11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Like many, we had read some of the mixed reviews about CMV's Columbus but have to say they really did a great job. Embarkation was, however, chaos. The terminal building seems ill-equipped to handle 1500 or so people, with inadequate ... Read More
Like many, we had read some of the mixed reviews about CMV's Columbus but have to say they really did a great job. Embarkation was, however, chaos. The terminal building seems ill-equipped to handle 1500 or so people, with inadequate basic facilities such as toilets and refreshments. Many people had traveled a long distance and refreshment facilities were wholly inadequate. Once on board, the Columbus is spacious but has a small ship-feel. Everything was bright and fresh, colourful carpets and furnishings are warm and welcoming. The cabin was MASSIVE ! one of the largest we have ever had for sure! The staff in all areas of the ship were really lovely. Our cabin steward was equally lovely! Entertainment was terrific and there is tons of space in the Palladium show lounge and staff serve drinks at your seat. The waterfront restaurant is a lovely venue and all of the food we had during this short cruise was delicious. Bars and nightlife venues were great, full of atmosphere too! CMV offer an all inclusive drinks package at just £17 per day, which is excellent value for money. There is plenty of space on board Columbus and nice places to stroll or sit in sheltered areas on deck, even when its cold. The Jade Spa on deck 2 has a lovely sauna and steamroom (free) which again, was one of the best I have seen on a cruise ship. All in all a great experience. sadly, disembarkation was chaos again. Huge queues of people standing outside in the bitter cold, waiting for bus transfer to the car park. If they sort out the embarkation and disembarkation procedures things would be a whole lot better! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
9 Helpful Votes
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
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
Cuba was on the 'To Do' List and this was our 4th CMV Cruise so we knew it would be a cruise that we would enjoy in comfort rather than luxury. The friendliness of the crew is a real bonus - when we arrived at the Terminal, our ... Read More
Cuba was on the 'To Do' List and this was our 4th CMV Cruise so we knew it would be a cruise that we would enjoy in comfort rather than luxury. The friendliness of the crew is a real bonus - when we arrived at the Terminal, our Cabin Steward from our August 2016 cruise outside and came over to greet us. Even better was the fact that he had been promoted to Supervisor, responsible for our group of Cabins on Deck 5 and he made a point of 'warning' our Cabin Steward about us - it was like renewing a friendship and that same happy atmosphere continued with our new Cabin Steward, Pandit. Customer Service was really good across all aspects of the cruise operation. Some Passengers commented that a couple of staff were surly/uncommunicative but my experience was that the individuals had limited English and were avoiding detailed communications where possible. All other staff were very friendly and more than happy to share a joke or banter whenever time allowed. Embarkation was really quick - we arrived about an hour earlier than our time slot but were booked in after a wait of 5 minutes or so. Disembarkation is always frantic, and, with a 4 days pre-Xmas cruise to follow our 46 night cruise, we had to leave the cabin at 07:00 and lug our bags up to the Palladium Show Lounge before carting them down again (we chose Express Disembarkation for a fast departure). Disembarkation is always frenzied and we had to wait until almost 10:00 before we could leave - tedious waiting around but a small price to pay for such a good cruise. Dining is either in the Waterfront Restaurant (Open seating for Breakfast and Lunch, 18:30 and 20:30 Sittings for Dinner) or the Plantation Bistro. There are also a small Grill Restaurant and a revolving themed Indian/Japanese/Chinese offering in a cordoned-off area of the Bistro. We did not try the Grill or the Oriental Cuisine offerings. The Bistro is self-service and for picky eaters like me, this is ideal - there is always a combination of food available. In addition, Salmon and Chicken was available on request. My wife had to make a switch to a low salt diet midway through the cruise and this was accommodated seamlessly. Even when we chose to eat in the Bistro, the Serving Staff fetched the low Salt Meal from the Waterfront Restaurant and served it at our Bistro Table. The service was superb and always delivered with a smile. Desserts were a little limited - Fruit Crumble and Custard and creamy, sugary blancmange style sweets were the mainstay. Fresh fruit, typically Pineapple and at least 2 flavours of Melon were available at all times. The Bistro has seating and formica-style tables that is more 'Luxurious Works Canteen' than upmarket restaurant. The decor is lifted by Stencilled Bon Mots on the Windows - 'Life is Short, Eat Dessert First' etc. Menus are repeated every 4-7 Days. For a picky eater like me, this was a bonus since I knew that a suitable offering was never too far away but several cruisers moaned about the repetitive nature of the menu. Entertainment is the usual twice-nightly show in the Palladium Show Lounge. Dance/Musical productions of a decent, safe level, delivered with energy, rather than innovation, were the order of the day. The Guest Comedians were pretty dire - one comedian had his heyday in the early 1970s and was still delivering material from that era - toe-curling mother-in-law jokes and non-pc material. Afternoon Dance Classes were available and the Salsa (in advance of the Cuba visit) were really popular and resulted in lots of laughter from the participants. The only criticism is that the programme was haphazard so Salsa was followed by Line Dancing and then by Ballroom Dancing etc at random intervals. This made it difficult for Beginners to consolidate their learning and subsequent Sessions were missed by the participants. Lectures were patchy in quality and variety - probably the weakest aspect of the Entertainments Programme. The 46 nights cruise meant that Lecturers were working outside their specialisms and the latter part of the cruise Sessions were a 'Read from the Slide' exercise. The Physical Exercise Programme was very well operated. Doreen's Morning 'Mile with a Smile' laps around Deck 14 took place at 08:30 exactly on every Sea Day, and finished with a challenging 10 minutes Stretching Class. This was followed at 09:00 precisely by Doreen's Zumba Classes that were very well attended. The only criticism is that attendance at both Sessions meant missing breakfast or a very early meal! Afternoon Stretching Classes of 45-60 minutes with Oleg were very popular and were not for the faint-hearted! Everyone benefited from these 'Easy Effort' (they weren't!) classes. Shore Excursion Presentations were pretty poor - the Presentational Skills were dreadful and focused more on selling the Excursions, reading out Tour Details from the Slides. The actual Shore Excursions were well organised and quite reasonable value for money. We took excursions in Ponta Delgada, Uzmal (Mayan Ruins at Progreso), Altan Ha (Mayan Ruins at Belize) and Panama City. At other ports of call, we wandered and explored or visited the Caribbean Beaches. Some of our best moments were meetings with local people on our DIY wanderings. Cuba was the star turn after the bureaucracy of Passport Control and Havana is a safe, welcoming place. We visited a street Bar and I was encouraged to dance with the Band in front of the Diners/Drinkers - after an 8 minutes 'performance' I realised just how unfit I was! In Tobago, a Police Officer suggested a couple of Bars to visit and even accompanied us to the premises! The Cozumel visit on a Sunday (port shops closed), followed by Belize on Monday (Public Holiday - all shops closed) was not a triumph. The cruise was one of the best we have experienced, especially when the price paid is taken into account - we paid more for Dinner, Bed & Breakfast in a budget hotel than the nightly cost of the cruise. At the cruise nightly price, economies have to be expected and these are evident in the menu, the range of entertainment and the padding out of daytime activities by (chargeable) Craft Classes. Good quality service, safe (if unspectacular) budget entertainment, friendly and efficient staff and a great range and variety of destinations in comfortable surroundings - all at a nightly price lower than a budget hotel. We will certainly take another CMV cruise - it's only a question of waiting for the itinerary that matches our Wish List. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I saw this cruise advertised on a web search and as I had never sailed with CMV before I thought I would give it a try. The embarkation process was superb. The port of Tilbury staff should give themselves a pat on the back for a very ... Read More
I saw this cruise advertised on a web search and as I had never sailed with CMV before I thought I would give it a try. The embarkation process was superb. The port of Tilbury staff should give themselves a pat on the back for a very smooth process. Our cases were outside our cabin by the time we arrived on board at 12.30. Our cabin was a great size and we were upgraded to a cabin with a window which we delighted about. The food was average, it was not the same standard as I have had on previous cruises. I don't like the idea you can only have tea/coffee until midnight. There was no 24 hour dining which I get as the majority of passengers are in bed before the midnight hour but for those of us who were in the nightclub till the wee small hours it would have been good to even have been offered some late night sandwiches? The 'snacks' served on the 7 th deck between 11-11.30 is not a lot of good if you're on the 14th deck. We tried them one night and we never bothered again. Entertainment was very good on the whole although there were some shows which really bombed, particularly the 'comedians'! The lack of ballroom dancing space was disappointing, especially when they advertised 30 minutes of this before th show and then only delivered 15 minutes. According to the cruise director this was a mistake in the daily newsletter but it was not rectified after discussion with the said cruise director. The majority of the staff were excellent who went out of their way to ensure we all had a great holiday. Very helpful pleasant people from the reception staff to the cabin staff. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 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
7 Helpful Votes
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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Due to a storm in the North Sea Columbus was approx 8 hours late docking. Not the fault of the company, but a decision by Thames pilots to suspend boarding ships until storm had died down. Columbus due to leave port at 15.00hrs, actual ... Read More
Due to a storm in the North Sea Columbus was approx 8 hours late docking. Not the fault of the company, but a decision by Thames pilots to suspend boarding ships until storm had died down. Columbus due to leave port at 15.00hrs, actual leaving 23.00hrs. Each passenger given £25 on board spend as compensation. Although we arrived early for embarkation the company had laid on buses to take us to Lakeside shopping centre, as Tilbury terminal has limited facilities. Embarkation went well at approx 17.00. Due to late embarkation we were unable to arrive at Copenhagen in time and had an extra day at sea. Although Columbus is an older ship, first launched in 1988, it is a lovely ship and has some character which can be lacking in some of the newer ships. Cabins were spacious, clean and comfortable. Public areas were good and furniture up to an acceptable standard. There were one or two areas which were a little tired, but I am being picky here and these areas did not spoil the enjoyment of our experience. Food in the Waterfront restaurant was excellent, and none of the people we shared a table with felt the need to try the pay for speciality restaurants, although I heard from other passengers that the were very good. I will not comment on the buffet as we did not use it very much, but it seemed popular. The on board entertainment team were excellent and put on 5 shows ranging from Rock and Roll, Broadway, Queen tribute, musicals and opera, all were good. Four shows were put on by a comedienne, 2 shows and a magician/comedienne 2 shows. There were also lectures and other events on sea days which I found enjoyable. I have read some negative comments about the cruise director, but I can only praise him and his team for a job well done. The highlight of the cruise was an overnight in St Petersburg well worth a visit. My only negative was the amount of piped music throughout the ship and the huge TV screen above the pool area which played all day, something which I found distracting. NB other people did not agree with me. We met some really nice people on board and everybody was friendly. We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and I believe the cruise director was right when he remarked "This is not a cruise ship it is a friendship" Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We wanted to find out more about Britain and feel that we had circumnavigated our homeland. The cruise gave us all that and through the varied excursions provided lots of interest including the Bayeux Tapestry, the Guinness Brewery in ... Read More
We wanted to find out more about Britain and feel that we had circumnavigated our homeland. The cruise gave us all that and through the varied excursions provided lots of interest including the Bayeux Tapestry, the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, the Titanic Exhibition in Belfast and the Orkneys. The quality of the food and the choice offered was first class as was the entertainment in the well appointed modern Show Lounge. The outside cabin on deck 10 was of more than adequate size and particularly good for storage space. All the staff and crew were pleasant and friendly and seemed happy in their work. The best time to judge the performance of the service team is when things go wrong and on the last day we were delayed getting back to Tilbury by bad weather. The staff responded well by extending access to cabins, providing a full restaurant service and laying on extra entertainment - all this while trying to get the ship prepared for the next intake of passengers. Most important, the PA announcements were clear, informative and frequent. I think the policy of allowing discretion for guests to remove the service/gratuities charge could be revisited as many guests seem to deduct it for no reason. Alternatively, it should be rolled into the overall charge with no discretion. A super cruise and great value. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The cabin was on deck 10 without a window, which we don't mind as we rarely spend time in there. There was an issue with only one socket in the whole cabin which was accessible to us. This meant we could not both charge up our ... Read More
The cabin was on deck 10 without a window, which we don't mind as we rarely spend time in there. There was an issue with only one socket in the whole cabin which was accessible to us. This meant we could not both charge up our phones/tablets and use the hair dryer/straighteners. Our cabin steward was very inconsistent. Did not leave toilet paper until it had only three sheets on a roll left. He would take all the towels even though some had not been used, or we hung them up to use again. We left the used ones in the shower tray, but he took all the others as well! He never vaq up the room once in 9 nights and spent all his time making up towel animals! He could have spent more time actually cleaning which we would have appreciated. The entertainment was of a high standard, except for one of the male singers. He was very poor and out of tune. The sausages were awful but otherwise the food was good quality and plentiful. The show lounge has been very badly designed and the only good views are on the front rows unless you are over 6 foot tall. The drinks package of £17 each per day is only available per couple, which is no good as one of us only drinks water and no soft drinks or alcohol for health reasons. The other enjoys wine and alcohol and would have loved to be able to sign up for the drink's package but couldn't. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I have been on over 100 cruises and the production show entertainment on this ship was in the top 10 that we have ever seen. Unfortunately, that's where it ends. The ship itself was dated. Overall, the food was below ... Read More
My wife and I have been on over 100 cruises and the production show entertainment on this ship was in the top 10 that we have ever seen. Unfortunately, that's where it ends. The ship itself was dated. Overall, the food was below average. One night, I was served salmon that was gray. Another night, I selected swordfish and it was unrecognizable. In the main dining room, eggs benedict was only available on Monday mornings. If you wanted black pudding with scrambled eggs, it was available only on Thursdays,etc.. It was perhaps the first cruise and I have never been on that did not serve lobster, at least once. I have never had to pay for a scoop of ice cream, on deck, until this Cruise. And there was no ice cream dessert at lunchtime. Another example, a half of a grapefruit was available but it was not cut into sections as you would find on other cruise lines. The daily program was not arranged by time of event or activity. It was a series of squares which made it hard to figure out activities at any given time. The program I am looking at now has 33 separate areas that have to be reviewed to figure out what's going on. We played a reasonable amount of trivia which was popular. On every other cruise we have been on, If there were six people in a team, the winners would receive six pens, keychains, pouches or whatever. On the Columbus, one pencil or one keychain was given per winning team. Each member had to share the one cheap prize. Good grief! In our cabin, we had separate shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. One of our friends who had a slightly lower category requested the same but was told they had to use the "all in one" soap hanging on the wall in the shower. Separate liquids were not available for them. Daily activities and enrichment programs were almost nonexistent. The phone in our cabin had buttons to call various departments. The button caption never matched the department that picked up the phone. The daily excursions were OK, adequate but nothing outstanding. As far as the crew was concerned it was hit or miss. Somewhere outstanding and others were very discourteous. Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Cruise Review. CMV Columbus CD712. 4th - 13th September 2017 Having served at sea or been involved with the Marine industry all my working life I believe I am a reasonable judge of ships and companies and believe this review to be a ... Read More
Cruise Review. CMV Columbus CD712. 4th - 13th September 2017 Having served at sea or been involved with the Marine industry all my working life I believe I am a reasonable judge of ships and companies and believe this review to be a good representation of this our fourteenth cruise. Our first time with CMV, a choice made because of the itinerary, started well with an efficient boarding having used the long term car park. On boarding the vessel all seemed well and our balcony cabin was up to expectation however I soon began to feel that this was not a happy ship. This was clarified at our first meal, breakfast on the Tuesday morning. The table had been laid in a haphazard manner and the staff seem to be lacking in direction, items such as butter knives, teaspoons missing and lack of coherent service caused, we suspect, by the table being released too early for second occupation. The staff appeared harassed. Emergency stations and lifeboat drills were unlike any previous drills encountered, both in the Royal and Merchant Navies with a confusion as to who should be where in the seating arrangements for the life boats (Muster station A). I am not sure whether following each other in the manner of a first world war blinded soldier queue would have worked. Too long and confusing! My intuition that all was not well with the ship came a following evening when we went to first dinner sitting. We queued up back along deck 7 for about fifteen minutes before being let into the dining room, no problem but where were the waiters ? fallen over board ? on strike ? ten minutes or so later they all turned up and someone in middle management declared the restaurant open. No explanation. This is the point that showed that there was a top down communication problem on the vessel which was only to get worse. It is in the interest of any management to quickly stem shipboard rumours, so was it a strike, were their cuts in the wages, had the crew been paid ? all supposition but bad for the company reputation. A simple apology and an excuse for say a "late running staff meeting" would have been suffice. At this point I will put in a good word for the entertainment dancers, singers and band, we did think they did a good job and the variety and skill level was very high. A pity about the Palladium seating arrangements low seats behind high seats !. Why do people get there over an hour before the show to get the best seats? We were very impressed with the standard of food and its presentation, both in the Waterfront and Plantation restaurants. All goes well with the Itinerary, and the tendering (go around and try that again snotty! ) then the weather changes and there is a second attack of poor communication. This time it is in the atrium as we all collect for our excursion buses in Kirkwall. A large mass of people on different tours gathered together and just one member of staff trying call the groups as required. Did anyone think of giving the poor girl a hand held mic?. As we left for our bus my wife suggested to a gangway officer why did you not form us in us into groups and lead us out when required like the larger cruise ships, his response, "we always do it this way" (flash back to Titanic Exhibition). We fully understand the crew are not responsible for weather or any outside influences but again CMV let itself down through poor management and communication. This poor communication problem is finally highlighted on the final day as a set of events outside of the control of the ship's Master could have been better handled. Bad weather had delayed the ship and correctly, advice from the shore side authorities had recommended the vessel lay off and delay arrival. No problem there, we could all understand that the sea state was poor and all travel arrangements need to change at short notice and a plan B instigated. In these instances a company is judged, as noted, by the poor reputation gained by British Airways recently due to poor communication. At some point at about 0100 the bridge was aware of the planned change so why were passengers not told about the delay by about 0700 when we departed our cabins as previously required, only to return later. We went to our embarkation point in the atrium at the correct time and were seated beside the reception desk. Our full marks to the reception staff for fending off so many complaints about communications, but where was any authority? The only answer they could give was they we are awaiting the bridge to give an announcement. This came at about 0900 with a full explanation but why not an early comment from on high? We eventually arrived alongside at 1500. In conclusion the hands on crew were friendly, its food was good and the Palladium production crew did a fine job. We rate this cruise as three star Public relations can either make or break a company and in this instance I think CMV let itself down. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
It was with some trepidation that we set out for our British Isles Discovery Cruise, we had read some worrying reviews about MV Columbus when it was undertaking its first cruises under the CMV banner some weeks previously. Approaching ... Read More
It was with some trepidation that we set out for our British Isles Discovery Cruise, we had read some worrying reviews about MV Columbus when it was undertaking its first cruises under the CMV banner some weeks previously. Approaching Tilbury, MV Columbus came into view at the same time as the signs to the long stay car park disappeared. Thanks to the help of a shuttle bus driver, we got to the car park and we must say that from then on, luggage handing and the whole embarkation went smoothly. Our cabin was very acceptable with plenty of storage space. If one was pedantic, (it was in my nature when I was assessing in the Hospitality Industry) you could be very critical on several issues, toilet seat loose (soon fixed), sticking drawer in bedside cabinet and rust traces on the porthole with some water ingress during extreme weather. It takes time to explore the ship and we didn’t discover some areas until later in our cruise. Overall, the food was above good but not quite excellent apart from breakfast in the Waterfront Restaurant was rather disappointing, the prices for drinks, including tea and coffee, were surprisingly below those on the High Street in many cases. We did not use any of the speciality eating areas such as The Captain’s Table, The Grill or Fusion, these were expensive options and in our mind, there was little or no advanced information about them being add-ons. The website refers to a Captain’s Cocktail Party, nothing was heard or seen about this. The shore excursions varied greatly in quality but they were very well administered and organised. Visiting the gardens at Tresco using a tender operation between ship and shore was an experience in itself and for us, exploring the gardens was one of the highlights of the whole cruise. We could have done with longer there. In spite of unsubstantiated rumours of unrest amongst some of the crew, we received good, helpful, friendly and efficient service in all areas. With a mainly non-UK crew, there were no communication difficulties experienced. This proved to be essential when we had to use the ship’s Medical Centre in an emergency; the speed and level of treatment received was exceptional. We would agree with other reviews that the absence of children on a cruise where the average age must have been in the mid-70s, actually added to the enjoyment. Summing up, we were very happy with the overall administration, the effort put into dealing with the delays caused by bad weather resulting in a 7-hour late arrival back in Tilbury and the whole customer-care philosophy. Naturally, there are areas that could and should be examined such as signposting to the car park and accuracy of information about excursions, for example shops in Tobermory do open on a Sunday when cruise ships arrive. If we went on a cruise again, we would certainly not discount using Cruise & Maritime Voyages again. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We arrived very early, driving to Tilbury. You have to leave your suitcases in one area, then drive back to find the car park which was very poorly signposted. Be prepared to drive round in circles looking for it. A shuttle bus took us to ... Read More
We arrived very early, driving to Tilbury. You have to leave your suitcases in one area, then drive back to find the car park which was very poorly signposted. Be prepared to drive round in circles looking for it. A shuttle bus took us to the terminal where, despite being very early, we were directed straight through and on to the ship. Staff at the terminal were smiley an helpful. We weren't sure if we could have lunch as we embaked but the buffet was ready and all meals we subsequently ate here were excellent. I'm vegetarian, there were salads, chilli, curries etc. The evening meals were small, sensible well presented portions with excellent, helpful staff. There were 2 formal nights when my husband wore a lounge suit and I wore smart trousers. We picked a table for 6, it will be the same people every night, we were lucky with our companions. Staff were very pleasant. You could choose to eat in the buffet restaurant instead. We were on deck 6 with a picture window it was quiet, the room had a hairdryer but only one socket, no tea and coffee making facilities. Take a multi socket. There were small soaps and shampoo. Staff again very pleasant. Disembarkation notes were confusing. You can just wheel your cases off the ship at 7am and head home if you want to. You can DIY in some ports, we had a £10/head trip around Orkney seeing Skara Brae and other places, nothing available in Faroes (heard the ship organised trips were very good) we did an excellent boat trip in Shetland where we saw minke whales and gannets and seals were fed right next to the boat (organised at the Tourist Information office) and we did the ship's trip to the waterfall which was ok, nice guides. No idea about evening entertainment, we did none but the gym was free and well equipped, had a hot stone massage which was superb but treatments slightly pricey. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I was invited by friends to join them on this cruise, and I was interested to visit the Scottish islands. Embarkation was comfortable, straightforward, and well organised. I had a nice twin cabin on the 9th deck with a great view from the ... Read More
I was invited by friends to join them on this cruise, and I was interested to visit the Scottish islands. Embarkation was comfortable, straightforward, and well organised. I had a nice twin cabin on the 9th deck with a great view from the picture window, it was a nice quiet room with ensuite facilities and plenty of hanging/storage space. I was glad I packed a 4-way extension lead as there is only one power outlet, for charging phone, camera, and tablet. There was plenty of information available about each days activities from a news letter left in the room each day. All the schedules were kept and there was plenty to do, with guest speakers, quizzes, and fitness classes during the days at sea. The evening entertainment was first class with some very talented singers, and dance routines, plus there was a piano/violin duet in the late evening following the show. Food in the restaurant was very good with plenty of choice, the breakfast buffet would benefit from better quality sausages, and the porridge was runny but all in all it was great. I opted for the drinks package for convenience and value, although the unit prices are not excessive it is easier in a group to order drinks this way. Another way to save money is to buy large bottles of water on the first excursion to keep in the room, rather than buy the more expensive bottles available in room. The islands were very interesting and picturesque, and I would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose this cruise because I'd wanted to see Shetland for ages. Embarkation was extremely smooth and fuss free, as was disembarkation a week later. I thought Columbus was really beautiful. My cabin (single, inner) was very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I'd wanted to see Shetland for ages. Embarkation was extremely smooth and fuss free, as was disembarkation a week later. I thought Columbus was really beautiful. My cabin (single, inner) was very nice indeed; clean, comfy and very roomy, there were twin beds and plenty of room for two. I usually ate in the buffet because I prefer not to take too long over meals, especially being solo. I thoroughly enjoyed the talks from the antiques experts. I hadn't expected to like the evening entertainments because it's not usually my thing, but the ones I went to were excellent, especially the last night's version of Queen music. Cabin service was very good indeed, my cabin was always in tip top condition. I enjoyed all four shore excursions, although I think they are a bit pricey. Some people do their own thing but it's harder on your own. I really only have three very small caveats. One is the price of the photos you get taken the whole time. I know there's no obligation to buy them, but what a waste! Another is the almost over-attentiveness of the waiting staff; If I wanted a drink I'd ask! Lastly I wish there had been more than one complimentary tea and coffee station. I only drink tea, and it was four decks and the length of the ship away! Surely there would be room for two or three? Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose the Cruise because we had been on the ship previously as the Star Princess (twice) and the Arcadia. Also the Port of Tilbury is only 4.5 miles from our home. We had not cruised with CMV before and were somewhat wary about the ... Read More
We chose the Cruise because we had been on the ship previously as the Star Princess (twice) and the Arcadia. Also the Port of Tilbury is only 4.5 miles from our home. We had not cruised with CMV before and were somewhat wary about the standards. We booked a junior suite which we booked sometime ago when CMV were offering a BOGOFF. Overall we were pleasantly surprised. The standards were comparable with both Cunard and P & O. The menus perhaps not as varied but more than acceptable. The embarkation and disembarkation procedures were first rate. Prices were more or less in line with the competition, and Hemingways for coffees was a nice feature. I thought that the alternative restaurants - Indian at £14.90 and Grill at £24.90 were over priced. On the last few cruises the alternatives have been $10 (probably has gone up now) however I would have anticipated say £10 and £20 as surcharges. However this will depend on how well they are used. The staff were vet friendly and helpful. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise and I would not hestiate to use CMV again. Bazza Thurrock Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We found embarkation very smooth and easy, from arrival in our car to going on board. I have an intolerence to wheat and cows milk which I had advised them of. A meeting was arranged with the head chef on our second day and every meal ... Read More
We found embarkation very smooth and easy, from arrival in our car to going on board. I have an intolerence to wheat and cows milk which I had advised them of. A meeting was arranged with the head chef on our second day and every meal was tailored to my needs, even desserts were varied. It was my birthday on the first day and as I could not eat the cake a lovely chocolate dessert was produced the next evening. Entertainment was good with a choice of what to do with three bars and a nightclub. The tours were interesting with guides who knew their stuff, especially Donald when we went to Rogie Falls. The Columbus is a lovely ship with a friendly crew, nothing was too much trouble for them. The lectures were interesting and varied. The Jade Spa is overpriced though, I would have used this but can get the same treatments for less at home. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We wanted to see Scotland and this was a fantastic opportunity at a competitive price to get a taste of what it all about and travel in luxury. Getting on and off the ship was first class and well organised,to be honest most of the ... Read More
We wanted to see Scotland and this was a fantastic opportunity at a competitive price to get a taste of what it all about and travel in luxury. Getting on and off the ship was first class and well organised,to be honest most of the issues that were few were caused by guests going to their designated areas too early causing congestion. The ship is not new but very well organised with a multinational crew who are all very helpful and go out off their way to help you, the crew also make sure you are safe and keep you informed of weather conditions, the lifeboat drill was well organised but very slow due to the mature clientele on the ship. The food in all the restaurants was superb, all to a good standard with excellent service and plenty of choice. Entertainment was okay and too a reasonable standard, but certainly not west end standard as described in some reviews. The daily activities were fun and varied and again good for the mature clientele on board. Service, all the staff did a fantastic job and went out of their way to be helpful. Ports and shore excursion's were excellent and good value, well organised with lots of interesting information. We did not travel with children and too be honest I don't think their is enough to keep them entertained, particularly if its too cold to use the outdoor pools. We will be returning again and really enjoyed our experience, we were a little nervous When I read some of the previous reviews , but we had no complaints the team did a great job and are a credit to this beautiful ship. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We arrived at Tilbury expecting embarkation to be something of a shambles (based on previous comments). However, we were pleasantly surprised at how smooth this was. Drove straight up to the gate, offloaded luggage and asked to park ... Read More
We arrived at Tilbury expecting embarkation to be something of a shambles (based on previous comments). However, we were pleasantly surprised at how smooth this was. Drove straight up to the gate, offloaded luggage and asked to park approximately 20 yards in front of the terminal building! I think embarkation is very hit and miss, having spoken with others who were asked to park in the long stay car park and had to be bussed back to the terminal. One big complaint I have about boarding is the total lack of security. At no point were our carry on bags scanned and we were told to walk round the outside of the x-ray scanners! This was the same at both Amsterdam and Antwerp (although at Antwerp they made a show of making us put out bags through a scanner. This proved to be totally ineffective because no one was looking at the screens! Complete waste of time. We could have brought absolutely anything on board and spoke to many people who brought quite large quantities of alcohol on board totally undiscovered. We were more concerned about what else people could have smuggled on board, bearing in mind the heightened security level at the moment. In all, this cruise was more or less what we were expecting for the price we paid. The food in the main buffet is very limited and quite unimaginative. The coffee is good. Food in the dining room better but the service is, again, hit and miss. We chose to take breakfast in the main dining room one morning and out of the 6 people on our table, I was the only one who didn't ask for any change to be made to the dish I ordered. Needless to say, my breakfast was the only one which was wrong! The coffee was cold and we had to ask more than once for a refill. The orange juice tastes watered down and I am still waiting for my toast! The cooked breakfast is exactly the same as that served in the buffet, so no difference in quality at all. The entertainment is pretty dire. The cruise director is unprofessional, scruffy and not funny at all. We walked out half way through a show in the Palladium as it was cringeworthy. The singers in Connexions Bar and Taverners are poor. However, the crew in every bar and elsewhere on the ship were all excellent. There is a large screen over one of the pools which showed various music and promotional videos non stop. There is also music next to the second pool. If you happened to be sitting on the top deck between the two pools the conflicting music was ridiculous. It would be infinitely preferable to have music by one pool and make the other pool a quieter area. At no point were any officers or the Captain visible. This is the first time we have cruises where not one of them showed their face for the whole time and we found it quite odd and not good for customer relations. Disembarkation was OK, although being asked to vacate the cabin by 7 a.m. was very strange indeed. Bearing in mind the price we paid, we still feel that it was good value. However, if I had paid the full list price on CMV's website, I would have been quite unhappy. I think that with Columbus they are trying to compete with P&O but they have a long way to go yet. Finally, the outside windows on every deck were absolutely filthy! Come on CMV - this is poor housekeeping and easily rectified. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
My first ever cruise and I chose a 3 nighter. We had a day in Amsterdam and a day in Antwerp. The ship is just amazing. It is so clean everywhere. We had a room with a view! and a kettle. The room was spotless with plenty of storage ... Read More
My first ever cruise and I chose a 3 nighter. We had a day in Amsterdam and a day in Antwerp. The ship is just amazing. It is so clean everywhere. We had a room with a view! and a kettle. The room was spotless with plenty of storage space. The food was amazing with plenty of choice at every single meal. You can either go to the restaurant and be served or you can go for a buffet. Either are just as good. You can always get a hot drink day or night. The staff are all so friendly and nothing is to much for them. They are all so polite and they never seem to stop. There is plenty to do on board in the evening. There are the bars, the disco and the entertainment. There is a well stocked library, a gym, hairdressers and health centre, not forgetting the shopping. There are two pools and ample chairs and sun loungers to relax in during the day. Even with all the people onboard, it never felt cramped. I thoroughly enjoyed my first cruise and I would go on the Columbus again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We were looking for a no fly cruise to celebrate our friends 60th birthday, don't usually go in August but being a one off this fit the bill, it was just a lovely cruise, cabins were clean and well maintained by our steward, the food ... Read More
We were looking for a no fly cruise to celebrate our friends 60th birthday, don't usually go in August but being a one off this fit the bill, it was just a lovely cruise, cabins were clean and well maintained by our steward, the food was excellent in the Waterfront dining room, didn't feel the need to use the other choice restaurants. The ports of call had enough interest based on the length of time in ports, it certainly didn't disappoint, we were a bit unsure as to what to expect based on some reviews read prior to departure, all the staff worked very hard and a very good team effort from all concerned, the entertainment was decent, some shows were better than others but overall the team did a good job, nice to see the Captain and his crew out and about on the ship and all very friendly, the highlight was Seven steps big band for the entertainment, exceptional talent from all the band. Christopher Gee and Mel Harvey were funny. Female violinist was excellent. The only gripe for me was if you sat up on deck 8 to watch a show in the palladium, anything beyond the front row is very difficult to see anything, the glass and rail is very off-putting, I know the need for Health and safety but there should be better view from up on that deck and the need to clean the glass that you have to watch the show through, but that would be my only issue, Columbus only do a couple of cruises with kids on and this was one of them, overall they were well behaved and respectful of other passengers. The ship felt welcoming and a very good enjoyable cruise, nice mix of cruisers, even the Bay of Biscay was like a mill pond. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
‘Columbus’ sailed to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon from Tilbury on 11th August and whilst I’m sure that there will be those that will find something to moan about, if you cruise with CMV and expect a ‘Cunard’ ... Read More
‘Columbus’ sailed to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon from Tilbury on 11th August and whilst I’m sure that there will be those that will find something to moan about, if you cruise with CMV and expect a ‘Cunard’ standard, then you will be disappointed. I found the whole experience far exceeded my expectations and my previous experiences with P&O. Whilst there was not perfection in all areas, overall, it was excellent and definitely value for money. This was a multi-generational cruise and there will no doubt be those who will complain about there being children on-board. However, this change was advertised over 12 months prior to sailing and there was surely the option to cancel or rebook on another cruise if this was unacceptable. The CMV coach transfer from Victoria was professionally organised and embarkation smooth and efficient with the luggage being delivered by a happy, smiling Cabin Steward within 10 minutes of entering the twin inner cabin on Deck 10. There’s no point in going on a cruise and spending all day in the cabin, so provided it is clean, comfortable and of a reasonable size, that’s acceptable. This inside cabin was just that and a minor problem with the shower was sorted out within 10 minutes after notifying the excellent Cabin Steward, Puta Sukma who replaced the towels and consumables at least twice a day and kept it spotless. It was traditional in style and provided adequate hanging and storage facilities. The Safety Drill on the first evening was well organised, most people realising its importance. The cleaning and maintenance staff worked extremely hard throughout the day and night to maintain the initial impression that it was a clean and well maintained ship. Bar and lounge staff were friendly and attentive, as were the staff in the dining areas. great dining companions on Table 208. The presentation and quality of the food in the Waterfront Restaurant surpassed some fine dining restaurants and an enjoyable 7 course dinner could be taken each evening. If desired, breakfast and lunch could be taken here too. The Plantation Bistro provided variety and convenience for breakfast, lunch, dinner and of course there was the ‘mandatory’ afternoon cream tea and constant access to tea and coffee throughout the day. Breakfast was indeed a time when everyone could find something to satisfy and included fruits, cheese, cold meats, pancakes and of course all the items for a ‘Full English’. The Fusion Restaurant in the evening provided an interesting alternative, at cost, as did The Grill. There was certainly no shortage of food available and you could have breakfast in the cabin if you wished! Not sure when (or if) members of the entertainment team managed to sleep, as they seemed to be constantly hosting, organising, performing or accompanying excursions. As the cruise progressed, so did the standard of the shows culminating with two super offerings on the final two evenings. Themed party evening were organised and during one a demonstration of the making (and consumption) of paella and sangria proved very popular! There were exceptional performances from the dancers, singers Jordana and Angelina, the classical duo of Tatiana and Lana, not forgetting Maria the aerial performer. The Palladium Show Lounge is poorly designed as the safety barrier restricts the view from the circle on Deck 8, so getting a seat downstairs is preferable. The Dome Nightclub was popular and well attended, providing for young and old until the early hours. Some of the quiz session were good and some quite hilarious. And then there was Tony Parkins the Cruise Director…enough said! Berthing in all ports was convenient to the town and complimentary transfers were provided. There was a reasonable selection of shore excursions and sufficient time in each port to do an excursion and have free time. If you prefer to have everything planned / organised, then a shore excursion is the (expensive) answer, but using local transport can be less expensive and gives you flexibility. Comprehensive port information was always provided the evening prior to berthing. Berthing at Lisbon was delayed by 90 minutes due to thick fog, but a modification of the itinerary allowed for passengers to have the same length of time on-shore. In all other ports the ship arrived and departed according to the published schedule. This was a multi-general cruise on a ship that has no specific child-friendly areas or facilities and there were some who were obviously not aware that children would be on board. Admittedly there were some children who could perhaps have been better supervised (by their parents), but they were in the minority and their presence added to the vibrant atmosphere on board. Every day ‘Sailor Sam’ and team managed to organise a tremendous range and variety of activities with few resources for these younger guests and it was delightful to see parents and grandparents getting involved too. Disembarkation at Tilbury was efficient, but seemed very a slow process due to the ship requiring final clearance and all the luggage taken off. Passengers had to leave their cabins by 8am, the luggage having been collected the night before and stored ready for transfer to shore. Express disembarkation for those who wished to carry their own luggage was possible 15 minutes after berthing at 10am, whilst regular disembarkation started at 11:20 and again was smooth and trouble free with, surprisingly, no further Passport or Customs inspections. Had it not been for road closures in London, the return transfer to Victoria would have arrived by noon, as it was, the journey only took just under an hour and a half. Two pools which were almost always in use, large sun decks, hot tubs, quiet areas, the elegant Raffles Bar (and much more) with a constant programme of activities, demonstrations and tours all combined to make this a memorable, eventful and enjoyable two weeks in the sun on calm seas. This was 14 days of sun, fun and superb food. Magnificent ship, enchanting ports, exceptionally hard-working, friendly crew, excellent entertainment team and shows, wide variety of kids activities. None of this would have been possible without the tremendously hard-working staff who didn’t always get it right, but couldn’t be faulted in their efforts to please. Best cruise I've had for years. Magnificent. Well Done to all on 'Columbus'. CMV will certainly have my custom in the future. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We sailed on the Columbus as a middle-aged couple celebrating a belated honeymoon. The Canaries and Madeira cruise offered summertime warmth, great sights, and enough sea days to relax and spend time together. The newly refitted ship was ... Read More
We sailed on the Columbus as a middle-aged couple celebrating a belated honeymoon. The Canaries and Madeira cruise offered summertime warmth, great sights, and enough sea days to relax and spend time together. The newly refitted ship was clean, and bright. This was a voyage with great potential. We arrived in Tilbury, and embarkation went smoothly. We arrived at our cabin and it was spacious and had an above average sized ocean view window. We were on an upper deck, and the views were great. The steward was amazing and learned our names on our first meeting. The reception staff, were wonderful as well. I cannot fault them for the efforts they put forth to make us feel welcomed, and cared for. Now the down side. Cruise and Maritime are experimenting with "Family Friendly" cruises. This is a company wonderfully prepared to serve a niche clientele of a certain age. Many passengers (including us) are loyal to the line, and are repeat cruisers with them. But C & M seemed ill-prepared to deal with children. There was a great offer, £99 per child for a two week cruise. You can't send them in a summer club and feed them for that. There was a stipulation, however, that the ship didn't have regular children's facilities and parents needed to accompany their kids. Accompanying was true for some. Others did not. Children got bored. Their were cases of kids pressing several lift buttons at once and then leaving. The main pools were dominated by "families," relegating the majority of passengers desiring some quiet to the Oasis decks. For the first 7 days even these places of 18+ peace were frequented by kids. The library (wonderful with its overstuffed chairs, and English Club atmosphere) lost its tranquility owing to its position next to the games room. I witnessed two boys spinning in the revolving door then jumping out, leaving a waiter full tray in hand having to wait for it to come to a stop before he could return to his duties. Part of the problem was of the company's own making. Kid-friendly activities included foot ball shoot outs in a stairwell. This, I must imagine, is what gave some kids the impression that this was a suitable place to play. In fact by the end of the second week, a gang of late pre-teens began to loiter in the stairwells. I am not anti youth. I am an educator, and a grand-parent. But as such, I need a break on holiday from "the day job." C & M really has to have a rethink on this one. Either charge a realistic price (even next year's £199 per child is to low) to provided for more youth services, or return to the tried and true adult cruises. If not they risk losing the clientele which built the company. [By the way, this was a topic of much discussion among older passengers, and I even overheard one "family" discussing that they weren't content with the system either as their child felt the whole on board experience was "boring"]. Dining was very good. The Waterfront was well run, and the service excellent. The executive chef and staff were very focused in their dealings with special dietary needs. The waitstaff really took a personal interest in us and our dining enjoyment. Unfortunately, as the cruise continued, more and more of the restaurant staff were shifted to duties on the Buffet. Fair enough, many families were eating there, and service needed to be "where the people are." This did lead to a scarcity of seating, and waits in the buffet at times (though we did stay with the restaurant primarily). The excursion staff were very good, and the planned trips very reasonable in price. In fact, there seemed to be savings to be found by booking with C & M. On some previous cruises with other companies, the seemed to be a mark up for a "captive audience" which does not seem to be the case on he Columbus. If I were to fault the shore side experience at all, it was the access arrangements on Tennerife. Poor communications about shuttle services (daily bulletin did not mention this service under transport), and taxis (which were mentioned), led to frustration. While not C & M's fault, they had said metered taxis would be available. But the taxis only wanted to take full day tour fairs, not short runs. All in all, it was an enjoyable cruise. But, I am now reluctant to take another "family friendly" trip with C & M. I do like the line, and feel a loyalty. I will remain a top choice for adult cruising. Read Less
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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