194 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Columbus Cruise Reviews

This was a Round the World cruise. We chose it for the itinerary. We had been on one world cruise previously with Fred Olsen. We have been with Celebrity, P&O, Cruise and Maritime and Fred Olsen and none of the food, enrichment ... Read More
This was a Round the World cruise. We chose it for the itinerary. We had been on one world cruise previously with Fred Olsen. We have been with Celebrity, P&O, Cruise and Maritime and Fred Olsen and none of the food, enrichment activities and staff compare with Fred Olsen Cruise Line but Cruise and Maritime were the worst. The food was bland and uninteresting with no variety, we had Jacobs Cream Crackers at each meal and each buffet for the whole 121 days! (just an example). The meat was tough and over done. The bar staff didn't want to serve you and the dining room staff had too many tables to cover. Many of the cabin stewards had little English and it was a lottery whether you got a good one or bad. The Show Team did a great job with 2 shows a night and sometimes additional solo shows elsewhere. However if the shows weren't your 'cup of tea' there was nothing else - well classical in the Atrium, 'popular' music (Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree) in one bar and a guitarist in another who played for himself and didn't engage with the audience. Ship was great and cabins a good size. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
liked the itinerary British isles cruise for adults only the ship is great with lovely facilities but unfortunately some of the staff didnt have their heart in it, some couldnt speak english which I though was odd considering it sailed ... Read More
liked the itinerary British isles cruise for adults only the ship is great with lovely facilities but unfortunately some of the staff didnt have their heart in it, some couldnt speak english which I though was odd considering it sailed out of London and was a British Isles cruise. Also the meals were very ordinary to say the least but the bar had very reasonable prices and the entertainment was first class the cabins were excellent with plenty of wardrobe space and storage space., we particularly liked the itinerary as only one day cruising with 11 days in a different port/country every day.The embarking and disembarking went like clockwork no problems with that, As well as they had shuttle buses waiting in the ports that were too far away from the main town.city we where visiting Very nice touch, So over all it was mostly positive with but a few negatives {food and SOME service] Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
My dad and I were going away together, he wanted a cruise with no flights hence the fjords. He had been on a cruise before I was a cruise 'virgin'. He told me how it would be pretty 'posh' and the food and ... Read More
My dad and I were going away together, he wanted a cruise with no flights hence the fjords. He had been on a cruise before I was a cruise 'virgin'. He told me how it would be pretty 'posh' and the food and entertainment would be amazing. Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations. The staff were amazing, couldn't do enough for us and so friendly all the time. The food was good, varied but not a lot of veg dishes that weren't in sauces, though plenty of salad. Unfortunately the bistro didn't seem to be able to cope with the numbers and constantly ran out of glasses, mugs and on the last breakfast, toast! We were told they didn't expect so many?? There were 1400 on the ship at all times so how could they not expect so many to the last breakfast? The ship to me looked tired in places even though it was refurbished last year, the shower room was a bit grubby and the tv didn't work properly (not really a problem as we spent most of the time on deck). One lift was broken the whole trip as was the ice cream counter, which in the heat we had, would have made a killing! The main show was unfortunately on a similar level to butlins, though when singing individually elsewhere on the ship they were pretty good. The lady singer in connexions was amazing! We spent most evenings listening to her. In the main restaurant we had a German couple sat at our table and he told us he was told he couldn't sit at our table because it was an all English table! Shocking!! Having said all that it was an experience I wouldn't of missed and the fjords are breathtaking! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Last week my wife and I went on our 1st cruise to the Norwegian fjords and for two walkers thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit apprehensive but no problems it was like having a floating hotel. All 5 of the land days we went ashore 3 off ... Read More
Last week my wife and I went on our 1st cruise to the Norwegian fjords and for two walkers thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit apprehensive but no problems it was like having a floating hotel. All 5 of the land days we went ashore 3 off them we did guided walk and the others found our own then did coach trips in the pm. Food and hospitality was 100 % cabin excellent apart from being an inside one which we won't do again nothing wrong with it apart from no natural light.. we were blessed with excellent weather which helped. Highly recommend cruising but I think 8 to 10 days would be our comfort limit. I was worried about the dress code but this wasn't an issue as each day you got a news letter through your door telling you about the next days cruising etc and what the dress code was for the evening, sadly I don't think many people read this as there were always several people (mainly men) not wearing the right attire for the evening meal in the restaurant and I felt that these people should have been refused entry and either go and change or suggested they use the self service restaurant which served the same food. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Everything about this cruise was excellent. We have been on 28 cruises and this was a good one. The food was very good and varied. The service was vey good. The staff were all very efficient and friendly. The cabins were spacious and the ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was excellent. We have been on 28 cruises and this was a good one. The food was very good and varied. The service was vey good. The staff were all very efficient and friendly. The cabins were spacious and the beds were extremely comfortable. The entertainment was varied and the show dancers and singers were very talented. The guest acts were also good except for the tenor who could not hold a note and was consequently flat most of the time. This view was held by all the people we spoke to. We stopped in 10 ports and all were lovely. We only did 2 ships tours, Belfast and Tresco. I had gone on line and booked a taxis that held 7 on Mull. It cost a total of £100. Our table companions came with us. Excellent taxi owner Alan. He took us to places that the ships tour couldn't get to. Tour was three and a half hours long. Don't do it on Skye. Taxis are very expensive. Weather was sunny all the cruise. Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2018
The entertainment was terrible the first night they introduced the entertainment staff and they sung a bit then the second day they introduced the shop staff,the photographer,the shore excursion person and the spa lady now I don’t call ... Read More
The entertainment was terrible the first night they introduced the entertainment staff and they sung a bit then the second day they introduced the shop staff,the photographer,the shore excursion person and the spa lady now I don’t call this entertainment the dancers were good but one of the singers was a terrible singer he just worbled and was out of tune, I feel the entertainment was on a very low budget or these so called entertainers are fresh out of college, we Walked out of a couple of shows as they were so bad they had an impressionist which was very good he was on 2 nights ,the food was not to our taste a bit too much a la carte ,the cabins were nice and clean but our keys didn’t work and we had to get them reprogrammed 6 times ,the day we came home we had to vacate our cabin at 7am but the ship didn’t dock until 8ish ,the restaurant for breakfast didn’t open until 6.30 so it was a rush to get breakfast down us then rush back and vacate our room then waiting around all over the ship it was rediculous not very well thought of Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
As first time cruisers we wanted to go from Tilbury (a port local to us) and do the British Isles Discovery 12 night cruise, booking direct with CMV (excellent advice and information provided to us by the CMV customer service agent). ... Read More
As first time cruisers we wanted to go from Tilbury (a port local to us) and do the British Isles Discovery 12 night cruise, booking direct with CMV (excellent advice and information provided to us by the CMV customer service agent). Right from the very beginning we could not fault a single thing. Embarking/disembarking was made so easy, effortless and hassle free due to the fantastic organisation by the London Cruise Terminal team and ALL CMV staff checking us in/out. We met some lovely people, enjoyed excellent cuisine throughout the different restaurants onboard (waiter led and self-service alike), the drinks were really varied (brands, etc) and all the staff were a credit to the company. Nothing was ever too much for our cabin steward and he always went that extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Waiters, waitresses, bar staff, entertainment staff, ship's crew and officers were second to none - always making sure that we were catered for depending on our needs, tastes and, of course, our safety. We were due to visit St. Peter Port, Guernsey but due to rather high swells, the tender boats could not be used so we were informed that as safety is the captain's priority, we would not be going ashore - those who had booked excursions got refunds and the entertainment team put on extra activities as well as projecting a blockbuster film in the Palladium Lounge. Yes, it is always a pity when certain places can't be visited but if the captain reckons that it's not safe to do so, then so be it.... he has my backing all the time in such circumstances! All in all, l can honestly say that this is the best holiday l have ever had and l would recommend CMV's Columbus without a shadow of a doubt! Congratulations CMV and here's to my cruising with you more and more! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I was impressed with Columbus. It was excellent value for money. Recently refurbished it was not the most glamorous ship I have been on but very comfortable, excellent cabin very spacious, very good food and entertainment. ... Read More
I was impressed with Columbus. It was excellent value for money. Recently refurbished it was not the most glamorous ship I have been on but very comfortable, excellent cabin very spacious, very good food and entertainment. Excellent organisation and choice of trips. Modern and plenty of seating outside and in. Very friendly ship I had read some negative reviews so I was wary but was impressed Friendly staff. Great outdoor screen for watching the World Cup on. The only criticism is that the wine selection was not great. The quality of wine differs from one bar to another and restaurant. I struggled to get a nice Sauvignon wine. Shops on board quite limited. There is no central atrium but the ship has been refurbished well. The staff went the extra mile. The entertainment team worked really hard and there was a good choice of entertainment at night. Great value. I would go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, knowing nothing about CMV before we went. I should have done some research before booking, as I don't think we'd have gone with them if we'd known a bit more about them and the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, knowing nothing about CMV before we went. I should have done some research before booking, as I don't think we'd have gone with them if we'd known a bit more about them and the ship. The embarkation and disembarkation processes were very quick and effiicient, and our cabin (a Junior Suite as we'd been upgraded) was very good, comfortable and clean, with plenty of storage. Beyond that, what can I say? The TV was dreadful - about 14" with 'No Signal' being the most common thing seen on the screen despite us sailing around the UK. The food was very poor, although it did improve as the trip wore on. One evening meal in the main restaurant was especially poor. It was supposed to be a roast lamb meal. We had two small thin strips of lamb, smaller than two rashers of streaky bacon, and half of the strips was fat. A lot of people were complaining about it. There were very few vegetables with any of the meals and when I did request extra all I received was a slice of aubergine and an extra carrot. Hygiene on the ship was very hit and miss. Most of the standing hand sanitisers were empty. Staff stood at the entry to the restaurant and buffet spraying hands as you went in but otherwise no-one bothered. On other ships we've been on the crew have ensured you used the sanitiser when returning from a trip and when entering the main entertainment lounge, but not on Columbus. It was perfectly possible to enter the buffet without being sprayed. Whilst the majority of the crew were pleasant and friendly, there were a large number who looked miserable and slightly surly. Many of the reception staff didn't seem to understand English and were decidedly unhelpful. We encountered quite a few irate passengers who had tried to obtain information from reception and ended up being frustrated. I could go on. Suffice to say we wouldn't travel with CMV again and we certainly won't be recommending them to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We were keen to see some places that we had never been and most likely would not otherwise see. Therefore we decided on the Grand British Isles Discovery this time. We had a great time and the only port where we could not get off the ship ... Read More
We were keen to see some places that we had never been and most likely would not otherwise see. Therefore we decided on the Grand British Isles Discovery this time. We had a great time and the only port where we could not get off the ship was St. Peter Port, where some people did manage to get to the island by tender but the sea swells became dangerously high and thus the captain sensibly decided to stop the use of tenders. He did ask a local larger vessel if they might be able to assist but the tides made it impossible to get close enough. To those who complain about missing ports on some cruises I really do believe that the captain us the best judge of suitable sea conditions and not the passengers. A sunny day and calm seas do not always mean all is well. There are currents and changing winds, etch to consider, We had a great time and enjoyed all the ports. The service on the ship was, as usual, excellent. Not one member of staff was ever rude or showed an uncaring attitude, quite the reverse. The staff serving drinks on the pool deck made every effort to serve quickly and always with a really friendly and positive attitude. The cleaning staff, not just the steward looking after our cabin, were all a real credit to CMV. Every one of them that we came across smoked and passed the time of day, etch. The entertainment team were really very good and the new cruise director is an excellent choice by CMV as he witty, keen and informative without being too over the top. Food in bistro excellent choice but evening meals in Waterfront a little disappointing on this cruise on occasion. Waiting staff excellent though and our waitress made a point of telling us we could change any course if we did not like it when it arrived. We opted for second sitting for dinner for the first time, had a great table of 8 and were happy we chose this sitting just because it made a change for us. We never left the dining room later than 10 and that was usually because we were cgatting Really excellent value for money all round, Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2018
Just returned from a 7 night Norwegian Fjords cruise on the Columbus. Had a great time and only after we had sailed did I realise it was also a 70’s cruise. Well, that meant we also had “The Rubettes”, yes the original group who ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night Norwegian Fjords cruise on the Columbus. Had a great time and only after we had sailed did I realise it was also a 70’s cruise. Well, that meant we also had “The Rubettes”, yes the original group who sounded exactly the same as they did originally, not a tribute act and who were absolutely brilliant plus Lynn Paul appearing on board, along with tribute nights by the ship’s theatre company, who were also very good, featuring ABBA and Queen and also appearing was Elvis. So, with that sort of entertainment on top of the spectacular scenery, that really made it memorable. Also, we had Angela Rippon on board as a passenger I think and as she was also in our lifeboat, we knew we would be okay if the ship went down. Also, the weather was superb, calm seas and really warm weather all the way (32 degrees C in Flam - phew!). We had cruised on the Magellan but not been on the Columbus before but found her to be equally as good and not too big, very presentable décor, good comfortable cabins, firm but comfy mattress and very efficient Aircon in the cabin. The food was fine, although, in the buffet, a very limited selection of things to have with your salad and the same each day, although with fine weather and the opportunity to eat outside on deck, it was fairly easy find a table, which was a bonus. The main dining room is not so open plan and more dark wood and “club like” than you usually find, which I particularly liked and the food in general was well up to standard and fairly typical of what you normally get on a cruise. Our only significant criticism is that the breakfast and lunch meal times in the dining room were really short and finished quite early, with breakfast finishing at 9.00 am and lunch at 1.00 pm, so much so that we never made it to either in time. These were small things though and didn’t affect our enjoyment of the cruise. Well done CMV, we’ll be cruising with you again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my first cruise and first solo holiday, having read previous negative reviews I boarded with nervous anticipation. I travelled to Tilbury Docks via the CMV coach from Victoria which was very well organised. The embarkation ... Read More
This was my first cruise and first solo holiday, having read previous negative reviews I boarded with nervous anticipation. I travelled to Tilbury Docks via the CMV coach from Victoria which was very well organised. The embarkation procedure was very straightforward and quick. The staff on board were extremely welcoming and helpful. Solo travellers are very well cared for and I soon made friends. The food was excellent and very well presented. All dietary needs seem to be catered for but do let them know in advance. The trips were well organised but next time I will probably book them independently. The entertainment was variable. I personally enjoyed the classical pianist with the violinist, they were superb, likewise so were the classical guitarists. The ship was immaculately clean and tidy. There was always enough sunbeds, lovely comfortable ones at the *blunt* end! I would certainly book and travel again on the Columbus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, ... Read More
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, The Management and the Mother-out-Law, all of which was immediately gathered up by a lady porter and whisked into the Departure Hall as I drove back to the Long Stay Car Park. Got parked up (squeezed in very tightly) and boarded a nearly empty shuttle bus with only my hand luggage to worry about. The driver didn’t set off until the bus was full to capacity and that turned out to be the longest wait of the day. The embark procedures were very swift and within minutes we were onboard Columbus, located the M-o-Ls cabin on Deck 6 and were delighted to see she’d been upgraded from inside single to outside twin cabin. We then proceeded to deck 10 to locate our billet to find our cases already there. This was probably the quickest most efficient embark in our experience. Well done CMV. Our Cabin was of a reasonable size with large bed and room under for cases. Small tv on window wall, dressing table bearing the tea/coffee facilities which was a pleasant surprise as we thought there would be none, two chairs and a storage unit housing the fridge and space for the provided sun lounger towels. The en suite was accessed from a short corridor at right angles to the main passageway with a large chest of drawers and an open wardrobe. The shower unit was just large enough to avoid bodily contact with the shower curtain, the water was piping hot with good pressure and space for the usual products. For a 29 year old ship – not at all bad and no worse than any other comparable ship. The décor was plain and simple and easy on the eye. Small 4-drawer units either side of the bed provided more than enough storage for us. The cabin was very quiet and vibration free and the air con worked well. Access to the cabin is with your credit card size key which identifies which drinks package you have. We initially needed a stewards help to open the door as there was a slight knack to it and the same with the room safe. This is where the age of the ship shows as the door locks and the safe were pretty ancient and well used. The tv sound was not good – really crackly so we only used the tv for the navigation charts and forward view camera. Also the window was filthy on the outside but was cleaned on the penultimate day. Any other little niggles were sorted out by very obliging steward who said he was known as Oh Oh. The compulsory life boat drill was carried out before we set sail and was actually held under our designated lifeboat – much better than in a crowded theatre like on other lines. We pre-booked the VIP drinks package so set off to put it to the test. We chose VIP as it meant we would always have bottled water in the cabin, small bottles of water on disembarking and specialty teas and coffees. Ordinary tea or coffee isn’t good enough for The Management so she was pleased to be able to order decaff soya lattes or Camomile tea around the ship. Over the course of the week we sampled many excellent cocktails and the gin is Bombay Sapphire but you have to specify this otherwise you’ll get Gordons. Knowing you won’t get a huge bar bill at cruise-end is very liberating but with such reasonable bar prices, a light drinker would not need that package or could opt for a cheaper one. We dined 2nd sitting in the Waterfront Restaurant and found the food generally to be of a higher standard than we were led to believe and the presentation was excellent. Our waiters and drinks servers were lovely friendly guys and very efficient. No complaints at all. Alas the same cannot be said of the breakfast service in the MDR. We tried it on the first morning only and didn’t bother again until the last day. The service was haphazard and slow and the food quality was merely adequate. The only alternative was the smash 'n’grab or Plantation as its called. Food on offer was OK with reasonable variety. A bit crowded on sea days and we couldn’t always get a table at our favourite place - the open aft deck - but this is no different to most other ships we have been on. I don’t do lunch as I usually eat a reasonable breakfast but thought I’d give the afternoon tea a try. This is self-serve and therefore not a patch on say P&O. The sandwiches were pretty dry after being out for a while but tasty enough and there were some pretty colourful looking cakes on display but I resisted the temptation. On one occasion we tried The Grill (£7.50 supp with the VIP package) and it was very good. Huge 10oz Ribeye was superb and after the 3 courses we were very full. It wasn’t quite the sophisticated experience as say on Celebrity but very enjoyable and extraordinarily good value. There is also an Indian cuisine speciality restaurant but we didn’t have time to try that. The staff we met were all very friendly and professional and most of all helpful and keen to please. Mainly from the Asian sub-continent, Burma and E Europeans, they all spoke very good English and were a credit to CMV. The first port of call was Amsterdam. Here I will offer a warning. There was an Amsterdam Tourist office presence in the arrival hall with the usual maps and leaflets. We enquired about a canal cruise and were sold tickets for €20 each for a hop on-hop off trip, and given a map. We were told to pick up the boat at the adjacent canal landing stage. Soon enough a red hop on/off canal boat arrived (in the same livery as the red double decker tour buses you find in many ports) but we and several other people were turned away. We were advised to look for the pale yellow boats with a green band. Soon one such boat arrived – again we were turned away as this was for a pre-booked party. We realized we were in the wrong place and after sheltering from a fierce thunderstorm and wandering many alleys and canal under-passes, eventually found a basin with many boats. We sought out the correct liveried boat only to be told our tickets were not valid and were pointed toward an identical vessel across the basin. The M-o-L is 87 and we were heartily sick of all this traipsing about so returned to Columbus. Infuriatingly the Tourist people had by now de-camped to the next pier to enlighten the hordes descending from the MSC ship that had just docked. I am happy to report that after a full and frank discussion with the manager I got a full refund. After departing Amsterdam the ship felt somehow a little more crowded and it transpired that many new passengers had embarked, mainly Dutch and Germans who stay on after Tilbury as Amsterdam was the next port on the following cruise. Cunning marketing there, CMV! The journey back to the North Sea takes a couple of hours including passage through a large lock. There followed a sea day before arrival at delightful Eidfjord. The tour from there wasn’t cheap but we had a brand new Volvo coach and an excellent guide so probably worth it for a first-timer to Norway. To avoid turning this into a travelogue I will summarise by saying the weather in Norway at the 3 ports of call was fabulous, the scenery was fantastic, the sunsets sublime, the other ports of Flam and Bergen were beautiful, the Flam Railway was very interesting from this rail buff’s point of view and the whole cruise was just a delight. As a 29 year old ship Columbus has seen better days but her pedigree as a former P&O vessel amongst other owners is there to see. The inside areas feel open and spacious especially the 3 deck Atrium and the ambiance is relaxed and uncrowded. Although some of the décor is a little dated, the lighting has been improved in parts but could do with more work in other areas. The adjoining Taverners pub and the Connexions bar are very comfortable and sometimes busy and there are nice coffee bars including Cappuccinos on the Pool Deck serving good coffees and especially good Whittards Teas – all included on VIP but otherwise at modest extra charge. We only visited the Palladium theatre a few times but what we did see was very good and one of the regular performers, Chloe, has the most fantastic singing voice. The cruise theme was The 70’s and turns included The Rubettes and an Elvis impersonator. The last 2 night’s shows were performed in the Atrium so everyone could join in. There were a small number of young children on board and they were mainly to be seen in and around the pools and flocking round the performers at the Atrium shows. Credit to the parents here as they were very well-behaved and I think had a great time. Start em young as they say. The shows were mainly aimed at the British in content, showcasing Beatles songs and Queen songs for example so what the Dutch made of all this is not known. Blessed with such fantastic hot weather and with 2 sea days the pool deck was very busy but you would eventually find a lounger somewhere. Disembarkation was well flagged with leaflets in the cabins asking for cases outside by midnight and colour coded labels distributed. It actually ran ahead of schedule in our situation, everything went smoothly, cases found in the hall, shuttle bus waiting and the car started so all good. All in all a very good cruise, terrific vfm and I’m sure we’ll try CMV again subject to the itinerary. There are some exciting long voyages on their new ship Vasco da Gama coming up so who knows… Read Less
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
Sail Date May 2018
Saw this cruise in the "Daily Mail". Should have been calling at places we had not been to before. Unfortunately for us the 3 places we had wanted to see was cancelled. Four days before getting to The Scilly Isles it was ... Read More
Saw this cruise in the "Daily Mail". Should have been calling at places we had not been to before. Unfortunately for us the 3 places we had wanted to see was cancelled. Four days before getting to The Scilly Isles it was announced over the loudspeaker that due to bad weather it was cancelled. Our friends should have been meeting a relative. When they spoke to the relative they were told that the sea was like a mill pond with clear blue skies and sun. Portree on the Isle of Sky also cancelled, as was Tobermory. We never heard a thing from the Captain unless it was to cancel a port of call. The food was mediocre, the service was atrocious, we used to get into the dining room for 2nd sitting at 8.30pm. We were lucky if we managed to get out for 10.50pm. 70% of the staff was so surly, A month before going on the cruise we received a letter requesting the money for the tips. We always request our tips are taken from the account as we like to tip the people who we think has given the best service. When I telephoned to query this I was told they had to have the money up front before the cruise. £14 a day tips!!!!! All in all a very disappointing cruise. I would not recommend the Columbus or Newmarket Travel. PS. Some Australian people who had done a very long cruise with them said they had many ports cancelled. Due to expensive docking fees. Do not know if that is true? Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We have just returned from the Baltic Cities Cruise on the Columbus and in my view (bearing in mind I am not an experienced cruiser) the cruise was excellent. Calling in at 8 ports and spending two days in St Petersburg. My only ... Read More
We have just returned from the Baltic Cities Cruise on the Columbus and in my view (bearing in mind I am not an experienced cruiser) the cruise was excellent. Calling in at 8 ports and spending two days in St Petersburg. My only criticism is I would have like more time in Stockholm and Helsinki. As for the ship, I thought it was very good. We were upgraded to an outside cabin having paid for an inside cabin on a 241 basis. The cabin was on the Reception Deck (Deck 5), was large, comfortable with good storage for clothes. The shower was hot and powerful. There was a TV and tea and coffee making. The cabin was very quiet, we heard no noise from other cabins The food at dinner was good with a choice of five dishes. The portions were not large but were sufficient. We toured the kitchens which were spotless. We were told that there are 1200 different dishes so none are repeated on any one cruise. We had breakfast in The Plantation Restaurant on Deck 12 which is self service. The was a wide choice of dishes both hot and cold. I can recommend the omelettes which are cooked while you wait. Sometimes it was difficult to find four places together (we were travelling with friends). You could also have afternoon tea here. There are sufficient bars on board (6 or 7). The price of most of the drinks are cheaper than my local. There is generally entertainment in most bars with some very good performers, some not so good, but you have the choice. The young entertainment team had a dodgy start but their shows improved as the weeks went on and became very enjoyable. The theatre is not well laid out with poor sight lines. There are plenty of daily activities an the single travellers (140) on our cruise are well looked after with special meetings. I would have no hesitation in cruising on Columbus again if the right destinations were on offer. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First time cruisers. Cruise and Maritime “Columbus” to Baltic. May 2018 What a marvellous experience. All our first timers uncertainties were completely dispelled by our cruise. The atmosphere on the ship was very relaxed and ... Read More
First time cruisers. Cruise and Maritime “Columbus” to Baltic. May 2018 What a marvellous experience. All our first timers uncertainties were completely dispelled by our cruise. The atmosphere on the ship was very relaxed and friendly, both passengers and staff. It was also very efficient so that we were completely relaxed. Initial embarkation and at all our eight port visits went quickly and smoothly which meant that we could enjoy all the trips ashore. Life on board was enjoyable with plenty to do and it was easy to find places we liked to be, mostly out on deck in our case. We would have preferred some more good talks on history, geography and national culture - this seems not to be a focus for this company. Our cabin was very comfortable and our steward, Gede, looked after us very well. Food was generally very good, particularly for the evening formal meal. It was served amazingly quickly by two very friendly waiters and were we very lucky in having four good companions at our table of six. There was a good range of food at breakfast in the “Plantation” cafeteria although it could be quite busy and a bit of a scrum, not something we experienced anywhere else. Above all, the ports we visited were all wonderful and made for an outstanding holiday. We mostly did our own thing ashore exploring the various towns but went on the small group two day organised tour in St, Petersburg which was excellent and an organised trip round Stockholm with visit to the Vasa museum, also superb. Our favourite ports were Stockholm and Helsinki although all destinations were enjoyable. We were hugely lucky with weather - mostly very sunny and calm seas throughout. Our only real criticism is that we felt we needed far more information before the cruise about the trip, life on board and travel arrangements much earlier than we received it. This, combined with a rather dull website with clunky navigation, meant that we were not as well prepared as we would have like to be. However, this is a relatively minor criticism in what was a great holiday. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We are seasoned cruisers but it was my first time on Cruise and Maritime. The cruise was wonderful. Good weather, great ports, superb excursions. A very comfortable & large inside cabin as well, Food in my opinion was excellent. So why ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers but it was my first time on Cruise and Maritime. The cruise was wonderful. Good weather, great ports, superb excursions. A very comfortable & large inside cabin as well, Food in my opinion was excellent. So why the rating. The following let the ship down. The ship was full, 1, insufficient seats in the buffet for people to have their meals at breakfast & lunch in a civilised, relaxed and orderly manner on sea days & excursion days.it was like a rugby scrum. You literally had to put something on your seat before getting food otherwise someone else would take it. you could not sit and chat after you finished as people would hover over you with their breakfast or lunch waiting to sit down. The restaurant was waiter served and I believe they could easily have made this part buffet as well as other cruise companies have done. 2, frequently no cutlery, mugs, glasses and plates and when this happened they were brought it was a few at a time hot from the dishwasher. Furniture too low to be comfortable 3,Cocktails Frequently the ingredients were changed to make them & cordial was added to mask the no/little alchohol added' I was told that i had to accept inferior products for them at standard prices e.g. cherry liqueur rather than cherry brandy . I sent one back 4 times before I got what i was supposed to have. For that to occur I stood and watched him make it. 4,Poorly equipped Shop no paracetamol, plasters limited toiletries' choice but plenty of olive oil, bubblegum and cigarettes. If I was Cruise and Maritime I would send some undercover management as passengers to go on this ship and I bet they would be amazed at what goes on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit places we had never been to before, especially Skye, Mull and the Scilly Isles. Sadly, we didn't get to any of them. First of all, there was a technical problem with the ship which ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit places we had never been to before, especially Skye, Mull and the Scilly Isles. Sadly, we didn't get to any of them. First of all, there was a technical problem with the ship which necessitated us turning back from Orkney to Invergordon for a day, which meant that we missed our stops at Skye and Mull. As compensation we were offered the princely sum of £50 per cabin onboard credit. An insult! After our visit to Dublin the Captain then reported that he wasn't happy about the forecast for St Mary's in the Scilly Isles and took us to Cobh instead. When we reviewed the weather forecast for the day that we should have visited St Mary's it looked fine. We quite liked the ship: the entertainment by the singers and dancers was really excellent, probably the best we've ever had on a cruise; the service in the bars and at our table for dinner was also very good. Breakfast was a different story. The self-service bistro was always crowded and, as another reviewer has said, they frequently ran out of mugs, and usually at least one coffee machine was out of order. The plates by the salad bar were usually hot! The orange juice was watery. We had breakfast in the main restaurant most of the time, but that was rather a hit and miss affair. You could never be quite sure of getting what you had ordered and service was often slow - a marked contrast with the service from our waiters in the evening. Overall, we quite enjoyed our cruise, but I would have to think long and hard about choosing CMV again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this round British Isles cruise for the itinerary as it started in Tilbury and we really wanted to see the Isle of Skye, Tobermory and St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. However, due to various dubious reasons we did not call ... Read More
We chose this round British Isles cruise for the itinerary as it started in Tilbury and we really wanted to see the Isle of Skye, Tobermory and St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. However, due to various dubious reasons we did not call into these 3 ports which ruined the whole trip. I do not trust this cruise company, I think they do things cheaply and they do not tell the truth. The boats are tired and worn and the staff looked really miserable.I would not use this company again and I would not recommend them to anyone else. It should be said that you get what you pay for and this cruise did look good, perhaps too good to be true and it is done on the cheap. The food choice in the buffet at times was inedible and cold, I would recommend the restaurant for lunch and dinner, if you can get in.The entertainment is ok and they do their best, but there is not much to do during the day if you are at sea all day. Since returning I have found many reviews where the boats have not carried out the published itinerary, so I think that is the main problem with this cruise company. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The price was good, but there were a lot of problems. This was our tenth cruise and we won't be travelling with CMV again. Food was adequate but the service was poor, lack of training I think. Organisation of the restaurant was very ... Read More
The price was good, but there were a lot of problems. This was our tenth cruise and we won't be travelling with CMV again. Food was adequate but the service was poor, lack of training I think. Organisation of the restaurant was very hit and miss with timing of opening for breakfast on last morning late. Wrong sitting allocated and this applied to a long queue of us. Theatre seating not well designed, upper level has bar which obscures view. Seats in atrium designed for Giants with extra long legs! We missed three island stops, one due to an electrical fault, one to bad weather, (genuine) and one to bad weather ( rubbish). So we missed the Scilly Isles which was the main attraction for many of us. The only time we heard from the Captain was when he had bad news for us! Disembarkation at Tilbury went very well. Read Less
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
Sail Date May 2018
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
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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