194 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Columbus Cruise Reviews

we wanted to tour the British Isles. All the windows were fiithy, lifts out of order, toilets overflowed, corridors flooded, sunloungers black with dirt and torn. mattress on beds worn with dents in the middle. Connections lounge lovely ... Read More
we wanted to tour the British Isles. All the windows were fiithy, lifts out of order, toilets overflowed, corridors flooded, sunloungers black with dirt and torn. mattress on beds worn with dents in the middle. Connections lounge lovely with exception of seating, chairs so uncomfortable and you had to lay not sit in them. Food poor, not too good a selection. Main restuarant food tough,chewy and vegetables not cooked. In self service never enough mugs, racks always empty and coffee machine always breaking down. Ships engines broke down in Scotland and had to double back to get repaired. so we lost a day. Missed 3 ports of call due to bad weather. Have travelled on the Magellan and it was much much better. The entertainment was fantastic. Even the visiting comedians were very good. People very friendly on the cruise. Embarkation and dis embarkation was very well organised and orderly. Enjoyed the actual cruise but wish they had got their act together as it could have been fantastic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I chose this cruise for the worldwide destinations. However, the whole four month experience was life changing. The reception staff were great, especially Mimi. The ship was very clean. I liked the hot tub and the loungers were ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the worldwide destinations. However, the whole four month experience was life changing. The reception staff were great, especially Mimi. The ship was very clean. I liked the hot tub and the loungers were comfortable and there were plenty available. The entertainment team were very talented. Especially Alex Kemp, Joshua Marlow and Freya Brown, who jelled very well on and off stage. I especially liked being in the choir, meeting fellow singers and benefitting from choir leader, Josh Marlows fast knowledge and talent. It was great fun and I learnt new skills. Joining the quilting club was a good move. I made a quilt to hang on the wall and also, several memory cushions. I liked the choice of buffet meals or restaurant service. Waiters Ewhyan and Simon were attentive and prompt with serving. All activities were well subscribed to, including pilates, art classes, creative writing, choir, and dance classes. Shore excursions to India and China were memorable. The hotels used were top quality. I loved climbing the Great Wall of China and visiting the Taj Mahal. Miss Pam Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted to take my elderly parents to Skye, Mull and Isles of Scilly (mid 80's and probably the last opportunity for them). Strange to read that another May 18 sailing of Columbus 'had engine trouble' and so couldn't ... Read More
We wanted to take my elderly parents to Skye, Mull and Isles of Scilly (mid 80's and probably the last opportunity for them). Strange to read that another May 18 sailing of Columbus 'had engine trouble' and so couldn't visit any of these three ports?!? We booked through saga and I'm really surprised that they would use this cruise line if, as is indicated - the Captain has no intention of going into those prime ports? What we saw we enjoyed but bitterly disappointed to miss out. Food in restaurant was excellent, also entertainment, staff were well trained and friendly. Negative - our bed was rock hard so I asked for a mattress topper - when I stripped the bed - I wished I hadn't, the under-bedding and pillows were filthy with stains all over. this was changed at my request. Shore excursions were approx £50 per person for a 4 hour trip - too expensive. Finally, we've come home with THE most terrible bug, 2 wks later - still very ill Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We sailed on Colombus on a packaged back to back cruise. C804 & C805. Embarking on 6th May and disembarking on 30th May. We booked the cruise purely for the itinerary which was good and went to many ports we had not visited ... Read More
We sailed on Colombus on a packaged back to back cruise. C804 & C805. Embarking on 6th May and disembarking on 30th May. We booked the cruise purely for the itinerary which was good and went to many ports we had not visited previously (unfortunately 3 ports were missed (2 were replaced and 1 extra sea day added) on the first sector). We were told in was a low star ship and we totally agree. For us it was the worst cruise ever. It had supposedly been "refurbished" but we didn't see evidence of that. We were told that it still looked like the Pacific Pearl which it had been in a previous life. CMV make it a habit of buying old reject ships. In Australia we are used to getting the rejects but CMV go one further and buy the rejected rejects! The ports that we got to were good. Weather was excellent and the dance troupe onboard were first rate. Best dancing troupe we have experienced (we have done 23 cruises many back to back so even more). The singers were mostly good. Alex was very talented singer. One of the girls was a bit of a screacher! The entertainers bought onboard were all comediannes and were terrible. You would see better in a pub. Neither the first sector Cruise Director or the second sector one (Lee) were friendly or mingled with guests. Only saw them on stage or in buffet. Not good enough. The food. Well many were satisfied but many were not. Terrible service in restaurant. More interested in serving drinks then food. Food was bad. Really bad. All in all it was not a cruiseline I would EVER travel with again. We have done the best and now the worst. It was the first cruise we have ever come off feeling dissatisfied. Never had a bad cruise until this one. If you are not fussy (not bothered when the buffet area is shabby and unclean, wonky passageways, unhelpful staff, ugly ship, etc) then it may be for you. But if you prefer a better cruise go elsewhere because this company have NO CUSTOMER SATISFACTION at all. We requested to speak with Restaurant Manager and he never met with us but this was typical. No one cared. My suggestion there are better cruiselines out there. Stay Away. They are only interested in selling drinks and obviously market to the UK because they sail in and out of Tilbury and apparently that is convenient for the UK travellers. They also market to unsuspecting Australians! Read Less
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date February 2018
Worldcruise Amsterdam-Amsterdam early Jan.-early May 2018. What went right is too much to mention. What went wrong is too much to mention. This is sad for the staff that did their work the right way, e.g. my cabin-steward S HTIN LIN ... Read More
Worldcruise Amsterdam-Amsterdam early Jan.-early May 2018. What went right is too much to mention. What went wrong is too much to mention. This is sad for the staff that did their work the right way, e.g. my cabin-steward S HTIN LIN MYA from Myamar. Under the same conditions again? Hmmmmmmm. Special mentioning deserves the australian border-control. Substandard, disorganized , incompetent. On my question to this peculiar woman that this (ill)-treatment seamed inhospitable to me her initial answer was "how to they do it in you country" (sic).All passengers going ashore were kept waiting a long time for no good reason, all passengers returning were kept waiting a long time for no good reason. Clearly because i asked. Two passengers had not reported the way they wanted.... Files a complaint 12/06/18 (so 12th. of June) with the australian government/department of home affairs. In several places the border-control was ridiculous. On my question why this way, you can guess the answer: safety pfffff, the easy way out, creating anoyment. On request some additional information. The food was quite good, in seating-restaurant and buffet=restaurant. Activities were plenty, quizzes, dancing, cooking-lessons/-demonstrations, etc., presented as should be. Service in order ( at the front desk staff always smiling, confronted with an error the answer was blurry and the smile turned vague - oh well). Entertainment high level, certainly taken into account the Columbus is a small ship to today's standard, so limited possibilities on the small stage. Ship's performers were excellent, visiting performers too in most cases. Staff were attentive and suited for the job. Excursions ware sometimes very unorganized, e.g. long waiting (about 20 minutes) on the stairways, some were not to standard so money was for half returned. What bothered me was maintenance/cleaning all the time, with staircases and parts of deck closed. Avoid the easy mistakes and the "hmmmmm" will turn into "yes". So i am curieus for the upcoming reviews. Read Less
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
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because it enabled us to fulfill our dream of travelling around the world which we never thought we would be able to afford. Embarkation wasn't easy but with so many people to process it was as good as it could ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it enabled us to fulfill our dream of travelling around the world which we never thought we would be able to afford. Embarkation wasn't easy but with so many people to process it was as good as it could be. We were thrilled to bits with our cabin which was bigger than expected had a picture window and a really big shower. Even when we had to change cabins due to a mysterious noise that was keeping us awake, we moved to one of the same standard.The ship itself was small enough to be 'cosy' but big enough to feel that you had space to move around and all public areas were comfortable and pleasant to be in. The food was excellent in the Waterfront restaurant and in the Plantation Bistro it was as good as you would expect in a self-service style area. The service given by the crew in all areas was very good, on the whole nothing was too much trouble. We didn't experience all the entertainments/activities but the ones we experienced were good and we heard good reports of many others. We went on quite a few shore excursions, some were excellent and others were not so but that is down to the excursion company used. For the one really bad one CMV negotiated a 50% refund for us. The organisation by the shore excursions team left a little to be desired but it's not a job I would like to do. We went to some wonderful ports but could have done with not docking in some places on a Sunday when everything was closed. Disembarkation ran smoothly and we were off the ship earlier than anticipated. I would have no hesitation in recommending CMV as a cruise company if only for the great value for money and we loved the Columbus. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We are very experienced cruisers and in comparison to other companies CMV put in a less than third rate performance even taking into account the lower price. It’s billed as buy one get one free but it was only 30-40% cheaper than other ... Read More
We are very experienced cruisers and in comparison to other companies CMV put in a less than third rate performance even taking into account the lower price. It’s billed as buy one get one free but it was only 30-40% cheaper than other companies on like for like (I.e price divided by nights) but there was at least a 60% difference in quality to those companies! Starting with food which cruises are most noted for. Well the food was disgusting and we had to have meetings with the management to get things slightly improved. Most night the meats were tough often the carving Steward struggled and he had sharp knives! It was either bland or salty. Fish was better but often half cooked and all food was pretty cold and non descript. The food on 3 ˋSpecial Occasions‘ was good. In 121 days there was no world cruise lunch or sector specials like the baked Alaska which was 1 night only. In the Bistro the food was invariably dried up and cold. Sidney and the team tried to put on lots of nice showpiece lunches like round the world food stations around the pool but the taste was still missing. Funny enough you can pay extra to go to a venue called the taste but other passengers told me there was no taste there either. The ship bless her is old and the refit is lacking, it could have been done so much better, you would be walking down a corridor and all of a sudden you’d drop an inch as there was no underlay for example. She’s a stable ship and relatively quiet in the rougher seas. Some of the food tables rocked and stuffed with food and dirty tissues to stop the rock!. There was rust everywhere especially in window frames and on the balconies ( more than usual as all ships have some rust) but usually painted over and the cloth seats in the Bistro and in some bars were filthy and not appealing. The cabin was a great size but poorly decorated and our window was not cleaned once in 4 months. The wallpaper was coming off and the carpets filthy but there is plenty of storage space. If you have an outside cabin you get a kettle and tea making facilities but inside cabins are not allowed this ˋluxuryˋ! The daily activities are very similar to the ones we play with the residents in a local care home!! Every day at 9.30 Tony pops on the tannoy to tell you what a lovely day you’ll be having aboard the beautiful Columbus while the beautiful Columbus crawls along chucking out black smoke! One quiz with 6 contestants in a team has a prize of 1 Cocktail to share between all 6!! The first cruise Director John Even put in the daily Programme come and try win one of our´life changing‘ prizes! You could even win a torch or a yo-yo! The entertainment team tried hard. They were running quizzes and games and the shows in all places they had to rehearse late into the night. Plus cover excursions. The majority of staff dealing with passengers had no idea or professionalism and the favourite line at reception was we must check with London! Then I’d contact London and I’d be told it was up to reception. The English entertainment was mundane and repetitive but at least we had some there was nothing for the large number of German, Dutch and other non English speaking nationals who were mostly picked up in Amsterdam and did the entire trip. They never even got a map or port guide in their language and the first 50 days there was a Nazi war film nearly every day! That created a few arguments and there was enough of those without provocation. Many ports were useless unless you had a tour booked. Many were container ports and you had a 2-3k walk just to get to the dock gates! The company had no care for passengers unless as mentioned they were on tour if not it was tough. Many who could only walk a couple of kilometres could not get off as they had no energy to get passed the gates to sight see! Maps and guides were poor and nearly everything that was printed was in minuscule print! Great considering the age of passengers on board! We had fellow world cruisers getting off on route from Sydney on as they ´could not‘ stand it anymore!! So all in all it was far from enjoyable and whilst new passengers and staunch CMV fans were relatively happy a multitude of us were far from impressed and will never travel with CMV again! A two week cruise would probably be stomached but I’d urge you to read as many reviews as possible before booking longer and I know for a fact negative reviews are being removed from cmv Facebook page. Their passing shot was we were given a commemorative coin that said Columbus grand world cruise 2018 as our gift. the card wallet opens up and the itinerary is revealed, lovely yes, no! it’s this years coin and next years itinerary!! When many queried with reception how such a mistake could be made we were all told it was not an error but a marketing ploy to highlight next years cruise! The general staff are lovely and so helpful and went above and beyond to try to minimise upset. If not for them CMV would have Had a lot more issues onboard. I,wish you well Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
What a disappointing cruise. It was so average. No sparkle. Cabins were average with everything working. CMV charge for everything like water in cabins, even the waiter/waitresses pens have to be returned end of cruise, or they pay for ... Read More
What a disappointing cruise. It was so average. No sparkle. Cabins were average with everything working. CMV charge for everything like water in cabins, even the waiter/waitresses pens have to be returned end of cruise, or they pay for them! Food was excellent but just no style. Drinks package at £17 each per day was a rip off. Afternoon tea was just that, tea in the cafeteria; never smoked salmon, no tablecloths, no nice music, just no style. Talking of music, the classical duo were variable. They did concerts each night rather than background music, sometimes many wrong notes. So many wrong notes and simple Grade V music and average musicianship. No class. Compared to the international jazz trios on Cunard, it was a bit of shock for 43 nights. They had NO JAZZ at all and no cocktail pianist; nothing, anywhere at all. The TV service was very poor in rooms. No news or CNN or BBC for large chunks of the trip. Some days no TV at all just movies...... Dome observatory, they shut the curtains so you couldn't see out when leaving ports, probably for navigation but just so crass and inhospitable to guests. Excursions were hugely expensive. Glow-worm caves were £105 each; it's just 50 minutes out of Auckland and would have cost them about £20 a head, since we lived in Auckland we know the route and tickets. Just price gouging beyond belief. Tea at Reid's, Madiera, twice the price of just doing it ourselves; oh well. Guest mix ok but elderly. Nobody dressed up for dinner. Informal meant smart but all old guys were wearing short sleeved shirts no tie. In the end CMV did away with casual dining nights to keep the standard higher. We took dinner jackets but even for formal this was not needed and many guests did not bother. CMV is the only cruise company where you really don't have to bother dressing for dinner; the staff don't care and nobody enforces a dress code. Very disappointing. Staff very poorly paid about 650 euros a month, but trying to stay professional. Dirty glasses given out from bar, some public rooms never cleaned; mould in the Plantation servery area ceiling; nobody seemed to care. No style, no glamour, a disappointing cruise. I was glad to get off in Auckland. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
On a 122 night cruise you would expect to have fun, fun fun! No stress, no grief. Smooth sailing! NO! WRONG! First of all, the INTERNET that cost me 50 British pounds barely worked, most of the time cannot connect. A simple task of ... Read More
On a 122 night cruise you would expect to have fun, fun fun! No stress, no grief. Smooth sailing! NO! WRONG! First of all, the INTERNET that cost me 50 British pounds barely worked, most of the time cannot connect. A simple task of checking e-mails was a constant struggle. When it crashed nobody informed us, they just waited everybody to complain. A replacement was given that had the same problem. Columbus should have gotten a better & knowledgeable IT or programmer. Next is ORGANIZATION, seemed people at all level did not know what they were doing! The first two captains of the ship were Ok, introduced themselves to us right away but it took the third one (Illas, I think is the name-go figure why I can't remember his name), two days before we left the ship he showed up to meet us I know other guests met him by paying to have dinner with him!(UNBELIEVABLE!)What did he think of us, third class citizens? He should realize we spent a big whopping $17,000 on this stinking ship! The restaurant manager only spoke, and had concerns toward the Germans. WASHING & DRYING, had to add water in order to really wash the clothes, the dryer did not even had the ability to dry the clothes. One load cost 5 pounds, and if you want to dry your clothes you have to buy tokens for the dryer costing 3 pounds! Don't let me started on the FOOD, how to describe it: AWFUL, HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE! always tasted like Indian food, some might like Indian food but not everybody. All the meat (steak, pork or chicken) were either hard, tough (can't even cut with a knife), salty, or bland! The fish was most of the time half cooked , salty and not fresh at all. Bacon was hard. mexican food Carnitas was cooked with cummin and curry they did not have sour cream. Desserts too sweet.WHY CAN'T COLUMBUS GET A BETTER CHEF? SHORE EXCURSION people disorganized, escorts did their own thing left guess get lost. My cousin and I were given a run around when we requested for a priority disembarkation since we had to catch our flight that same day. Edie(Shore excursion Mgr) was reluctant granting our request.It should be standard practice to let people flying the same day to be let go first! You ask me what I think of my Columbus experience? GO FIGURE. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I can't believe the moaning about this cruise by earlier contributors. What were they expecting? 5* service and amenities at 3* prices? Get a life! I have to say that almost everyone I met on board - and I met a great number ... Read More
I can't believe the moaning about this cruise by earlier contributors. What were they expecting? 5* service and amenities at 3* prices? Get a life! I have to say that almost everyone I met on board - and I met a great number over 4 months - all agreed how wonderful the cruise had been and, from some, that they were already looking forward to their next one with CMV. The cabin (I had a solo on Deck 10) was more than adequate with 2 single beds, two chairs (one a comfy armchair, the other a desk type), a long desk, plentiful drawers, hanging space, a fridge, a safe and a small, but perfectly good, bathroom with shower. The cabin steward was polite and helpful at all times. I ate in both the restaurant and the buffet. There was always at least 7 dishes on offer for both lunch and dinner as well as cold food. They catered for vegetarians and vegans too. OK, the puddings could have been a bit more imaginative but the staff in both places could not be faulted. It is totally unreasonable to bring up their wages as one other reviewer did. Those I spoke to were very happy with their wage level, given that it was almost 3 times what they would earn in similar positions in their own countries. They couldn't have been more welcoming and attentive if they had earned 10 times as much. Nobody forces you to go on the ship's shore excursions and you know the prices in advance of the cruise. If you think they are too expensive then don't go but book your own privately. I went on 20 of Columbus's trips and enjoyed them all. The entertainment was,admittedly, variable in quality; the permanent ship's singers and dancers were excellent; the visiting artistes less so. The 45 minute lectures which took place during sea days were invariably interesting and the speakers well received. I paid £39 for 1 GB of internet and I never understood how people had difficulty with it; my android phone picked it up without too much difficulty 99% of the time. All in all I was more than happy with my experience and would certainly repeat the exercise providing the prices stayed at a reasonable level. Some contributors seem ready to complain about any little thing. Did they bring these "complaints" to ship;s staff at the time? As for cleanliness throughout? I found it spotless! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise because it covered the Christmas and New Year period. We have never cruised at this time of the year before, so we were looking forward to a new and interesting experience. The vessel has had something of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered the Christmas and New Year period. We have never cruised at this time of the year before, so we were looking forward to a new and interesting experience. The vessel has had something of a 'makeover', but some of the areas looked and felt very dated. Seating in some lounge areas was so dated and so low, that guests with any kind of mobility issues had problems descending and ascending into and out of them. At the first evening meal, soup was served cold and had to be returned. On other occasions, wrong dishes were served, sometimes with items that, for dietary reasons, had been requested NOT to be served - eg. Lemon slices for a 'non-acidic' guest - and frequently, 30 minutes+ between courses. The entertainment left much to be desired. Whilst the singers, dancers and musicians were quite good, other performers were of a very poor standard. Seating in the theatre is badly designed, with some lower seats behind higher ones! The rear doors are frequently left open, allowing other guests to enter at any time, standing in aisles, passages and, crucially, doorways, blocking exits. Daytime entertainment was very limited, and seemed to lack any organisation. The card room lacked complete sets of both cards and other games. Our final account statements were left in the door handles to our rooms, for everyone to see. No envelope! Nothing marked 'Private'. Visits to the reception desk almost always meant waiting for a line of other complaining passengers to be dealt with. Disembarkation was equally, or even more disorganised, with passengers appearing to be boarding the ship before we had left it! Definitely something we would never choose to do again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Did the Christmas Cruise to Hamburg, Amsterdam, was excellent. The ship Columbus was great. I didn’t do the drinks package this time but have booked the Christmas cruise 2018 and have done the drinks package. It is very good value ... Read More
Did the Christmas Cruise to Hamburg, Amsterdam, was excellent. The ship Columbus was great. I didn’t do the drinks package this time but have booked the Christmas cruise 2018 and have done the drinks package. It is very good value especially for cocktails and spirits etc. Highly recommend it. There is entertainment in some of the bars and in the main reception area you can listen to some excellent pianists. You can also have your photo taken by a professional photographer and then see them on the wall. You can pamper yourself in the spa with a massage, facial, jacuzzi etc. That done then go to top deck and have a lovely cream tea or sandwiches and cakes. The food is amazing and the staff work really hard from one meal to another. I am really looking forward to the next cruise and hope it will be as amazing as the last one. Read Less
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
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise as a treat to get us in the mood for Christmas. The cabin and ship were of a good standard. Food very good. The ship its self was COLD, very cold cabin,problem which was not solved the entire cruise, even worse the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a treat to get us in the mood for Christmas. The cabin and ship were of a good standard. Food very good. The ship its self was COLD, very cold cabin,problem which was not solved the entire cruise, even worse the outside doors were open, obviously to let passengers on and off when in port however there was no extra heating, no hot air blowers and the bars were COLD, the dining areas were COLD you could only eat either end of dining areas with a coat and gloves on, would not book again in the winter. The staff were all friendly and the service was good, such a shame the heating was not improved on because the trip was spoilt. Embarkation was efficient and the two excursions we booked were also good. My husband and I would have booked to cruise again on the Columbus because the ship in general is lovely but this experience has really put us off. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our 9th Cruise and our second with CMV, the first being on the Marco Polo to Iceland Greenland & Canada and we still rate this as our best ever cruise. The food, service and entertainment were all superb so we were very much ... Read More
This was our 9th Cruise and our second with CMV, the first being on the Marco Polo to Iceland Greenland & Canada and we still rate this as our best ever cruise. The food, service and entertainment were all superb so we were very much looking foward to 46 nights on CMV's new flagship. Regretably, apart from the itinerary this was almost certainly our least enjoyable cruise. The food was poor, there were issues withe service in the MDR and the entertaiment overall was not good. Lot's of passengers complained to the head chef regarding food which no some nights was almost inedible and he blamed it on a restricted budget which did not allow him to purchase the best ingredients. I had read reviews rearding issues with service and assumed that by November these would have been resolved but sadly this was not the case. We often had the feeling that our waiters just wanted us in and out asap. Plates were cleared before everyone had finished, cutlery for one course was put out while the previous course was still being eaten and on one night an attempt was made to serve coffee immediatly after our main course despite the fact we had ordered a sweet and cheese course.Generally there was also something of language issue with some staff from the Indian Subcontinent. The entertainment was also an issue. Overall it was not bad with a very hardworking showteam putting on lot's of shows, but there was a distinct lack of guest entertainers- just two in all for a 46 night cruise and when i challenged the Cruise Director regarding this he confirmed what the chef had said, i.e. that was all his budget would allow him to do, and the two we did have, one was second rate and the other appaling Having had a major re-fit there were some areas which appeared to have been forgotten. The showtheatre in paricular where some of the seating was very shabby and worst of all there were rows of bench seats which are lower that the chairs in front so anyone sitting in these had a very restricted view. I could go on particularly regarding the way in which dining during some very rough weather was handled a bemusing layout in the plantation buffet, what appeared to have been recycled carpet outside "the dome". I was always taught that when launching a new product it is essential to get it right first time as you may not get a second chance and CMV will have to work very hard to persuade me to book another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
MV Columbus very nice ship well appointed. Spacious cabins good storage space, cases under beds. Lovely crew all friendly and very helpful. Good launderettes on two decks. Dining, food seemed to be down to price nothing special compared ... Read More
MV Columbus very nice ship well appointed. Spacious cabins good storage space, cases under beds. Lovely crew all friendly and very helpful. Good launderettes on two decks. Dining, food seemed to be down to price nothing special compared with other ships. Very popular was fish and chips when served during a special culinary buffet. Desserts too sugary and hot desserts not quite what it said on the tin. During the days at sea, expensive craft lessons, only two lecturers, both on wildlife and photography and one a lifestyle expert as well. No regular dance classes, therefore no dance sessions except for a couple of attempts which were failures. Scheduling of things to do wasn't done with much thought so a lot of overlapping. The ship's entertainment company of singers and dancers were excellent very, very talented. Good shows, good choreography and costumes but the same faces every night. Late in cruise a couple of comedians came onboard. One a good song and joke act. For once a good band, no tinny trumpet but the music whether live or recorded drowned the singers. Free shuttle buses at some destinations. Excursions seemed expensive but we enjoyed the ones we went on but mostly we did our own thing with taxis etc cheaper. Disembarkation a complete shambles, cases all mixed up lack of trolleys. We were using the coach connection which meant self load the cases, not enough coaches, delayed departure due to trying to squeeze people in, luggage wouldn't fit missed our connection. If CMV improves the food, entertainment, daytime recreation we would go again with them. Read Less
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
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
Sail Date October 2017
chose this on offer - buy one get one free. Poor start - not the cruise company fault - weather in Thames estuary prevented ship from docking until after we were supposed to leave. Ship and cabin very clean - cabin steward did an ... Read More
chose this on offer - buy one get one free. Poor start - not the cruise company fault - weather in Thames estuary prevented ship from docking until after we were supposed to leave. Ship and cabin very clean - cabin steward did an excellent job. Menu - poor. Curry every night. Vegetarian omlette cooked in the same pan as a ham one - could do better. Choice of eating places no where as good as a Thomson ship. NO ICE CREAM Made a comment about the content of a ship based shore excursion and was called a liar in as many words, till her colleague corrected her. Refused to give me a copy of the remarks she said she would forward to head office. Entertainment. Two nights will no show - an ancient comedien instead., and two other nights a magician instead of a show. Not good enough. Cruise director only seen now and again, and the 'talent' of the singers poor and lacking. Dancer however and the violinist were superb. Gratuities were added to your account but we opted out - my husband worked it out - 1500 passengers over two weeks would have netted the company 100,000 pounds. Ten trips would have netted the a million pounds - no way were the crew being paid that amount in tips, so we opted out and rewarded who we thought deserved to be tipped WILL NEVER CRUISE WITH THEM AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We were looking forward to the Columbus, a new mid sized ship operating from the UK. As a ship she looks quite pleasant. As a cruise ship, it seemed to us that she had two obvious and immediate disadvantages over her competitors - there ... Read More
We were looking forward to the Columbus, a new mid sized ship operating from the UK. As a ship she looks quite pleasant. As a cruise ship, it seemed to us that she had two obvious and immediate disadvantages over her competitors - there is nowhere, really, to take a bit of exercise. The promenade deck has teak decks, as you would expect on a ship of this age. But the deck does not go all the way round. To do a few circuits of the deck, you have to pass through the ship both at the bows and the stern. That caused a few grumbles. The second: the dreadful show lounge. Or theatre. Whatever you like to call it. This is scattered with pillars, and the seating tiers are too level, so that visibility is heavily obscured. Pre and during performances there was a constant shuttle of people moving about trying to find a place from which they could see. That is distracting both for audience and performers. Two bad points for a ship in competition with a number of others of similar size. There we are. There must have been a good reason for Cruise and Maritime to acquire this elderly vessel. Embarkation was at Tilbury. This was fraught with frustration and some temper. The ship's arrival was delayed by bad weather. That cannot be helped. So departure was loikewise delayed bysome seven hours or so.The practical problem however is Tilbury itself. The single carriageway road leading from the ABP cruise car park, a long way from the terminal, is shared by all the port traffic. It took us over one half hour to make the journey in an elderly shuttle bus. It must have been a tiring day for the ship's crew and company personnel. So it was for some of the passengers. The balcony cabin was spacious, well decorated and well looked after by the cabin steward. I think that the average cabin size on this ship may well be larger than in more modern ships and that can be an important factor, depending on the amount of time spent in it. For this cruise, to St Petersburg, that was quite a lot, for us, because the entertainment was not inspiring. The standard mix of singing and dancing troupe, indifferent speakers none of whom appeared to be experts in their subject, and comedians and so forth. Nothing at all memorable. So also, really for the food. Service was willing but slow. The food adequate,but nothing special. Very like other standard cruise fare. Then the itinerary. The Baltic is always an adventure. But this was a 12 night cruise. Because of the delayed start we missed the first port of call. That was to be expected. But that, Copenhagen, was in any event to be one of the three ports with a half day stop. For these interesting destinations - most of the cruise companies follow very much the same itinerary - half a day is just not enough. So perhaps look for a 14 night cruise, with full days in the ports you favour. All in all, an enjoyable trip. Would we travel with Cruise and Maritime? Certainly. On the Columbus? Once was enough. We quite liked the ship as a ship, the crew were uniformally pleasant but the ship has its faults for a stay of more than a few days. Read Less
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
Sail Date September 2017
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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