2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We had a brilliant holiday. Service food and entertainment were all excellent. The ships singers and dancers were exceptional .This was a little bigger ship than we are used to but we actually preferred it and will look for similar next ... Read More
We had a brilliant holiday. Service food and entertainment were all excellent. The ships singers and dancers were exceptional .This was a little bigger ship than we are used to but we actually preferred it and will look for similar next year. Room was quite small but we spend very little time there. We prefer to be out either exploring or up on deck. The other guests we chatted to had all enjoyed their holiday. On formal nights nights most people dressed up but not ott. Some people chose not to and this appeared to be acceptable. They did not go to the formal dining rooms . We prefer to do our own thing but booked 2 last minute excursions . Both were very good if a bit expensive. There was a small problem with the tendering in st peters. Staff came round to explain and apologise. Throughout the holiday the captain ensured guests were well informed. The ship had a relaxed atmosphere. This was our first fly cruise . everything was well organised. This was the same on departure. All good we reallly enjoyed especially in waterfront ,,most of the times we dining late and tired because we booked in 1st sit but the staff showed smiley face.making jokes and fun the service too fast.we never had this before very good and lovely waiter Mr. sabari very frank and efficient. Beds very comfortable with beautifully laundered linen and great pillows. Having some experience of travelling on cargo ships over the years, the occasional ship smells of bunkering, and the inevitable hum and vibration of the engines disturbed us hardly at all, as we reckoned it was hardly possible to avoid these things altogether. We slept well, and loved our cabin cheerful.over all we enjoyed except st.peters. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We had been on Columbus to Iceland in 2017 and enjoyed its high standard of entertainment and food. Our cruise around the British isles in June 2018, gave us 10 ports in 7 countries in 12 days. The restaurant food, breakfast, lunch ... Read More
We had been on Columbus to Iceland in 2017 and enjoyed its high standard of entertainment and food. Our cruise around the British isles in June 2018, gave us 10 ports in 7 countries in 12 days. The restaurant food, breakfast, lunch and dinner were excellent and the buffet style cafe were of good quality and quantity. It's quite sad to see how greedy people are and how easily the waste so much. Shame on them. The ships senior staff were very professional and the serving staff friendly, and efficient. I don't quite understand the few complaints on food quality, we had no mediocre dishes. from the +160 our party of 3 enjoyed over the 12 days. The one problem we did have, was cruise shortening and came unforeseen. Despite the issue being unpredictable, CMV worked very hard for my guest and gave us every opportunity to sort out the issue to our complete satisfaction. So a big hearted thankyou to them. You only really know how good a company is when they have helped you through an unexpected crisis and allowed your cruise to continue. Columbus, we'll be back ............. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Destination combined with price governed our decision to book this cruise. Coming from New Zealand we also have to factor in airfares. We had previously cruised on Columbus when she was with P&O Aust as the Pacific Pearl, so we knew ... Read More
Destination combined with price governed our decision to book this cruise. Coming from New Zealand we also have to factor in airfares. We had previously cruised on Columbus when she was with P&O Aust as the Pacific Pearl, so we knew what to expect. For the most part the ship is still the same with just a few cosmetic changes noted. CMV, they were new to us. Prior to the cruise they were hopeless, getting information was like extracting teeth. Once the cruise began, no problems. Shore excursions, except for one, very good and very good value. We did six excursions. Food; not flash but acceptable. In the main dining area it was very good. Equal to HAL or Princess. Buffet, mmmm, could do better here. It is quite shabby in places. Biggest moan, late opening especially on port days. Should be open at least 1 hour earlier, we got sick of seeing the little sargeant major strutting around telling people "we don't open until 7.30am". Get your act together guys. Results was usually a crush of people in a shorter time frame. Entertainment; acceptable, but a bit amateurish. I did like the fact that the CD was not "in your face". On other lines the CD can be rather annoying. On CMV, we liked his approach. Our biggest whinge was our cabin. We were in a 2 berth inside. It was previously a 4 berth and the two extra bunks had been removed. But they left the holes in the bulkheads where the 2 bunks had been attached. It was an eyesore. This is very unprofessional. Loved the pax mix, loved the British SOH. Very enjoyable, VERY good value and would definately book again with CMV. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise because of the price, because it went to the areas/ports we were interested in, and because we thought we could get the oceanview cabin configuration we desired. We got all we wanted except cabin configuration. This is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price, because it went to the areas/ports we were interested in, and because we thought we could get the oceanview cabin configuration we desired. We got all we wanted except cabin configuration. This is explained in the cabin review below. Other than the slight glitch with the cabin, the rest of our cruise experience was great. The service was wonderful and the staff was friendly and helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed the food. The Waterfront Restaurant was excellent, The food was always well presented and tasty. The Plantation Bistro (buffet) food was a slight step down from the restaurant, but nothing to complain about. The entertainment was enjoyable, but sometimes on the loud side. CMV is a British company that caters to the British market. On this cruise there were mostly British passengers with a few Germans, Asians, Americans, and a smattering of other nationalities. As Americans, we felt very comfortable and welcomed. We enjoyed getting to know new British friends. While CMV mostly runs adult-only cruises, this particualr cruise allowed children. They were all extremely well behaved. Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Very fond memories of the this old ship when she was the Pacific Pearl with P&O Australia (before P&O Australia relegated cruising to bad Baltic Ferry like experience) so I was pleased to see what Cruise and Maritime Voyages have ... Read More
Very fond memories of the this old ship when she was the Pacific Pearl with P&O Australia (before P&O Australia relegated cruising to bad Baltic Ferry like experience) so I was pleased to see what Cruise and Maritime Voyages have done with her. Currently on a round-the-world cruise with mainly 50-60years plus Brits, Germans and Dutch I managed a 7 night Auckland/Tauranga/Bay of Islands leg this week. For those who remember and care for the ship, she is back now in good hands with CMV. The best of the last P&O refurbishments of the public areas etc have been kept and added to with some CMV style although the cabins mostly remain the same (clean spacious and comfortable). No cursed Pantry/bad shopping centre style food outlets remain, the food service is back to what it used to be AND HOT FOOD IS HOT AND COLD FOOD IS COLD - like it used to be, like it should be. Set times do apply to Breakfast/Lunch & Dinner. Afternoon Tea is served in the Plantation from 3.30pm-4.30pm. 24 hour Tea and Coffee stations. Nominal charge applies for 24 hour room service. The Plantation Buffet is great and the the Waterfront (main restaurant - CMV kept both names) serves 4-5 courses, with 3-5 choices (most courses) plus a separate Vegetarian option, plus Grilled Salmon or Grilled Chicken each night if none of the above take your fancy - and the servings are very generous and varied. Wine was mostly European and in UK money was a bit steep. Other drink prices are the norm. Best Ice Cream of any ship served on Deck 12 - at very reasonable prices There are 2 specialty restaurants that charge about $23 AUD per person. I did not try either. On board currency is UK pounds on the round-the-world cruise. The cabins were comfortable and cool or warm as you required. Shower and tap water was hot as needed and I heard of no plumbing problems. Small flat-screen TVs show a small selection of rather dated movies. BBC news when the satellite gets a signal. Wifi was sadly a bit of a dud. Entertainment was a bit limited and a bit British.... There were NO children aboard. Not a suitable ship for children I would think. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We travelled before with CMV on the Marco Polo and now we did make the trip for 75 days from Amsterdam to Hong Kong and where very satisfied over all again. The cleaning was excellent. Also the food was good most of the time. The main ... Read More
We travelled before with CMV on the Marco Polo and now we did make the trip for 75 days from Amsterdam to Hong Kong and where very satisfied over all again. The cleaning was excellent. Also the food was good most of the time. The main dishes were unfortunately often very fat. The buffet was a good alternative. There was a good choice of drinks. The information about the packages could be better. Only the all include drinking package was offered. I did find out that there were also wine beer and coffee packages. Most of the staff was very kind and help full . Also the girls at reception were very kind but they were not helpful at all. One day I asked them to find a dentist for me in the next harbour, because the internet was out again. There answer was that I had to make the phone call myself from the cabin for £7 a minute. But who should I call? A lady from the tourist office in Auckland was very helpful to find it out for me. Me be CMV can hire here. Also to other questions they were friendly and smiled all the time but did not anything to solve the problem. And this was confirmed be other passengers as well. The excursions were far overpriced. But most of them were ok. If you did complain about an excursion they tried to tell you that you were the only one who had complained, but if one insists and could prove that the whole bus was not satisfied and even the host wrote a negative report, one gets a small reduction. So look very carefully if you can make the tour on your own before booking, because cancelling is no option. The two pools are very nice to swim, and one could always find an place to sit. The gym was open very early. Most of the passengers were over 65 , but the choice of music was for teenagers and far too loud . Also in the bars in the evening the life music was too loud also , so one could not make any conversation. The cabin was ok and the service from the cabin boy was excellent. Also the air condition in the cabin was adjustable. Unfortunately the air condition in the rest of the ship was very bad. In the gym far too hot. In the theatre also too hot. In Capucino’s and the atrium freezing cold ! Disembarkation was not always very efficient. Normally excursions go first by call on a tender number, but at some places everybody was cueing to go on shore at the same time. A bloody shame was the medical centre. People were forced to have an infusion for a simple cold. If one refused to take it, they threatened that you have to leave the ship. They charged more than £ 1000 for such in infusion. Some passengers got a bill for over £ 10.000 and to pay it immediately by credit card . CMV should change this service. It looks like mafia. Never the less we go again on a long cruise with CMV next year Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We were last on the Columbus in June 2017 for the Iceland cruise, and booked this with two other friends. We had an upgrade to a Junior Suite with a balcony and, although the cabin had not been refurbished as far as we could see, was very ... Read More
We were last on the Columbus in June 2017 for the Iceland cruise, and booked this with two other friends. We had an upgrade to a Junior Suite with a balcony and, although the cabin had not been refurbished as far as we could see, was very comfortable and roomy, with a good shower and a sofa and armchair plus a small balcony. Embarkation was fine, reasonably well organised bearing in mind the numbers of passengers. There was about a 45 minute a delay in disembarkation at Tilbury, whether it was down to the ship or the port authority at Tilbury we do not know. Some passengers seem to be very upset and annoyed by this but it was a case of just being patient. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas, and we found the atmosphere just right, festive but not overwhelmingly Christmassy ie: no Christmas piped music! The first couple of days in the restaurant were a bit chaotic, and we felt sorry for the staff who were doing their best but appeared to be thrown in at the deep end. However, it got sorted out eventually and we were more than happy with the service, both in the restaurants and cabin. The entertainment was some of the best we have seen on CMV ships, especially the wonderful Tatiana (violin), Lana (piano), Jordana and Angelina (opera)... please hold on to them! The shows were excellent, especially the Panto, and the two comedians were very good. Dancing was first rate too. The main restaurant was beautifully decorated for both Christmas and New Year, and the party atmosphere, once again, was just right. The food... mostly excellent although the portions seem to be larger than before. My favourite were the scones at afternoon tea, delicious, least favourite were the pancakes at breakfast, only because they seemed very dry and broke up as soon as you tried to pick them up. The chefs did an excellent outside barbecue when the weather got better as well. I still think that thought needs to be given to extending the seating area around Connexions... it is very difficult to get a seat for the events held there. To sum up, a very enjoyable cruise, we like this cruise line and have booked the Northern Lights one for this October. We only booked a couple of shore excursions this time, we find them not particularly good value for money but they are optional. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Like many, we had read some of the mixed reviews about CMV's Columbus but have to say they really did a great job. Embarkation was, however, chaos. The terminal building seems ill-equipped to handle 1500 or so people, with inadequate ... Read More
Like many, we had read some of the mixed reviews about CMV's Columbus but have to say they really did a great job. Embarkation was, however, chaos. The terminal building seems ill-equipped to handle 1500 or so people, with inadequate basic facilities such as toilets and refreshments. Many people had traveled a long distance and refreshment facilities were wholly inadequate. Once on board, the Columbus is spacious but has a small ship-feel. Everything was bright and fresh, colourful carpets and furnishings are warm and welcoming. The cabin was MASSIVE ! one of the largest we have ever had for sure! The staff in all areas of the ship were really lovely. Our cabin steward was equally lovely! Entertainment was terrific and there is tons of space in the Palladium show lounge and staff serve drinks at your seat. The waterfront restaurant is a lovely venue and all of the food we had during this short cruise was delicious. Bars and nightlife venues were great, full of atmosphere too! CMV offer an all inclusive drinks package at just £17 per day, which is excellent value for money. There is plenty of space on board Columbus and nice places to stroll or sit in sheltered areas on deck, even when its cold. The Jade Spa on deck 2 has a lovely sauna and steamroom (free) which again, was one of the best I have seen on a cruise ship. All in all a great experience. sadly, disembarkation was chaos again. Huge queues of people standing outside in the bitter cold, waiting for bus transfer to the car park. If they sort out the embarkation and disembarkation procedures things would be a whole lot better! Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Cuba was on the 'To Do' List and this was our 4th CMV Cruise so we knew it would be a cruise that we would enjoy in comfort rather than luxury. The friendliness of the crew is a real bonus - when we arrived at the Terminal, our ... Read More
Cuba was on the 'To Do' List and this was our 4th CMV Cruise so we knew it would be a cruise that we would enjoy in comfort rather than luxury. The friendliness of the crew is a real bonus - when we arrived at the Terminal, our Cabin Steward from our August 2016 cruise outside and came over to greet us. Even better was the fact that he had been promoted to Supervisor, responsible for our group of Cabins on Deck 5 and he made a point of 'warning' our Cabin Steward about us - it was like renewing a friendship and that same happy atmosphere continued with our new Cabin Steward, Pandit. Customer Service was really good across all aspects of the cruise operation. Some Passengers commented that a couple of staff were surly/uncommunicative but my experience was that the individuals had limited English and were avoiding detailed communications where possible. All other staff were very friendly and more than happy to share a joke or banter whenever time allowed. Embarkation was really quick - we arrived about an hour earlier than our time slot but were booked in after a wait of 5 minutes or so. Disembarkation is always frantic, and, with a 4 days pre-Xmas cruise to follow our 46 night cruise, we had to leave the cabin at 07:00 and lug our bags up to the Palladium Show Lounge before carting them down again (we chose Express Disembarkation for a fast departure). Disembarkation is always frenzied and we had to wait until almost 10:00 before we could leave - tedious waiting around but a small price to pay for such a good cruise. Dining is either in the Waterfront Restaurant (Open seating for Breakfast and Lunch, 18:30 and 20:30 Sittings for Dinner) or the Plantation Bistro. There are also a small Grill Restaurant and a revolving themed Indian/Japanese/Chinese offering in a cordoned-off area of the Bistro. We did not try the Grill or the Oriental Cuisine offerings. The Bistro is self-service and for picky eaters like me, this is ideal - there is always a combination of food available. In addition, Salmon and Chicken was available on request. My wife had to make a switch to a low salt diet midway through the cruise and this was accommodated seamlessly. Even when we chose to eat in the Bistro, the Serving Staff fetched the low Salt Meal from the Waterfront Restaurant and served it at our Bistro Table. The service was superb and always delivered with a smile. Desserts were a little limited - Fruit Crumble and Custard and creamy, sugary blancmange style sweets were the mainstay. Fresh fruit, typically Pineapple and at least 2 flavours of Melon were available at all times. The Bistro has seating and formica-style tables that is more 'Luxurious Works Canteen' than upmarket restaurant. The decor is lifted by Stencilled Bon Mots on the Windows - 'Life is Short, Eat Dessert First' etc. Menus are repeated every 4-7 Days. For a picky eater like me, this was a bonus since I knew that a suitable offering was never too far away but several cruisers moaned about the repetitive nature of the menu. Entertainment is the usual twice-nightly show in the Palladium Show Lounge. Dance/Musical productions of a decent, safe level, delivered with energy, rather than innovation, were the order of the day. The Guest Comedians were pretty dire - one comedian had his heyday in the early 1970s and was still delivering material from that era - toe-curling mother-in-law jokes and non-pc material. Afternoon Dance Classes were available and the Salsa (in advance of the Cuba visit) were really popular and resulted in lots of laughter from the participants. The only criticism is that the programme was haphazard so Salsa was followed by Line Dancing and then by Ballroom Dancing etc at random intervals. This made it difficult for Beginners to consolidate their learning and subsequent Sessions were missed by the participants. Lectures were patchy in quality and variety - probably the weakest aspect of the Entertainments Programme. The 46 nights cruise meant that Lecturers were working outside their specialisms and the latter part of the cruise Sessions were a 'Read from the Slide' exercise. The Physical Exercise Programme was very well operated. Doreen's Morning 'Mile with a Smile' laps around Deck 14 took place at 08:30 exactly on every Sea Day, and finished with a challenging 10 minutes Stretching Class. This was followed at 09:00 precisely by Doreen's Zumba Classes that were very well attended. The only criticism is that attendance at both Sessions meant missing breakfast or a very early meal! Afternoon Stretching Classes of 45-60 minutes with Oleg were very popular and were not for the faint-hearted! Everyone benefited from these 'Easy Effort' (they weren't!) classes. Shore Excursion Presentations were pretty poor - the Presentational Skills were dreadful and focused more on selling the Excursions, reading out Tour Details from the Slides. The actual Shore Excursions were well organised and quite reasonable value for money. We took excursions in Ponta Delgada, Uzmal (Mayan Ruins at Progreso), Altan Ha (Mayan Ruins at Belize) and Panama City. At other ports of call, we wandered and explored or visited the Caribbean Beaches. Some of our best moments were meetings with local people on our DIY wanderings. Cuba was the star turn after the bureaucracy of Passport Control and Havana is a safe, welcoming place. We visited a street Bar and I was encouraged to dance with the Band in front of the Diners/Drinkers - after an 8 minutes 'performance' I realised just how unfit I was! In Tobago, a Police Officer suggested a couple of Bars to visit and even accompanied us to the premises! The Cozumel visit on a Sunday (port shops closed), followed by Belize on Monday (Public Holiday - all shops closed) was not a triumph. The cruise was one of the best we have experienced, especially when the price paid is taken into account - we paid more for Dinner, Bed & Breakfast in a budget hotel than the nightly cost of the cruise. At the cruise nightly price, economies have to be expected and these are evident in the menu, the range of entertainment and the padding out of daytime activities by (chargeable) Craft Classes. Good quality service, safe (if unspectacular) budget entertainment, friendly and efficient staff and a great range and variety of destinations in comfortable surroundings - all at a nightly price lower than a budget hotel. We will certainly take another CMV cruise - it's only a question of waiting for the itinerary that matches our Wish List. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I saw this cruise advertised on a web search and as I had never sailed with CMV before I thought I would give it a try. The embarkation process was superb. The port of Tilbury staff should give themselves a pat on the back for a very ... Read More
I saw this cruise advertised on a web search and as I had never sailed with CMV before I thought I would give it a try. The embarkation process was superb. The port of Tilbury staff should give themselves a pat on the back for a very smooth process. Our cases were outside our cabin by the time we arrived on board at 12.30. Our cabin was a great size and we were upgraded to a cabin with a window which we delighted about. The food was average, it was not the same standard as I have had on previous cruises. I don't like the idea you can only have tea/coffee until midnight. There was no 24 hour dining which I get as the majority of passengers are in bed before the midnight hour but for those of us who were in the nightclub till the wee small hours it would have been good to even have been offered some late night sandwiches? The 'snacks' served on the 7 th deck between 11-11.30 is not a lot of good if you're on the 14th deck. We tried them one night and we never bothered again. Entertainment was very good on the whole although there were some shows which really bombed, particularly the 'comedians'! The lack of ballroom dancing space was disappointing, especially when they advertised 30 minutes of this before th show and then only delivered 15 minutes. According to the cruise director this was a mistake in the daily newsletter but it was not rectified after discussion with the said cruise director. The majority of the staff were excellent who went out of their way to ensure we all had a great holiday. Very helpful pleasant people from the reception staff to the cabin staff. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Due to a storm in the North Sea Columbus was approx 8 hours late docking. Not the fault of the company, but a decision by Thames pilots to suspend boarding ships until storm had died down. Columbus due to leave port at 15.00hrs, actual ... Read More
Due to a storm in the North Sea Columbus was approx 8 hours late docking. Not the fault of the company, but a decision by Thames pilots to suspend boarding ships until storm had died down. Columbus due to leave port at 15.00hrs, actual leaving 23.00hrs. Each passenger given £25 on board spend as compensation. Although we arrived early for embarkation the company had laid on buses to take us to Lakeside shopping centre, as Tilbury terminal has limited facilities. Embarkation went well at approx 17.00. Due to late embarkation we were unable to arrive at Copenhagen in time and had an extra day at sea. Although Columbus is an older ship, first launched in 1988, it is a lovely ship and has some character which can be lacking in some of the newer ships. Cabins were spacious, clean and comfortable. Public areas were good and furniture up to an acceptable standard. There were one or two areas which were a little tired, but I am being picky here and these areas did not spoil the enjoyment of our experience. Food in the Waterfront restaurant was excellent, and none of the people we shared a table with felt the need to try the pay for speciality restaurants, although I heard from other passengers that the were very good. I will not comment on the buffet as we did not use it very much, but it seemed popular. The on board entertainment team were excellent and put on 5 shows ranging from Rock and Roll, Broadway, Queen tribute, musicals and opera, all were good. Four shows were put on by a comedienne, 2 shows and a magician/comedienne 2 shows. There were also lectures and other events on sea days which I found enjoyable. I have read some negative comments about the cruise director, but I can only praise him and his team for a job well done. The highlight of the cruise was an overnight in St Petersburg well worth a visit. My only negative was the amount of piped music throughout the ship and the huge TV screen above the pool area which played all day, something which I found distracting. NB other people did not agree with me. We met some really nice people on board and everybody was friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and I believe the cruise director was right when he remarked "This is not a cruise ship it is a friendship" Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cabin was on deck 10 without a window, which we don't mind as we rarely spend time in there. There was an issue with only one socket in the whole cabin which was accessible to us. This meant we could not both charge up our ... Read More
The cabin was on deck 10 without a window, which we don't mind as we rarely spend time in there. There was an issue with only one socket in the whole cabin which was accessible to us. This meant we could not both charge up our phones/tablets and use the hair dryer/straighteners. Our cabin steward was very inconsistent. Did not leave toilet paper until it had only three sheets on a roll left. He would take all the towels even though some had not been used, or we hung them up to use again. We left the used ones in the shower tray, but he took all the others as well! He never vaq up the room once in 9 nights and spent all his time making up towel animals! He could have spent more time actually cleaning which we would have appreciated. The entertainment was of a high standard, except for one of the male singers. He was very poor and out of tune. The sausages were awful but otherwise the food was good quality and plentiful. The show lounge has been very badly designed and the only good views are on the front rows unless you are over 6 foot tall. The drinks package of £17 each per day is only available per couple, which is no good as one of us only drinks water and no soft drinks or alcohol for health reasons. The other enjoys wine and alcohol and would have loved to be able to sign up for the drink's package but couldn't. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
It was with some trepidation that we set out for our British Isles Discovery Cruise, we had read some worrying reviews about MV Columbus when it was undertaking its first cruises under the CMV banner some weeks previously. Approaching ... Read More
It was with some trepidation that we set out for our British Isles Discovery Cruise, we had read some worrying reviews about MV Columbus when it was undertaking its first cruises under the CMV banner some weeks previously. Approaching Tilbury, MV Columbus came into view at the same time as the signs to the long stay car park disappeared. Thanks to the help of a shuttle bus driver, we got to the car park and we must say that from then on, luggage handing and the whole embarkation went smoothly. Our cabin was very acceptable with plenty of storage space. If one was pedantic, (it was in my nature when I was assessing in the Hospitality Industry) you could be very critical on several issues, toilet seat loose (soon fixed), sticking drawer in bedside cabinet and rust traces on the porthole with some water ingress during extreme weather. It takes time to explore the ship and we didn’t discover some areas until later in our cruise. Overall, the food was above good but not quite excellent apart from breakfast in the Waterfront Restaurant was rather disappointing, the prices for drinks, including tea and coffee, were surprisingly below those on the High Street in many cases. We did not use any of the speciality eating areas such as The Captain’s Table, The Grill or Fusion, these were expensive options and in our mind, there was little or no advanced information about them being add-ons. The website refers to a Captain’s Cocktail Party, nothing was heard or seen about this. The shore excursions varied greatly in quality but they were very well administered and organised. Visiting the gardens at Tresco using a tender operation between ship and shore was an experience in itself and for us, exploring the gardens was one of the highlights of the whole cruise. We could have done with longer there. In spite of unsubstantiated rumours of unrest amongst some of the crew, we received good, helpful, friendly and efficient service in all areas. With a mainly non-UK crew, there were no communication difficulties experienced. This proved to be essential when we had to use the ship’s Medical Centre in an emergency; the speed and level of treatment received was exceptional. We would agree with other reviews that the absence of children on a cruise where the average age must have been in the mid-70s, actually added to the enjoyment. Summing up, we were very happy with the overall administration, the effort put into dealing with the delays caused by bad weather resulting in a 7-hour late arrival back in Tilbury and the whole customer-care philosophy. Naturally, there are areas that could and should be examined such as signposting to the car park and accuracy of information about excursions, for example shops in Tobermory do open on a Sunday when cruise ships arrive. If we went on a cruise again, we would certainly not discount using Cruise & Maritime Voyages again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We arrived very early, driving to Tilbury. You have to leave your suitcases in one area, then drive back to find the car park which was very poorly signposted. Be prepared to drive round in circles looking for it. A shuttle bus took us to ... Read More
We arrived very early, driving to Tilbury. You have to leave your suitcases in one area, then drive back to find the car park which was very poorly signposted. Be prepared to drive round in circles looking for it. A shuttle bus took us to the terminal where, despite being very early, we were directed straight through and on to the ship. Staff at the terminal were smiley an helpful. We weren't sure if we could have lunch as we embaked but the buffet was ready and all meals we subsequently ate here were excellent. I'm vegetarian, there were salads, chilli, curries etc. The evening meals were small, sensible well presented portions with excellent, helpful staff. There were 2 formal nights when my husband wore a lounge suit and I wore smart trousers. We picked a table for 6, it will be the same people every night, we were lucky with our companions. Staff were very pleasant. You could choose to eat in the buffet restaurant instead. We were on deck 6 with a picture window it was quiet, the room had a hairdryer but only one socket, no tea and coffee making facilities. Take a multi socket. There were small soaps and shampoo. Staff again very pleasant. Disembarkation notes were confusing. You can just wheel your cases off the ship at 7am and head home if you want to. You can DIY in some ports, we had a £10/head trip around Orkney seeing Skara Brae and other places, nothing available in Faroes (heard the ship organised trips were very good) we did an excellent boat trip in Shetland where we saw minke whales and gannets and seals were fed right next to the boat (organised at the Tourist Information office) and we did the ship's trip to the waterfall which was ok, nice guides. No idea about evening entertainment, we did none but the gym was free and well equipped, had a hot stone massage which was superb but treatments slightly pricey. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the Cruise because we had been on the ship previously as the Star Princess (twice) and the Arcadia. Also the Port of Tilbury is only 4.5 miles from our home. We had not cruised with CMV before and were somewhat wary about the ... Read More
We chose the Cruise because we had been on the ship previously as the Star Princess (twice) and the Arcadia. Also the Port of Tilbury is only 4.5 miles from our home. We had not cruised with CMV before and were somewhat wary about the standards. We booked a junior suite which we booked sometime ago when CMV were offering a BOGOFF. Overall we were pleasantly surprised. The standards were comparable with both Cunard and P & O. The menus perhaps not as varied but more than acceptable. The embarkation and disembarkation procedures were first rate. Prices were more or less in line with the competition, and Hemingways for coffees was a nice feature. I thought that the alternative restaurants - Indian at £14.90 and Grill at £24.90 were over priced. On the last few cruises the alternatives have been $10 (probably has gone up now) however I would have anticipated say £10 and £20 as surcharges. However this will depend on how well they are used. The staff were vet friendly and helpful. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and I would not hestiate to use CMV again. Bazza Thurrock Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We found embarkation very smooth and easy, from arrival in our car to going on board. I have an intolerence to wheat and cows milk which I had advised them of. A meeting was arranged with the head chef on our second day and every meal ... Read More
We found embarkation very smooth and easy, from arrival in our car to going on board. I have an intolerence to wheat and cows milk which I had advised them of. A meeting was arranged with the head chef on our second day and every meal was tailored to my needs, even desserts were varied. It was my birthday on the first day and as I could not eat the cake a lovely chocolate dessert was produced the next evening. Entertainment was good with a choice of what to do with three bars and a nightclub. The tours were interesting with guides who knew their stuff, especially Donald when we went to Rogie Falls. The Columbus is a lovely ship with a friendly crew, nothing was too much trouble for them. The lectures were interesting and varied. The Jade Spa is overpriced though, I would have used this but can get the same treatments for less at home. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We sailed on the Columbus as a middle-aged couple celebrating a belated honeymoon. The Canaries and Madeira cruise offered summertime warmth, great sights, and enough sea days to relax and spend time together. The newly refitted ship was ... Read More
We sailed on the Columbus as a middle-aged couple celebrating a belated honeymoon. The Canaries and Madeira cruise offered summertime warmth, great sights, and enough sea days to relax and spend time together. The newly refitted ship was clean, and bright. This was a voyage with great potential. We arrived in Tilbury, and embarkation went smoothly. We arrived at our cabin and it was spacious and had an above average sized ocean view window. We were on an upper deck, and the views were great. The steward was amazing and learned our names on our first meeting. The reception staff, were wonderful as well. I cannot fault them for the efforts they put forth to make us feel welcomed, and cared for. Now the down side. Cruise and Maritime are experimenting with "Family Friendly" cruises. This is a company wonderfully prepared to serve a niche clientele of a certain age. Many passengers (including us) are loyal to the line, and are repeat cruisers with them. But C & M seemed ill-prepared to deal with children. There was a great offer, £99 per child for a two week cruise. You can't send them in a summer club and feed them for that. There was a stipulation, however, that the ship didn't have regular children's facilities and parents needed to accompany their kids. Accompanying was true for some. Others did not. Children got bored. Their were cases of kids pressing several lift buttons at once and then leaving. The main pools were dominated by "families," relegating the majority of passengers desiring some quiet to the Oasis decks. For the first 7 days even these places of 18+ peace were frequented by kids. The library (wonderful with its overstuffed chairs, and English Club atmosphere) lost its tranquility owing to its position next to the games room. I witnessed two boys spinning in the revolving door then jumping out, leaving a waiter full tray in hand having to wait for it to come to a stop before he could return to his duties. Part of the problem was of the company's own making. Kid-friendly activities included foot ball shoot outs in a stairwell. This, I must imagine, is what gave some kids the impression that this was a suitable place to play. In fact by the end of the second week, a gang of late pre-teens began to loiter in the stairwells. I am not anti youth. I am an educator, and a grand-parent. But as such, I need a break on holiday from "the day job." C & M really has to have a rethink on this one. Either charge a realistic price (even next year's £199 per child is to low) to provided for more youth services, or return to the tried and true adult cruises. If not they risk losing the clientele which built the company. [By the way, this was a topic of much discussion among older passengers, and I even overheard one "family" discussing that they weren't content with the system either as their child felt the whole on board experience was "boring"]. Dining was very good. The Waterfront was well run, and the service excellent. The executive chef and staff were very focused in their dealings with special dietary needs. The waitstaff really took a personal interest in us and our dining enjoyment. Unfortunately, as the cruise continued, more and more of the restaurant staff were shifted to duties on the Buffet. Fair enough, many families were eating there, and service needed to be "where the people are." This did lead to a scarcity of seating, and waits in the buffet at times (though we did stay with the restaurant primarily). The excursion staff were very good, and the planned trips very reasonable in price. In fact, there seemed to be savings to be found by booking with C & M. On some previous cruises with other companies, the seemed to be a mark up for a "captive audience" which does not seem to be the case on he Columbus. If I were to fault the shore side experience at all, it was the access arrangements on Tennerife. Poor communications about shuttle services (daily bulletin did not mention this service under transport), and taxis (which were mentioned), led to frustration. While not C & M's fault, they had said metered taxis would be available. But the taxis only wanted to take full day tour fairs, not short runs. All in all, it was an enjoyable cruise. But, I am now reluctant to take another "family friendly" trip with C & M. I do like the line, and feel a loyalty. I will remain a top choice for adult cruising. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Having read previous negative reviews, it was with some apprehension when we embarked on a 7 day cruise to the Fjords.I do not believe that the problems experienced then are now appropriate.We had a suite which was to an excellent standard ... Read More
Having read previous negative reviews, it was with some apprehension when we embarked on a 7 day cruise to the Fjords.I do not believe that the problems experienced then are now appropriate.We had a suite which was to an excellent standard and although the bathroom was original it was entirely satisfactory.The cabin steward looked after it and us very well. The main restaurant,the Waterfront,is pleasant but since the waiters tell you were to sit at breakfast we chose to have breakfast served in our cabin.I do not appreciate being forced to seat with 4 other people.The intention was to fill the table for 6 first. The dinner was excellent in both choice,quantity and presentation and certainly the food served was hot.The Junior Head Waiter was attentive but the Maitre D' and Senior Head Waiter chose not to come down to our level! Overall,Columbus is an excellent ship with good facilities. Overall the entertainment was limited and not of our liking-mostly singing and dancing. CMV had chosen to permit children on this cruise and whilst this posed us personally no problem we suspect this was not the view of everyone,particularly since it was not clear when we booked. Our real complaint is with the port of Tilbury.It is a working port and not primarily a Cruise Terminal.We did not like at all having to see our luggage thrown on a trailer [and off] and being transferred to the ship by double decker bus.Back to Southampton and Dover for us! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were on the ship for a special Anniversary - This is the only reason we came on the Columbus during school holidays - There were a lot of families on board - who wouldn't bring kids for £99 each It was a little tiresome ... Read More
We were on the ship for a special Anniversary - This is the only reason we came on the Columbus during school holidays - There were a lot of families on board - who wouldn't bring kids for £99 each It was a little tiresome navigating your way round tables,buggies and children climbing over tables at the Buffet restaurant Most daytime entertainment was for the children - they had 'roped' in an entertainment member Harry to be Sailer Sam - who also felt the need to come on stage at 9pm to hand out certificates to the children - none came up - they were either at the buffet or asleep By the end of the week he was being booed off stage - The cruise director Tony should have made adjustments Not sure if this Tony- Cruise Director has Butlins experience but this seemed to be the theme when it came to evening quizzes in the Connections Bar. Most people including myself found it in bad taste The cabins are huge,lovely big shower and we had no problems. The food at the Waterfront was amazing - lots of choice and suberb waiters I would go on this ship again if they improved the entertainment and not on school holidays Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had a very enjoyable holiday. We had a junior suite with balcony. It was a very spacious comfortable cabin and we were given a fresh bowl of fruit and canapés every day. Despite reading mixed reviews before our trip we found ... Read More
We had a very enjoyable holiday. We had a junior suite with balcony. It was a very spacious comfortable cabin and we were given a fresh bowl of fruit and canapés every day. Despite reading mixed reviews before our trip we found everything was very good. The ship is very spacious and on the whole the food was good. All the crew were very pleasant and friendly and there was a very good atmosphere. We would certainly travel with Cruise Maritime on the Columbus again. At one port there was a tender which was extremely efficiently organised. All the excursions we went on were well organised with the coaches arriving early so there was no hanging around waiting. The Captain was very pleasant and friendly and was often seen on the ship unlike other cruises we have been on. The singers and dancers performed some very good shows although entertainment on other nights when they were no performing was not quite as good. At the end express check out was good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We had a lovely cruise on the Columbus. We found all the crew to be helpful at all times and had no problems with communication. The food was verygood in both in the Waterfront restaurant and the plantation self service. The ... Read More
We had a lovely cruise on the Columbus. We found all the crew to be helpful at all times and had no problems with communication. The food was verygood in both in the Waterfront restaurant and the plantation self service. The entertainment was excellent. The entertainment team put on a different show every night. A couple of times there was a comedian and again very good. The cabin was fine although a little on the small side it was ok, The cabin was cleaned every day. We had booked tours through cmv and found them to be very good value and well organized. We opted to take the drinks package for £17 PP which for us was very good. Although not great drinkers we do like a glass of wine with dinner and we enjoyed trying the cocktails which were included. Having this package helped budget and we didnt have to worry and just enjoyed ourselves knowing how much we would spend. (£17pp per day) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This ship has been sailing with CMV for 2 months now and the teething problems reported by other reviewers seem to have been pretty much fixed. All procedures went very smoothly and staff were helpful and friendly. The cabin was ... Read More
This ship has been sailing with CMV for 2 months now and the teething problems reported by other reviewers seem to have been pretty much fixed. All procedures went very smoothly and staff were helpful and friendly. The cabin was comfortable and the cabin steward very efficient - we did have a problem one morning with a blockage in the toilet system which affected a section of the ship and there was some flooding in the bathroom, but the steward cleaned it up and the problem was fixed. The food was excellent with plenty of choice - it was easy to eat too much! There was a choice of waiter service (Waterfront restaurant) or self service (Plantation bistro) for each meal - alcoholic drinks were extra though.The shore excursions were all well-organised and of a high standard. The only drawback was that in Sweden we docked at Nynashamn (apparently cheaper than Stockholm) which meant a 1 hour journey to Stockholm, reducing the time available there. The evening entertainment was varied, I loved the violin and piano recitals, and there were craft workshops, lectures and quizzes, to keep you occupied, especially on days at sea. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The ship The Columbus was a little tired despite its recent refit but still good. The cabin we had was quite spacious compared to other ships we have been on a had a very large picture window. Twin beds and plenty of storage and hanger ... Read More
The ship The Columbus was a little tired despite its recent refit but still good. The cabin we had was quite spacious compared to other ships we have been on a had a very large picture window. Twin beds and plenty of storage and hanger space. No bath but a good sized shower. The cabin attendant was very good and worked very hard in keeping the cabin made up. Plenty of Bars on board and the Dining room and Theatre were on the same deck (7) albeit at opposite ends of the ship. However there were 2 bars between them and a third in the theatre. There is a three deck atrium (5,6,7) with yet another bar on deck 6. Shops on decks 6,7 and a coffee bar and casino on deck 5. The casino also had a Bar. Up on deck 12 there is a buffet style restaurant two swimming pools and a couple more open deck bars with seats in the pool by the barside. There is a large outdoors screen on deck 13 and the night club is on deck 14 with another bar. Jacuzzis were on deck 8 at the aft end of the ship. The spa and massage centre were down in the bowels of the ship on deck 2. The entertainment was very good and supplied by three female vocalists and two male vocalists with an 8 piece dance group of 4 females and 4 males. Guest acts consisted of one comedian and an act which related to the songs of the 60's and 70's. Both were very good. There was also a Girl who done an aerial cat on a couple of silk ropes/ribbons the positions she got into were awesome. Food and waiter service were excellent. I would recommend it anybody. Excellent value as we got the trip on the basis of buy one get one free. Only real complaint was with the dissemination of information regarding the shore trips. Every inquiry was met with please read your daily information programme which was delivered to the cabins at 20:30 hrs when we were at dinner. After dinner at 22:30 I hit the nightclub/casino so by the time I got to the cabin at 01:30 I wasn't in quite a fit enough state to read it, so perhaps my fault but they could have used the intercom to make announcements. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose the cruise as the destination to the Baltics appealed. From the moment we arrived at the terminal we were made to feel so welcome and this progressed right throughout the whole cruise. We had a junior suite with a balcony and this ... Read More
We chose the cruise as the destination to the Baltics appealed. From the moment we arrived at the terminal we were made to feel so welcome and this progressed right throughout the whole cruise. We had a junior suite with a balcony and this was perfect for us to sit outside in our own space, ideal for reading, pre-dinner drinks and eating the canapes that were provided each day. We choose the early sitting for dinner and this worked for us in that we could go straight to the show after we had eaten the wonderful food. The staff were wonderful and could not do enough for us and this made for a relaxed cruise experience; great food and a spacious ship, It is best to choose your times carefully at the Plantation buffet to avoid the mad rush, which we did to great effect. We are now relaxed and thank you to Columbus and CMV. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We sailed from Tilbury, a painless procedure, our bags were at the cabin before we were. The cabin was an outside with window twin, big enough for us with lots of storage space both drawers and hanging space, so we unpacked and went for a ... Read More
We sailed from Tilbury, a painless procedure, our bags were at the cabin before we were. The cabin was an outside with window twin, big enough for us with lots of storage space both drawers and hanging space, so we unpacked and went for a wander to explore, all the crew were helpful, polite people. The emergency drill was fun but a bit warm. Then we had our first meal, again excellent. We opted for an early dinner and a six person table, which turned out well, we have four new friends. Without exception, the food was exemplary, we are pescaterian, and had no problems. The entertainment was a hoot, withe the singers, dancers and house band performing a different themed show each night, wonderful. There were also daytime talks including Tigers and Stalin, varied and interesting. The crew were always helpful, smiling and polite, our cabin steward was excellent, as were our dining waiter and wine waiter. We opted for the drinks package, which we feel was good value, when at sea it is very easy to overeat but there is always the on board gym! We visited Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Helsinki, St Petersburgh (2 days), Tallin and Stockholm ( our only Tender transfer, exciting stuff). We did our own thing mainly except St Petersburgh where we did the organised tour which was hosted well. We chose the priority disembarkation, which was a bit of a crush but ok. There were no children on the cruise, which suited us. The only slight negative was having consecutive days at sea, an extra stop somewhere would be good. All in all, a good holiday we will do it again! 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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