11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the restaurant and bars only a few understood the food & drinks orders .As it was a long wait in the restaurant and when the meals arrived they were undercooked or only warm as we treated ourselves to steak in the grill it was very tough and worth the money as my partner sent her back the kitchen to the disgust of the chef & waiter . In the bars the glasses were often warm (one of my pet hates ) one evening in the dome we sent the drinks and my glass back where the barman became very irate and slammed the beer glass on the bar . The excursions were offer priced and badly organised as on the last one it should have been a steam train only to be replaced with an old diesel of which no explanation was offered .In Helsinki & Stockholm we were only allowed about 3/4 hours a shore a joke! .The entertainment was very poor lasting only 45 minuetes also the guest speakers on board were very amateurish as they seemed not to no what they were operating .The best thing was disembarkation at Tilbury please note there are much better cruise companies . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work ... Read More
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work hadn’t been completed in Dover and would have to be done in Tenerife so we would be missing out our stop in Gibraltar. This meant 5 and a half days at sea. During that time activities such as crafting, knit and natter or lectures, were not at all to our taste so the time went very slowly. Service in the main restaurant was abysmal, including Christmas dinner, which took nearly 2 hours. The staff in the main dining room were so busy with it being 2 sittings for dinner that regularly there was a long wait between courses. I had a glass of wine with dinner which was served as half a glass and then it was a job to catch the waiters eye for another half later. (We were all inclusive). Usually on cruises I sit with my hand over the glass to prevent the wine waiter doing a refill, not on this cruise. One evening we went to the Grill (extra charge) and had rib eye steak, which was very near inedible with sinews. I ordered medium rare and my wife ordered medium. When my wife cut into hers it was clear that we had been given the wrong ones, so they just swapped our plates over, complete with peppercorn sauce over mine, which my wife cannot eat. For this error we were offered a glass of sparkling wine each. For the last 3 evenings we ate in the Bistro, where the choice was very limited. We found it amazing how many different ways they could make bread and butter pudding to use up the stale bread... Service during the day for a drink (around the Atrium) took ages and I went and ordered it in Hemingway’s where I was told there would be quite a wait as we were sitting overlooking the Atrium on Deck 6. There was very limited entertainment in the evening apart from the main shows in the Palladium and with first sitting dinner being 5.45pm and the first show (which we would have preferred) starting at 7.15pm there was no chance of getting to that one and an empty gap to fill before the next show, so we often gave up. Most disturbing thing was being anchored in the bay at Funchal and tendering to the shore, when other ships much nearer to the shore did not put down tenders due to the rough conditions. It was decided to cancel tendering at 1pm but by then 600 people were still to be returned to the ship. Conditions got worse, with tenders bashing into the ships platform and the last passengers on board at 10pm or later while the ship was held on a line at each end by tugs. Should never have happened. Our cabin was so hot, like a sauna all the time and the public rooms of the ship were cold. So by the middle of the second week quite a few people, including us, had coughs and colds. The only positive note our cabin was a good size and the wonderful friendly service from our cabin steward. Disembarkation a shambles, probably everyone just wanted to get off! Our Christmas is on Sunday, as we missed the real one. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We saw the video of this ship and the fact that it was sailing from Tilbury to warmer climes for Christmas and the New Year. The day before we were due to depart we received a telephone call from CMV saying that due to a minor technical ... Read More
We saw the video of this ship and the fact that it was sailing from Tilbury to warmer climes for Christmas and the New Year. The day before we were due to depart we received a telephone call from CMV saying that due to a minor technical fault the ship would be sailing from Dover, but to go to Tilbury and be bussed down to Dover. This was done quite efficiently meaning that we were on board about two hours after the original time and we were given afternoon tea instead of lunch. The first port was Amsterdam to collect passengers from Belgium and Germany. As we got off the ship crew members were busy painting out the scrapes and scratches all along the side of the ship. Apparently on the previous cruise an error of judgement was made by the Norwegian pilot resulting in some of the propeller blades being damaged. This information was not relayed to the passengers as the captain seemed not to have any communication skills throughout the voyage, and became common knowledge by talking to other crew members. The captain did find his voice the following day by saying that the safety of his passengers, crew and ship was paramount and as the repairs could not be done at Dover we would need to have to go straight to Tenerife for the repairs which would take longer to get to so Gibraltar was cancelled and £50 per cabin compensation was paid.Bearing in mind that this meant five days at sea for the festivities there were not enough places for all the passengers to sit down during the daytime.Christmas Day was lovely with a carol concert in the atrium and excellent food (no problem with the food at all). Although there was an altercation in the buffet restaurant at breakfast (in full view of some passengers, me included) between a supervisor and a kitchen worker. After Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria was supposed to be the highlight of the cruise - New Year's Eve in Funchal, Madeira. Despite the weather being very wet and the seas rough, the captain allowed all the excursions and the walk off passengers to get into the tenders to go ashore. Fortunately we did not go ashore as we were in Madeira last September. Several of the other ships, including the P&O Queen Victoria who were also anchored in the bay, decided that it was too dangerous to go ashore. The result for our passengers was that they were abandoned on shore with no food, drink or shelter as the rain lashed down because it was not safe to try to get back to the ship. The last tender that tried to get to the platform of the ship dipped down with the wave action and smashed its roof under the platform. Several of these passengers had become unwell with some suffering cuts, bruising and fractures. There were 500 passengers abandoned ashore who had to buy bin bags to try to keep dry and some managed to shelter in a circus tent! The last of the passengers made it back at 10.30 pm and no provision was made for them to get anything to eat (lack of communication again). The passengers who remained on the ship had champagne at midnight on the sodden upper deck which had artificial grass on it - a bit like walking on sponge! The fireworks were amazing but could not be enjoyed as we expected. Whilst the ship was at anchor (and spinning round) two tugs with strong ropes had to be deployed on both sides of the ship to try to keep it stable. After stopping at Lisbon we had two days at sea across the Bay of Biscay which was also rather rough resulting in the open decks being out of bounds. Disembarkation at Tilbury was chaotic with people having to sit on the stairs to await 'express disembarkation'. The final straw was sitting in the atrium and listening to the message that a passenger had died in their cabin. 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
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: July 2018
Summer cruise around the Canary Islands trying a cruise company not used before, or again. We sailed many cruises using varied cruise companies. Food not much choice poor standard. Hygiene no hand wash provided when entering self ... Read More
Summer cruise around the Canary Islands trying a cruise company not used before, or again. We sailed many cruises using varied cruise companies. Food not much choice poor standard. Hygiene no hand wash provided when entering self service buffet, until reported. Entertainment, only one guest artist ( comedian impressionist) appeard 3 times. Dance group do most shows, not too bad. Cruise director, magician! No personality made me feel uncomfortable with his amateurish presentation, more like a children’s entertainer. Dress code, never adhered to Formal nights people allowed in main resteraunt wearing T shirts. Dress code given on daily program no one bothered. ship is described as adult only, however children were allowed on at less than £200. No entertainment for them so they ran riot in every swimming pool much to the annoyance of older passengers wanting to swim.( jumping in pools, jumping in onto large inflatables, 12 children in jacuzzi in over 18s area. Not children’s fault no supervision from anyone. Not only annoying, but dangerous. Rude staff. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose it for the destination The food was awful 2* is being generous. The breakfast was the same very day greasy hard bacon cheap nasty sausage never changed . Every day was a stir fry or some obscure meat like beef cheeks nasty cheap ... Read More
We chose it for the destination The food was awful 2* is being generous. The breakfast was the same very day greasy hard bacon cheap nasty sausage never changed . Every day was a stir fry or some obscure meat like beef cheeks nasty cheap food by the end of the cruise so many people were eating from the kids section as the food was slightly better. if you are vegetarian you would really struggle veggie curry and rice or cheese and salad . No late food apart from 11 to 11 30 when plates of Iceland type buffet food was taken Around the bars. You felt like a penguin being given fish . Most staff rude especially reception we went to complain about the lack of sun beds 450 for 1400 passengers.the receptionist rolled her eyes and picked up the phone twice while we were talking . People were taking sun beds when someone went for food and leaving belongings piled on the floor . There were arguments and near fights every day . The Crewe had their own deck with around 30 beds that weren’t being used we got a sun bed twice in 15 days and it was taken when we went for lunch . People were sitting on chairs taken from the buffet as there was nowhere to sit.we ended up going to the speciality restaurants they were a bit better but you shouldn’t have to pay . Entertainment was awful singers screeched out of tune people got up and walked out including us. We went to Tenerife on a Sunday everywhere was shut . Some of the places visited were too short 4 hours not enough time . Kids in pools couldn’t use till day ten when the made one adult only We lost tv signal on 3rd day . Incompetent management it all needs a massive review All in all this was my tenth and by far the worst cruise I would never sail with them again or recommend them to anyone I know . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Very disappointed with this cruise I was so looking forward to it.The food was tasteless and bland in the restaurant and buffet.The only decent meals were the ones you paid for in The Grill or Infusion .Most evenings I had chicken nuggets ... Read More
Very disappointed with this cruise I was so looking forward to it.The food was tasteless and bland in the restaurant and buffet.The only decent meals were the ones you paid for in The Grill or Infusion .Most evenings I had chicken nuggets and chips from the kids menu which was the same for the whole trip.The entertainment wasn't good either apart from the comedian .Lack of sun beds caused arguments amongst some passengers.The pools were overtaken by teenagers dive bombing and jumping off the the rails around the pools.On deck 8 there were 2 jacuzzis at one point there was 10 children in one of them.There wasn't any kind of security on the ship and none of the staff spoke to the children about doing dangerous things that could injure them.It took a whole week for the staff to decide to separate the pools one for children and the other for adults.My cabin was fine until I looked at the sink basin. It had obviously discoloured so instead of replacing the basin it had been painted not sprayed,painted with a brush.The soap dish part was disgusting and the paint was peeling off.The shower curtain hooks were brown with rust.I put in a complaint about the hooks and basin ,the hooks were replaced but there was some confusion over the basin that never got sorted.The ship is dated and is not suited for children as there is nothing for them to do the pools were both 6ft deep and not suitable for young children there was no lifeguard either.This cruise was nothing like I expected it to be. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
When things go wrong, I always give companies the chance to make amends, but CMV are not interested in satisfying their customers, it seems, and other reviews here would bear that out. Fortunately, there are many other companies, so I ... Read More
When things go wrong, I always give companies the chance to make amends, but CMV are not interested in satisfying their customers, it seems, and other reviews here would bear that out. Fortunately, there are many other companies, so I would say that CMV are one to AVOID. This was a British Isles Discovery cruise, which the whole family were looking forward to. The ship was just finishing a round the world cruise - many passengers disembarked from this in Amsterdam, our first port of call. It seems that CMV do not have any time scheduled for planned maintenance, preferring to inconvenience their customers when things go wrong and point them to the small print which seems to say they don't have to stop anywhere. The ship had generator problems, so after Orkney we were diverted to Invergordon and missed the 2 most interesting scheduled stops of Mull and Skye (some on here have suggested that CMV are avoiding these for some other reason). We also missed Scilly due to the weather, which was understandable. We were all given £25 per person credit, which was insulting (for missing a quarter of the planned stops due to fault of maintenance) and even that was terribly administered with many having to complain before it was credited properly. On our return to Tilbury we were all told to vacate our cabins by 7am, even though we had been delayed by an hour and a half so wouldn't be arriving until much later. This caused chaos at breakfast as the main restaurant didn't open until 8am, but most of the passengers on board were trying to get breakfast at 7 and this was a huge surprise to the crew!!! No management to be seen anywhere of course during this chaos! We complained in writing afterwards, but CMV can't even respond to letters and emails. They really don't deserve any customers. When we did eventually get a response, they just basically said hard luck - it obviously wasn't their fault! The entertainment on board was generally good, especially the dancers, but the director and assistant director were arrogant, some of the singers couldn't hold a tune. I had to speak to the assistant director to admonish him for chatting loudly to another of the singers at the bar whilst another act was performing on stage! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We sailed on Colombus on a packaged back to back cruise. C804 & C805. Embarking on 6th May and disembarking on 30th May. We booked the cruise purely for the itinerary which was good and went to many ports we had not visited ... Read More
We sailed on Colombus on a packaged back to back cruise. C804 & C805. Embarking on 6th May and disembarking on 30th May. We booked the cruise purely for the itinerary which was good and went to many ports we had not visited previously (unfortunately 3 ports were missed (2 were replaced and 1 extra sea day added) on the first sector). We were told in was a low star ship and we totally agree. For us it was the worst cruise ever. It had supposedly been "refurbished" but we didn't see evidence of that. We were told that it still looked like the Pacific Pearl which it had been in a previous life. CMV make it a habit of buying old reject ships. In Australia we are used to getting the rejects but CMV go one further and buy the rejected rejects! The ports that we got to were good. Weather was excellent and the dance troupe onboard were first rate. Best dancing troupe we have experienced (we have done 23 cruises many back to back so even more). The singers were mostly good. Alex was very talented singer. One of the girls was a bit of a screacher! The entertainers bought onboard were all comediannes and were terrible. You would see better in a pub. Neither the first sector Cruise Director or the second sector one (Lee) were friendly or mingled with guests. Only saw them on stage or in buffet. Not good enough. The food. Well many were satisfied but many were not. Terrible service in restaurant. More interested in serving drinks then food. Food was bad. Really bad. All in all it was not a cruiseline I would EVER travel with again. We have done the best and now the worst. It was the first cruise we have ever come off feeling dissatisfied. Never had a bad cruise until this one. If you are not fussy (not bothered when the buffet area is shabby and unclean, wonky passageways, unhelpful staff, ugly ship, etc) then it may be for you. But if you prefer a better cruise go elsewhere because this company have NO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION at all. We requested to speak with Restaurant Manager and he never met with us but this was typical. No one cared. My suggestion there are better cruiselines out there. Stay Away. They are only interested in selling drinks and obviously market to the UK because they sail in and out of Tilbury and apparently that is convenient for the UK travellers. They also market to unsuspecting Australians! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We are very experienced cruisers and in comparison to other companies CMV put in a less than third rate performance even taking into account the lower price. It’s billed as buy one get one free but it was only 30-40% cheaper than other ... Read More
We are very experienced cruisers and in comparison to other companies CMV put in a less than third rate performance even taking into account the lower price. It’s billed as buy one get one free but it was only 30-40% cheaper than other companies on like for like (I.e price divided by nights) but there was at least a 60% difference in quality to those companies! Starting with food which cruises are most noted for. Well the food was disgusting and we had to have meetings with the management to get things slightly improved. Most night the meats were tough often the carving Steward struggled and he had sharp knives! It was either bland or salty. Fish was better but often half cooked and all food was pretty cold and non descript. The food on 3 ˋSpecial Occasions‘ was good. In 121 days there was no world cruise lunch or sector specials like the baked Alaska which was 1 night only. In the Bistro the food was invariably dried up and cold. Sidney and the team tried to put on lots of nice showpiece lunches like round the world food stations around the pool but the taste was still missing. Funny enough you can pay extra to go to a venue called the taste but other passengers told me there was no taste there either. The ship bless her is old and the refit is lacking, it could have been done so much better, you would be walking down a corridor and all of a sudden you’d drop an inch as there was no underlay for example. She’s a stable ship and relatively quiet in the rougher seas. Some of the food tables rocked and stuffed with food and dirty tissues to stop the rock!. There was rust everywhere especially in window frames and on the balconies ( more than usual as all ships have some rust) but usually painted over and the cloth seats in the Bistro and in some bars were filthy and not appealing. The cabin was a great size but poorly decorated and our window was not cleaned once in 4 months. The wallpaper was coming off and the carpets filthy but there is plenty of storage space. If you have an outside cabin you get a kettle and tea making facilities but inside cabins are not allowed this ˋluxuryˋ! The daily activities are very similar to the ones we play with the residents in a local care home!! Every day at 9.30 Tony pops on the tannoy to tell you what a lovely day you’ll be having aboard the beautiful Columbus while the beautiful Columbus crawls along chucking out black smoke! One quiz with 6 contestants in a team has a prize of 1 Cocktail to share between all 6!! The first cruise Director John Even put in the daily Programme come and try win one of our´life changing‘ prizes! You could even win a torch or a yo-yo! The entertainment team tried hard. They were running quizzes and games and the shows in all places they had to rehearse late into the night. Plus cover excursions. The majority of staff dealing with passengers had no idea or professionalism and the favourite line at reception was we must check with London! Then I’d contact London and I’d be told it was up to reception. The English entertainment was mundane and repetitive but at least we had some there was nothing for the large number of German, Dutch and other non English speaking nationals who were mostly picked up in Amsterdam and did the entire trip. They never even got a map or port guide in their language and the first 50 days there was a Nazi war film nearly every day! That created a few arguments and there was enough of those without provocation. Many ports were useless unless you had a tour booked. Many were container ports and you had a 2-3k walk just to get to the dock gates! The company had no care for passengers unless as mentioned they were on tour if not it was tough. Many who could only walk a couple of kilometres could not get off as they had no energy to get passed the gates to sight see! Maps and guides were poor and nearly everything that was printed was in minuscule print! Great considering the age of passengers on board! We had fellow world cruisers getting off on route from Sydney on as they ´could not‘ stand it anymore!! So all in all it was far from enjoyable and whilst new passengers and staunch CMV fans were relatively happy a multitude of us were far from impressed and will never travel with CMV again! A two week cruise would probably be stomached but I’d urge you to read as many reviews as possible before booking longer and I know for a fact negative reviews are being removed from cmv Facebook page. Their passing shot was we were given a commemorative coin that said Columbus grand world cruise 2018 as our gift. the card wallet opens up and the itinerary is revealed, lovely yes, no! it’s this years coin and next years itinerary!! When many queried with reception how such a mistake could be made we were all told it was not an error but a marketing ploy to highlight next years cruise! The general staff are lovely and so helpful and went above and beyond to try to minimise upset. If not for them CMV would have Had a lot more issues onboard. I,wish you well Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I have been on over 100 cruises and the production show entertainment on this ship was in the top 10 that we have ever seen. Unfortunately, that's where it ends. The ship itself was dated. Overall, the food was below ... Read More
My wife and I have been on over 100 cruises and the production show entertainment on this ship was in the top 10 that we have ever seen. Unfortunately, that's where it ends. The ship itself was dated. Overall, the food was below average. One night, I was served salmon that was gray. Another night, I selected swordfish and it was unrecognizable. In the main dining room, eggs benedict was only available on Monday mornings. If you wanted black pudding with scrambled eggs, it was available only on Thursdays,etc.. It was perhaps the first cruise and I have never been on that did not serve lobster, at least once. I have never had to pay for a scoop of ice cream, on deck, until this Cruise. And there was no ice cream dessert at lunchtime. Another example, a half of a grapefruit was available but it was not cut into sections as you would find on other cruise lines. The daily program was not arranged by time of event or activity. It was a series of squares which made it hard to figure out activities at any given time. The program I am looking at now has 33 separate areas that have to be reviewed to figure out what's going on. We played a reasonable amount of trivia which was popular. On every other cruise we have been on, If there were six people in a team, the winners would receive six pens, keychains, pouches or whatever. On the Columbus, one pencil or one keychain was given per winning team. Each member had to share the one cheap prize. Good grief! In our cabin, we had separate shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. One of our friends who had a slightly lower category requested the same but was told they had to use the "all in one" soap hanging on the wall in the shower. Separate liquids were not available for them. Daily activities and enrichment programs were almost nonexistent. The phone in our cabin had buttons to call various departments. The button caption never matched the department that picked up the phone. The daily excursions were OK, adequate but nothing outstanding. As far as the crew was concerned it was hit or miss. Somewhere outstanding and others were very discourteous. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
In July we joined Columbus for a cruise to Iceland which turned out to be the cruise from hell. The problems started on arrival at Tilbury we had taken the coach transfer from Victoria which was delayed and despite being told on the tannoy ... Read More
In July we joined Columbus for a cruise to Iceland which turned out to be the cruise from hell. The problems started on arrival at Tilbury we had taken the coach transfer from Victoria which was delayed and despite being told on the tannoy to proceed directly to check in the cruise director told us to sit down even though there was no queue. Once on the vessel there was no possibility of getting anything to eat between 4:30 and 6:00. The lifeboat drill was managed by the entertainment team with no ships officers anywhere to be seen. Despite CMV pushing the fact they are a “British Cruise Line” the all inclusive drinks package include only a german lager no british beer at all, the bar staff also served cheap spirits which was meant for the cocktails rather than the named brands which were included in the package. The vessel had been refitted after arrival from Australia, one of the main changes was the main dining room which had been split into small areas, with partitions. This meant that to serve food the waiters had to lean over diners, it also meant we could not see the waiters if we wanted to attract their attention. There were many other problems in the MDR on the first night our dining companions could not get any of the first three wines they chose and later the waiter did not know what port was. Breakfast in the MDR was a disaster the menu was very limited, it was almost impossible to get toast and there were no preserves on the table when asked a spoonful was placed on the cold toast. Although at breakfast the food was better in the self service restaurant it was almost impossible to find a seat as people remained at the tables long after finishing their meals. Lunch in the MDR was acceptable despite having the wrong food delivered on a regular basis. Having cruised with other lines, the quality of the entertainment was significantly lower, the dancers were not synchronised and the singer’s voices did not blend together. The vessel has three levels of dress code formal, informal and casual, the informal dress code for men included a jacket however at least half did not wear them and nothing was said about it, on the formal night one man appeared in a jumper and again nothing was said. When we arrived at the ports no announcements were made to advise we could leave the vessel, at Torshavn we were told we had to collect tickets for the free bus to the town, having queued for half an hour to collect tickets everybody was told to go the buses together, when we arrived and looked for our bus we were told to get on the first one and ignore the ticket. The main conclusion was that the cruise and the vessel required better management starting from arrival times at Tilbury on the first day, they did not allow for traffic problems, right to the delays on the coach back to London. As things seem to change a little throughout the cruise it appeared as though CMV were using this cruise as a shake down to learn about the boat and the problems that needed attending to. This was not fair on the passengers who had paid for a normal cruise. The boat has had very little work done on it since the move from Pacific Pearl to Columbus, no work was done on the cabins. There seems to have been little training of a new crew especially with the range of nationalities who clearly had communications problems. There was not enough attention to detail regarding hygiene very little suggestions that we should use the hand sanitisers, it was only later in the cruise that the waiters stood by the door to the MDR with sanitizers. The quality of the food was poor served cool and several times incorrectly. The wine waiter at dinner did not do his job he seemed more interested in clearing plates and serving coffee before the sweet was served. The timetable on the boat is geared towards the first sitting dinner, lunch finishes at 2pm and although there was a tea it served dry sandwiches, variable scones and a couple of cakes during a one hour period, finishing at 4:30pm. There is then 4 hours until late sitting and , if you miss tea there is no opportunity to get included food until 8:30 dinner so it can be 6 ½ hrs between food. This is also true of other special events such as the whiskey tasting event on this cruise, held between 9 and 10 in the evening right in the middle of meal time, also the late night snacks served at 11 in the bars, which sometimes arrived before we did from dinner. If late night snacks can be provided for first sitting or those eating in the bistro why can they not provide pre dinner snacks for second sitting? The Captain and Cruise Director were almost invisible, we heard the Captain with his midday report any time between 11:45 and 12:15 depending on what suited him irrespective of what events may be happening also decided to announce we were leaving Kirkwall whilst the locals were on the dockside entertaining us with dancing and bagpipes. On other vessels the Captain will be seen walking around the vessel chatting to the passengers. We are used to seeing the Captain and senior crew in their whites for formal night, not there brown suits with bow ties. We never saw the Cruise Director before the early show. The bar staff were very good however waitresses should take an order leave it at the bar and go to get the next orders, collect the first one and deliver, they should also be circulating when not actually serving drinks. On returning from the cruise I sent a detailed list of problems to CMV with a list of suggestions on how a lot of the problems could be rectified, it took CMV six weeks to respond and then it was sent to our travel agent who forwarded it, the response acknowledged some of the comments but tried to defend the crew and ship especially the training of the crew. Read Less
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Inadequate training and indecent haste to commission their new flagship resulted in a disappointing, distressing and almost unbearable experience for many guests on our Round Britain cruise which was due to call at Invergordon, Ullapool, ... Read More
Inadequate training and indecent haste to commission their new flagship resulted in a disappointing, distressing and almost unbearable experience for many guests on our Round Britain cruise which was due to call at Invergordon, Ullapool, Tobermory, Dublin, Scilly, Guernsey and Honfleur. This was Columbus third cruise since being acquired by CMV following a 3 night and a 6 night cruise. This review is not intended to be a moan, but rather to tell it how it was for us in an attempt to help others to decide whether this company is safe to cruise with or offers value for money. Embarkation: Transfer from car park to ship for 1.30 embarkation was well organised by friendly helpful representatives. Registration was efficient with 13 crew members on duty. Although some passengers and their hand luggage were scanned others were instructed to bypass this procedure. This gave us serious cause for concern as potential terrorist activity on board a ship is too dreadful to contemplate. One questions whether large cases were scanned. A good selection of food was available in the buffet. Food was lukewarm but we assumed that this was because it had been on display for a long time. A brief tour of the ship impressed with its spaciousness, bars and lounges, spa, gym, shopping area and pleasant atrium, two tier theatre, and two delightful small deck areas at the stern equipped with very comfortable loungers . Our junior suite had a seating area, comfortable beds, usual amenities, 28 drawers and 6ft open hanging space. The small tv had poor sound and picture quality and there were 2 plug sockets. Fresh fruit and canapes were delivered daily and a bottle of wine was provided. The tv remote was broken, the standard lamp did not work as the cable was simply pushed into a hole in the wall with no cover, the washing line did not extend, the grid which covered the lights around the wash basin was dusty and when this was removed it revealed a revolting accumulation of dust and dirt. Wine glasses were rarely washed and cutlery and plates were not replaced. Some towels were very thin and grey. We did not receive our Breakfast in Bed card until day 3 as our steward told us that these were for lower grades of cabin and that we should order from the additional items menu available for suite passengers which consisted of smoked salmon, omelette and toasted sandwich but no basic items. Eventually he discovered the truth and supplied us with 34 cards. He was very friendly and eager to please but had not received sufficient training. His performance was not being monitored by his superiors or these oversights would have been rectified. We did not want to appear to criticise him by asking for these issues to be corrected. We viewed an inside cabin which was spacious with plenty of storage but no toiletries or kettle. Health and Safety: Lifeboat Drill was a complete shambles lasting 45 minutes. Well before the alarm sounded a crew member knocked on cabin doors telling people to go to the assembly point. No checks were made on entry although this was done at other stations. Four crew members called out cabin numbers for ten minutes in four areas of the extremely crowded room. It was like a cattle market and the noise level made by bored passengers chatting between themselves made it impossible to hear. No one was available to assist passengers who had difficulties with life jackets. We then had to file out onto the adjacent deck placing our hand on the person in front. An estimated 90% of passengers were aged over 70 and as some had limited mobility this took fifteen minutes by which time some passengers were feeling ill due to having to stand for so long. Nothing happened when we stood outside. Information in the cabin regarding operation of the light on the jacket was incorrect. There did not appear to have been any officers on duty at embarkation or at the Lifeboat Drill. One would have expected that with an inexperienced crew it would have been of paramount importance to check that vital safety procedures were being properly conducted. Extremely concerned about how a real emergency would be handled we requested an interview with the ships Safety Officer the following day stating that we had serious safety issues we wished to discuss. We heard nothing that day or the next and on the afternoon of the third day we made another request to the Guest Services host who arranged for us to meet him within 10 minutes. We made our points to the officer who seemed genuinely concerned about the haphazard way in which the drill had been conducted and agreed to urgently revisit the training of the crew and to discuss with the captain the need to file onto the deck. He was horrified to hear that not all guests and their hand luggage had been scanned at the start of the cruise and agreed that in these days of heightened security it is essential that this extremely important procedure is fully implemented. Apart from one line in the first daily information sheet advising passengers to use the hand sanitisers there was no effort to encourage this anywhere on the ship. Well over 50% of passengers who entered the buffet did not sanitise their hands but proceeded to handle tongs, spoons, jugs and drinks dispensers, thus potentially spreading any virus which they may have carried. The most worrying and distressing health concern was the large number of cabins whose toilets stopped working. We met a couple who changed cabins 4 times due to this and another two ladies were without a working toilet for 7 days. Many of the public toilets were also out of order causing considerable problems for many guests. Carpet cleaning and use of blowers in corridors due to flooding was a permanent feature. Itinerary: En route to our first port the captain announced that due to forecast adverse weather it would be unsafe to tender into Ullapool and Tobermory and he would therefore stay longer at Invergordon, have another sea day and call at Belfast. Disappointing but sensible. During the gale force winds the ship was very stable and comfortable. Tender and shuttle operations were controlled by ticket. The tender driver from and to the ship in Guernsey was the Safety Officer. In view of the need to revisit shortfalls in safety and security which we had identified one would have imagined that he could have been better employed. There were no scanners in use when we reboarded the ship at any port. Food: Two restaurants with cover charges: The Grill serving organic meat at 24.90 pp, Indian Fusion at 14.90 pp, The Chefs Table at 49 pp includes drinks, 9 course menu and 3 photos. High tea is served in The Grill at 10. A small room service menu is available offering salad from 6.80, sandwiches from 3.95, burgers at 8.95 etc. A good coffee is available in the Atrium for a small charge. Buffet: Plenty of tables. No trays which meant several trips to obtain courses. Hot food was never hot. Plates were usually cold. Butter was frozen. Breakfast was good apart from bacon which was extremely fatty and flabby. Fried eggs, omelettes and poached eggs were cooked to order. Wide choice at every meal although it was possibly not what one expected. One lunch menu offered roast pork neck, fried tilapia, roast pork belly, bangers sausage, pasta with quorn mince, potato dumplings or chilly gobi. Scones with clotted cream and jam at teatime were excellent. Up to 1400 guests trying to obtain a scone within the one hour time slot during which tea is served created queues. Dinner was similar to lunch with no tablecloths, the usual cutlery wrapped in paper napkins, wine in plastic glasses and thick mugs for hot drinks. Food was removed at 8.30pm on the dot. There were plenty of waiters clearing tables. Windows and revolving doors to the deck were dirty. Dining Room: Sittings at 5.45 and 8.30. Tables were close together and were mainly for 6 or more although there were a few for 4 or 2. The room is sectioned off presumably to create a more intimate atmosphere but we prefer a large open dining room which is less claustrophobic. Tables were not laid with cutlery, but this was provided according to what was ordered. Some waiters asked for your dessert order before the meal and others waited until you had finished your main course. One wonders whether they all went to the same training school. There was always a good choice of food, but it was never hot. Quite often the wrong food arrived, and very often waiters started clearing plates before everyone had finished eating. Seals around windows were degraded, blistered and black. Rain water seeped in, soaking items placed on the sills. Should anyone mourn the passing of the Baked Alaska parade on other cruise lines, they can be assured that it is alive and kicking on C&M, sadly now without the sparklers! The drinks package at 17 per day may have been good value for some. We did not use it and were surprised to find that a glass of cider cost 25% more in the buffet than in the dining room. Was this due to lack of training of wine waiter? Shore excursions: A good variety was offered. In common with most cruise lines they are much more expensive than doing it yourself. A trip to Sark on the regular service cost 49 booked on the ship but 28.65 at the kiosk. Similarly booking Herm on the ship cost 35 but 13 at the kiosk. There is a 20% cancellation fee up to 48 hours before arrival in port and 100% fee within 48 hours. Entertainment: Quizzes were fun with basic general knowledge questions hosted by the friendly production team who ensured a good atmosphere. No deck games. A shuffleboard grid was marked but no equipment was available. On port days no activities were organised between quizzes at 9.30 and 4.00 and the library was only open from 4.00 to 5.00. Live music around the ship from 4pm was very good. Jeff Chandler provided fascinating insights into the Crimean War, Gallipoli and D-day landings. Sight lines in the theatre were poor due to lack of tiering downstairs and a safety rail upstairs which always seemed to be in the way wherever one sat. People constantly moved seats to get a better view. Raising the stage would help. During the presentations noise emanating from the control booth upstairs from crew talking and radio chatter was distracting. The comedian was past his sell by date and after 10 minutes of smutty jokes we left. The Queen Tribute may have been good but the volume was so loud that it was painful to listen to and we left after 5 minutes. The final production show with a classical and operatic theme was excellent in every way. Cruise director Tony Parkin was lacking in social skills and nowhere near the standard we have experienced on ten other cruise lines. His crude joke about genital exercises was not very amusing. Other points to note: This is the only cruise line where cabin numbers are printed on cruise cards. This would seem as foolish as attaching your home address to your house keys. We were asked to vacate cabins by 7.00am on final morning. Disembarkation announcements were only made in the allocated waiting areas. We arrived 30 minutes before our time slot to find that our group had already been called. Announcements requesting missing passengers to contact reception were not broadcast in all areas. On day 3 we were woken at 4.15 am by furniture being moved on the Lido deck above us. At 5.15 it was moved again. The Guest Service manager apologised, said he had already spoken about this before and he had now told them again. Why did he need to tell them twice? We visited reception to request a dvd. This would be dealt with by someone who would deliver it to the cabin. After waiting 3 hours we went down again. A different crew member turned to the drawer behind her where they were kept and handed it to us. No details of films or timings were available on the 5 film channels. The laundrette was not functioning as the slots on all machines needed Australian dollars. Reception could not provide them and suggested using the laundry at a cost of up to 4.10 per item. Apart from at the reception desk almost all the crew were extremely polite, smiling and helpful. They tried their best to do a good job but due to deficiencies in their training or lack of communication and follow up by their managers, their best was not always good enough. We did not see any of the officers around the ship. Cruise and Maritime should have anticipated that the previous owners would have carried out minimal maintenance during the months prior to handover and had a year to build in sufficient time before sailing to carry out a thorough inspection of vital services such as plumbing, allowing time to rectify problems. A deep clean should have been implemented. Some areas could be rated as satisfactory or good but if the unsatisfactory aspects are not typical of the way in which the company operates, we believe that a serious error was made in putting to sea in a ship that was not fit for purpose. After the first two cruises when so many problems came to light, the decent and sensible way forward would have been to cancel all future cruises until the ship was made safe and serviceable by more effective staff training and by ensuring that all areas were operating hygienically, correctly and efficiently. If C&M preferred not to do this they should have warned passengers about the problems which they would undoubtedly encounter and offered them a reduced rate to continue with their booking. The ship has now been operational for 19 days and there are still many functionality and aesthetic snagging issues to be dealt with in addition to the major concerns. Columbus has the potential to offer value for money. It is a pity that the ship was put into service before the problems which we encountered had been addressed. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This is the 7th cruise company that I travel with and 1st time with CMV. The trouble starts from the minute when you checked in... Even though I've input all info online in advance that info was still wrong (took me as UK citizen ... Read More
This is the 7th cruise company that I travel with and 1st time with CMV. The trouble starts from the minute when you checked in... Even though I've input all info online in advance that info was still wrong (took me as UK citizen instead of US)... And the passenger card was never work when I embark/disembark for the next 7 days.... I think a big part of the horrible experience that we had on this cruise ship was from the crews that are not properly trained and have no authority in taking care of the problems/complaints right on the spot. Out of 700 crew on the ship, maybe only 5% English is their mother language, which still won't bother me too much as long as they understand the guests' requests or complaints but obviously it wasn't the case here. Mainly they put Ukrainian crew to the reception desk which they don't have any authority to correct the billing errors or other adjustment, everything needs to go to "accountant" who in turn was never present at the reception desk.... Anyway, there was simply too many incidents within this week frustrating me and there is no way for me taking CMV again in the future, period.... Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Upon arrival at Tilbury for embarkation we were confronted with a two hour wait due to computer problems, not as bad as we thought as we were topped up with some fizzy wine for the duration. upon boarding we were shown to our cabins (Four ... Read More
Upon arrival at Tilbury for embarkation we were confronted with a two hour wait due to computer problems, not as bad as we thought as we were topped up with some fizzy wine for the duration. upon boarding we were shown to our cabins (Four booked for a party of eight) which had more water in them than the two advertised pools, all were flooded and were in the process of being dried out, although they were obviously aware of the problems they still took us to our cabins, strange! We waited at Customer Services for nearly four hours until we were eventually moved after initially being offered alternative accommodation of a lower grade than we had booked, we ended up in an outside cabin on Navigator deck which once again was outdated but entirely adequate. The problems of flooding were quite widespread through out all the cabins a problem rumoured to be caused by the vacuum system used for waste disposal in the toilets, although not confirmed. On board the deck areas quite pleasant but obviously dated due to the age of the ship, both pools and the hot tubs empty with no sign of them being filled although they did mange to fill one pool during the voyage, rubbish not collected and strangely enough a wheelie bin in the pool shower. All staff although suffering from a total lack of training were both pleasant and attentive throughout the cruise. Entertainment was mediocre in the evening and non existent during the day. bar prices reasonable as opposed to other cruise ships. Food being a major problem as most courses were served up luke warm and not as presentable as you would expect more thrown on a plate than presented. Breakfast buffet was a mishmash of undercooked bacon and sausages and trying to get an egg or omelette was a trial in itself as the guy cooking was always going away from his station to report a problem, I actually gave up in the end and settled for the scrambled. Problems with crockery and utensils during busy times in the buffet were also a major grumble for most passengers. On day two we opted for the restaurant for breakfast which was of no better quality and decided to get our own breakfast again the next day at least we choose our own rubbish. Overall a very disappointing Cruise, and will not be using CMV again, I will hasten to add that I contacted CMV upon our return on the 14th and have still not received a reply, so much for Customer service. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I chose a cruise with Cruise and Maritime on the Columbus embarking at London Tilbury . The Columbus is the latest addition to their fleet, indeed on the 11 June 2017 it was the inauguration having had a refit.The cruise was a ... Read More
My wife and I chose a cruise with Cruise and Maritime on the Columbus embarking at London Tilbury . The Columbus is the latest addition to their fleet, indeed on the 11 June 2017 it was the inauguration having had a refit.The cruise was a 3 day cruise going to Amsterdam and Antwerp. We were really looking forward to this short cruise having been before on the Magellan which was very enjoyable. It soon became evident however that there were serious problems with the ship.On approach to our cabin the corridor was flooded.On entering the cabin it seemed very pleasant. On using the toilet I found the toilet did not flush.It was reported 3 times but nothing was rectified.The following morning and already under way the toilet then overflowed and flooded the whole bathroom area.It wasn't until day 2 of the cruise that we were able to use the bathroom facilities.Having spoken to about 16 other people it was discovered that the problem had affected a large amount of cabins. All the food was very bland and tasteless and repairs and painting were being carried out on deck for 2 days.On arrival at Amsterdam there appeared to be little organisation in getting people off the ship.It took us 50 minutes as hundreds were in the queue.A very big thumbs down from me.Will stick with P and O in future. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruises line because it was one we had not done before and the date was perfect for us to have a short break, the ship was the companies flag ship the Columbus ( old Arcadia and ocean village) it was its first trip out with ... Read More
We chose this cruises line because it was one we had not done before and the date was perfect for us to have a short break, the ship was the companies flag ship the Columbus ( old Arcadia and ocean village) it was its first trip out with paying passageners calling at Amsterdam and Antwerp, the embarkation was a joke all sorts of problems, the ship is a long way short of being ready to receive passengers, it was a total farce, we had a balcony cabin which was nice but the cabin steward did not do his job properly and it was never clean, he just tidied up, the cabin had the usual fruit and bottle of wine and on arrival canoppies on the first day nice touch, the new carpets were not fitted properly and the shower room and not been upgraded, dining was a joke we got in to the dining room for 8.30pm second sitting did not get a menu till 8.55 pm and got our main course at 9.45pm it was a total shambles and to top it all the food looked and tasted like Aldi specials not to my taste thankyou, my wife booked a massage and walked out because there are problems with the air con on board and all the rooms were freezing cold, entertainment was poor the worst we have ever seen on a cruise ship and the cruise director we'll all can say about him that is pleasant is he was totally immaturely crap. No English speaking people on board in the staffing department even tho use it is classed a British ship, so communication is poor, top and bottom is don't cruise on this ship it is not ready for sea, and the company need to have a good hard look at themselves 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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