. Other people were using it for chess and jigsaw puzzles. I also used the gym a few times. It was well-equipped with cardio machines, weight machines and free weights, and kept very clean. Rest of ship: there are three sets of lifts and three easy-to-climb stairwells, so quick and easy to get around. The pool deck was heavily used on sunny days, but we sat on our balcony rather than on deck. Deck 14 was nice to walk around in the evenings. We did not visit the shops or the casino. Crew: everyone was very polite and friendly, and said hello. After reading other reviews, I suspect they have all had intensive training since last year. The standard of English in some areas was lower than our experience on the other CMV ships, but there were no serious communication problems. Itinerary: the ship called at all the expected places. Overall we were very happy with every port visit. The main factor that upset a lot of people was the time spent tendering at five of the ten destinations. At tendered ports priority in the mornings was given to people on excursions. If you were not on an excursion you had to collect a ticket and wait for your ticket group to see be called. Some people waited two hours or more to get on a tender. This did not affect us because we had priority tender tickets that allowed us to get on any time. Once on a tender there were often delays getting ashore due to limited space at dockside. We went round in circles in a tender for half an hour at one place before eventually being able to get ashore. Some of the delays were due to sea and tide conditions, which were unavoidable. On top of the also unavoidable slowness of single file exit from the tenders at each end, it proved a time consuming process. However, we were impressed with the diligent assistance given by the tender crews to ensure everyone, including those with some mobility restrictions, got ashore and back again safely. And once ashore, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. So our advice is to be aware of the implications of tendering and be patient. Excursions: we booked excursion as the first four stops, and did our own thing at the others. We'd been to Kirkwall before so we took the trip to Skara Brae this time, but we would recommend walking round Kirkwall on a first visit. We went to Inverness from Invergordon, which was nice in the sunshine (not sure how good it would have been in the rain), Invergordon itself has a good local museum. We did walking tours in Portree and Tobermory, both worthwhile. Tobermory has an excellent little local museum. Generally it was cheaper, and more enjoyable, to use the free shuttle buses and/or public transport and/or hop-on-hop-off buses where available. There were free shuttle buses in Belfast, Dublin and Ringaskiddy (Cork). Hop-on-hop-off buses in Belfast and Dublin were good for seeing the main sites. St Mary's had an old red bus tour for ten pounds per person. Guernsey has a great public bus network, one pound per trip - easy to get to main tourist sites, or just to get a look at the countryside. Disembarkation: we had to leave our cabins at 7.30am. They have to get the ship ready to sail again the same day. It was, as always, crowded in the waiting areas while we waited for our group to be called. They could have provided extra seating to avoid some having to sit on the floor. In the end we got off the ship 20 minutes early and getting back to the car park and on the road to home was very smooth. We were very happy with our cruise because we saw the places we wanted to see, our cabin was excellent, the food very good, and the overall experience was good value for us. Whilst on board we booked up for the Baltic cities and St Petersburg cruise next year. CMV may not be for everyone, but it suits us (though we will avoid the multi-generational cruises!). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones. We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been. Tilbury ... Read More
The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones. We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been. Tilbury was great, easy to find and park, shuttle was quick and efficient. The embarkation process was very smooth, we were on the ship with a glass of bubbly before our embarkation time. The suitcases were outside out cabin by 2pm. The ship was clean, tidy and well presented. The service was fantastic, the staff were pleasant and friendly and always made conversation. We enjoyed Hemmingway's coffee bar, yummy cappuccino, would have been nice if the cakes etc in the cabinet were complimentary with the coffee but they were not expensive so if you really wanted one it wouldn't break the budget! The hot chocolate was divine (especially with a shot of creme de menthe!) Connexions was a bar we used often, from the quizzes and games to to the duet that sang every evening - very entertaining. The entertainment team were good fun, Ian the Cruise Director seemed to have unending energy and was very hands on. We went to one show which was the big band night, very good but the Palladium was freezing. The evening meals were always very good, the staff were great, even remembering our drink requirements after the first night. There was never an evening where we did not like at least 2 options on the menu. 5.45pm was a little early for dinner but I felt that the later sitting would be too late - people were still in there at 10pm. Eating so early meant that we were sometimes peckish later but there was nowhere to eat as the buffet closed at 9pm. The buffet was like a bun fight - there never seemed to be a day when it was not heaving and people are so rude! Pushing and shoving like they had not eaten in days! The scones and shortbread in the afternoon tea were divine. It was nice to be able to take a scone and sit in a nice bar and eat it in a civilised setting! The cabin was fine, though the cabin stewardess was hardly ever around and really did do the bare minimum. It was not well placed being right at the front of the ship - we had chosen deck 5 but unfortunately were 'upgraded' to deck 6. Being so close to the front was very noisy all night which meant we did not always sleep well. I was very impressed overall with the staff - they work tirelessly from early morning until late into the evening - always with a smile. They certainly earn their tips! We chose a VIP package which was great as we did not have to worry what we had. We did not do any organised excursions but did disembark each day, my criticism with this was the 2 tender ports. We had to get tickets - again I think this is more the mentality of the people and the obsession with being first in line... This could be better organised. The shops on board were not great, not a lot of choice and none of the make up/perfume etc was duty free so no different to buying in England. I did however get a massive bargain on my Bombay Sapphire! Overall the cruise was great, the one thing that spoiled it was hearing people complaining! Not enough choice of wine - they were masses to choose from, moaning about having to wait a few minutes to be served! etc... that is not the fault of CMV though I would travel again with CMV if the right itinerary was there and the price was right, I would choose a mid ship cabin and request that no upgrade was given though. Disembarkation was smooth, we were off the ship a good half hour before the allotted time, our luggage was in the hall, there were plenty of porters to assist and the buses were all outside ready to take us back to the car park. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be ... Read More
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be avoided. We decided to get the best accommodation on a small ship with an adults only policy. If we didn’t enjoy the experience under these conditions – we never would! Cruise and Maritime (CMV) seemed to fit the bill and we chose an eight day cruise to the Norwegian fjords. Our junior suite with balcony was the top of the range for cabins. Leaving from Tilbury, it took us 36 hours to reach our destination. Fortunately the North Sea was pretty calm. Columbus is a comparatively small ship for cruising, at 63,000 tons. Built in 1986 it has had various owners and re-fits until CMV acquired it in 2017. It has a capacity for 1,600 travellers and a crew of 638. On our journey there were 1,400 on board, but it didn’t seem to be particularly crowded. The staff all spoke good English and, without exception, were helpful and friendly. The suite was large (350 sq.ft). Excellent shower. King size bed. Three seater sofa. Flat screen TV (small). Plenty of space to hang clothes and a dressing area as well. A good start. Outside there were two smallish swimming pools and plenty of leisure areas for relaxing and sunbathing (late August in Norway? Unlikely!) We wanted a leisurely experience, without the formality of ‘dressing for dinner with the captain’. With a choice of places to eat we managed to achieve that, although there was such an evening for which the majority appeared prepared and had packed their glad rags and DJs. This was hosted in the Waterfront Restaurant with its usual full waiter service, but there was always the self-service Plantation Bistro as an acceptable substitute. In either eatery the food was good, if a little repetitive in the Bistro. A daily news-sheet detailed all of the activities happening on board for that day, which were wide and varied. They helped to pass the time whilst sailing from one place to another. A variety of live bands gave excellent performances in either the Palladium Show Lounge or the Dome Nightclub and overall the variety of entertainments was good. We enjoyed our first taste of cruising but – if we take another one – will probably sail to somewhere warmer! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was very cheap, but it was still unnecessarily disappointing. Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they ... Read More
This cruise was very cheap, but it was still unnecessarily disappointing. Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they could have taken anything on board: weapons, drugs, good manners. The ship: very austere and more like a ferry. Very few comfortable chairs or quiet areas. Some areas - the self-service restaurant, for example - were not kept clean. Dining: very disappointing. The main dining room was unattractive and the food was no more than adequate. The lunch was often perfunctory. The self-service was too small for the many who wanted to avoid the restaurant, and served cheap, unattractive food. In the end, I gave up and used the additional charge restaurants. Both were jolly good, but it felt odd, paying extra for a pleasant experience which should have been the norm. Entertainment: excellent if you enjoyed magic; poor if you did not. There were no lectures. Activities: derisory, and mostly unhosted because, presumably, there were not enough staff members to man them. Little was organised for children. Conseqently, when the weather was poor, they became noisily obvious. Service: friendly. However, there were simply not enough staff members. The library was a disgrace, and had often to be opened by the entertainments manager because others forgot to do their job. Areas around the ship were spoilt by deposited cups and plates which were not cleared away for long periods of time. Ports: excellent. Though only 6 hours in Stockholm was very little. Shore excursions: those in St Petersburg were excellently led and good value. But, 1 The introductory talks were awful; there were often simply members of staff reading off sheets and often knowing nothing about what they were reading out. 2 There were never maps of the ports available on the ship Disembarkation: very poor. Guests had to vacate their cabins by 0700, even though it was known that none could leave the ship until 0900. Consequently, many guests had to stand for two hours. An experience not to be repeated. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a fair price and it went from Tilbury which is quite near to where we live. Also friends asked us to come with them which made it even more enjoyable. This cruise stopped at Copenhagen(Denmark), ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a fair price and it went from Tilbury which is quite near to where we live. Also friends asked us to come with them which made it even more enjoyable. This cruise stopped at Copenhagen(Denmark), Warnemunde (Germany), Helsinki (Finland). St. Petersburgh (Russia), Tallin (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden) and Aarhus (Denmark) We took an organised CMV trip in each place although there are shuttle buses in several places should you wish to go it alone. There was a good variety trips so it was difficult to choose but I think we did well our choices and we were more than satisfied with most. The least liked, but it did what it said, was Copenhagen 'Yours to explore' only because we were just wandering around. The two day comprehensive trip in Russia was absolutely the best. Such a lot was crammed into the two days and we had a very good guide. I find it hard to express the wonder I felt in all the churches, palaces, cathedrals and museums. Breathtakingly beautiful. We have been in magnificent cathedrals in the UK, but nothing as beautiful and elaborate as the palaces, museums and cathedrals in Russia. Also included was a ride on the Metro. Saint Petersburg Metro is one of the deepest metro systems in the world. We had a good cabin on the ship an an excellent cabin steward. Towels and tea/coffee making replaced daily. The food was very good. It was lovely being waited on in the Waterfront restaurant with 5 courses per meal. Of course you could pick your own food and the quantity if you went up to deck 12 to the Plantation restaurant, which we did at breakfast and lunch-time. You could have afternoon tea and cakes and burgers on the deck at lunch time. Food was hot and delicious and plenty of choice. One day there was a barbeque out on deck which was good. Drinks are quite expensive as you would imagine, and if you are a drinker it might be worth getting the package, but we often had the cocktail of the day which was a very pleasant drink. Embarking and disembarking was well organised. We had to be out of our cabin by 07.00 but we didn't actually get off the ship until 11.10 which was a long wait but considering there were 1400 of us it had to be that way. The entertainment was good too. Something different each night. Singing, dancing, magic. I am not a lover of magic, but it was presented in an entertaining way. We also had a laser show. You need to be prompt in the Palladium theatre to get a good seat. Various other activities took place at different times but we didnt take part. I went to art and craft and enjoyed painting and card making on days at sea. It tells you on the daily sheet (which is delivered to your cabin the previous evening) what activities are on where and what time. Also the dress code, bar and dining times, etc. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A huge ‘thumbs up’ for staff and crew of ‘Columbus’ on the themed ‘Legends of Magic’ Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise that departed on 11th August from Tilbury. Embarkation was smooth and a warm welcome was waiting on ... Read More
A huge ‘thumbs up’ for staff and crew of ‘Columbus’ on the themed ‘Legends of Magic’ Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise that departed on 11th August from Tilbury. Embarkation was smooth and a warm welcome was waiting on board. The inner twin cabin on Deck 10 was spotless and kept that way by the hard-working Svetlana. It was well-proportioned, provided adequate hanging / storage space, effective A/C, TV and the addition of tea/coffee making facilities was a bonus. Prior to departure the Muster Station Drill was well organised and completed quickly a great improvement on my previous experience. The food in the Waterfront Restaurant was very good and sometimes exceptional (Quote from the Cruise Director…You come on as passengers and leave as cargo!) Dining in the Fusions Indian speciality restaurant was definitely an enjoyable experience where flavours and presentation were combined in an imaginative way, resulting in an unforgettable evening. A suggested Dress Code is published every day allowing those who wish to ‘dress for dinner’ the opportunity to do so, although ‘smart casual’ appeared to be acceptable in the Waterfront Restaurant at all times, which annoyed some. There were two ‘formal’ evenings and the Captain’s Cocktail Party and those who had no inclination to ‘dress up’ used the Plantation Bistro. The ‘Columbus’ singers and dancers provided entertaining and enjoyable shows with singer Chloe and dancer Yana offering outstanding performances. Not West End or Broadway standard, but certainly commendable and better than some cruise shows I’ve experienced. Then there were the guest magicians (including Fifth Dimension, John Archer, Nardini and Paul Wilson from BBC’s ‘The Real Hustle’), who were genuinely amazing. What was also impressive was that they were often seen around the ship talking with passengers. This was a Multi-Generational cruise but there were plenty of organised activities for all ages. The entertainments team always seemed to be involved with something outside their normal shows – rehearsing, hosting activities or supervising and escorting excursions. On this particular cruise, I have to commend the parents who too responsibility for their youngsters and I didn’t encounter any children running riot, as noted in some reviews. Embarkation and disembarkation at ports was accomplished smoothly and there was a comprehensive range of shore excursions available, though it has to be said that many could be sourced locally at a lower price. The vast majority of crew and staff were friendly, attentive and exceptionally hard-working though some still need to ‘up their game’ and learn to smile! Some of the male staff in the Taverner’s Pub seemed to make a habit of ignoring passengers. The staff in Connexions were always ‘on the ball’ and in Raffles exceptional (if somewhat slow) service and long conversations were the order of the day. Whilst every cruise and each passenger’s experience is different, the ‘Legends of Magic’ themed Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise on ‘Columbus’ certainly exceeded my expectations. I will have no hesitation about cruising on ‘Columbus’ in the future. Read Less
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.6
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 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.7

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