24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Upon arrival at Tilbury for embarkation we were confronted with a two hour wait due to computer problems, not as bad as we thought as we were topped up with some fizzy wine for the duration. upon boarding we were shown to our cabins (Four ... Read More
Upon arrival at Tilbury for embarkation we were confronted with a two hour wait due to computer problems, not as bad as we thought as we were topped up with some fizzy wine for the duration. upon boarding we were shown to our cabins (Four booked for a party of eight) which had more water in them than the two advertised pools, all were flooded and were in the process of being dried out, although they were obviously aware of the problems they still took us to our cabins, strange! We waited at Customer Services for nearly four hours until we were eventually moved after initially being offered alternative accommodation of a lower grade than we had booked, we ended up in an outside cabin on Navigator deck which once again was outdated but entirely adequate. The problems of flooding were quite widespread through out all the cabins a problem rumoured to be caused by the vacuum system used for waste disposal in the toilets, although not confirmed. On board the deck areas quite pleasant but obviously dated due to the age of the ship, both pools and the hot tubs empty with no sign of them being filled although they did mange to fill one pool during the voyage, rubbish not collected and strangely enough a wheelie bin in the pool shower. All staff although suffering from a total lack of training were both pleasant and attentive throughout the cruise. Entertainment was mediocre in the evening and non existent during the day. bar prices reasonable as opposed to other cruise ships. Food being a major problem as most courses were served up luke warm and not as presentable as you would expect more thrown on a plate than presented. Breakfast buffet was a mishmash of undercooked bacon and sausages and trying to get an egg or omelette was a trial in itself as the guy cooking was always going away from his station to report a problem, I actually gave up in the end and settled for the scrambled. Problems with crockery and utensils during busy times in the buffet were also a major grumble for most passengers. On day two we opted for the restaurant for breakfast which was of no better quality and decided to get our own breakfast again the next day at least we choose our own rubbish. Overall a very disappointing Cruise, and will not be using CMV again, I will hasten to add that I contacted CMV upon our return on the 14th and have still not received a reply, so much for Customer service. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I chose a cruise with Cruise and Maritime on the Columbus embarking at London Tilbury . The Columbus is the latest addition to their fleet, indeed on the 11 June 2017 it was the inauguration having had a refit.The cruise was a ... Read More
My wife and I chose a cruise with Cruise and Maritime on the Columbus embarking at London Tilbury . The Columbus is the latest addition to their fleet, indeed on the 11 June 2017 it was the inauguration having had a refit.The cruise was a 3 day cruise going to Amsterdam and Antwerp. We were really looking forward to this short cruise having been before on the Magellan which was very enjoyable. It soon became evident however that there were serious problems with the ship.On approach to our cabin the corridor was flooded.On entering the cabin it seemed very pleasant. On using the toilet I found the toilet did not flush.It was reported 3 times but nothing was rectified.The following morning and already under way the toilet then overflowed and flooded the whole bathroom area.It wasn't until day 2 of the cruise that we were able to use the bathroom facilities.Having spoken to about 16 other people it was discovered that the problem had affected a large amount of cabins. All the food was very bland and tasteless and repairs and painting were being carried out on deck for 2 days.On arrival at Amsterdam there appeared to be little organisation in getting people off the ship.It took us 50 minutes as hundreds were in the queue.A very big thumbs down from me.Will stick with P and O in future. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Decided to try CMV and Columbus as now I am single they seem to offer favourable deals. A taster cruise seemed to hit the mark. This was Columbus inaugural cruise for CMV and whilst I think it has great potential it was a little ... Read More
Decided to try CMV and Columbus as now I am single they seem to offer favourable deals. A taster cruise seemed to hit the mark. This was Columbus inaugural cruise for CMV and whilst I think it has great potential it was a little disappointing. So whilst the rest of this review maybe a little critical if they sort out issues it could be good. I found the ship similar to P&O Oceana in layout (travelled on this in April), where all the essential elements are available on the Promenade deck including show lounge, pub, lounge, shops, restaurant The good points Ships was clean and furnished in a more modern style On Board SPA and Service was excellent Staff were friendly and very approachable Embarkation was timed (11:30) for and was smooth with cabin ready when I got on board Car Parking procedures fine Cabin and Cabin Stewards as good as any Drinks prices were reasonable £4ish for a cocktail The less Good Biggest issue for me was Tepid food in main restaurant for dinners and breakfast, this improved slightly over 3 days. Things not complete, pools, hot tubs, sauna Wine service in dinning room first day appalling, wine arrive with desert No daytime itinerary to speak of (this was not advertised as cruise light) Shows OK but first production show was a little dated Sound on upper level of theatre made it difficult to discern singers words, music too loud for performers. Optional Grill restaurant not open for this cruise or the Chefs table Lack of Cold water pressure on desk 10 No enrichment program Many of my fellow guest suffered from card account registration issues so could get into room but could not buy anything, this led to very long queues in reception most of the time. I Also note that the list of passengers cards not correctly swiping on exit of ship went into 2 pages at both stations. Worthy of a little more explanation In General there needs to be a settling down of procedures, process and staff effectiveness. I imagine that as this is CMV largest and newest ship they had a challenge getting a crew together without stealing too much experience from the other ships. This really showed in the dinning room where things were not going to plan (they did improve over the 3 days). Lack of wine waiters meant the assistant waiter/waitress had to perform that function and their inexperience showed plus the card-swipe mayhem. I did try the fusion Indian restaurant the last evening and whilst the ambience and food were good, service was poor. It simply lacked leadership, staff doing things in the right order. What role each had. When I was there there were only 16 other dinners whom were at least into 2nd course, but I watched my starter being brought from the tandoori oven just on the deck, bought into the restaurant, placed on a preparation (not warmed) area whilst the staff were confused about whom could deliver it to customer. That took 4 mins so was not pipping hot. This was a lack of management but my impression was that the restaurant manager was also inexperienced. If not he would have observed and directed more effectively and with a relatively low number of covers sorted things. So have been on many cruises and many cruise lines (Celebrity, Azamara, P&O, Princess, Fred Olsen, Holland America, NCL, RCCL, Thomson) and had no pretensions about what market position CMV were targeting. Expected a Fred/P&O type experience but this was not achieved. However i will monitor review as I like the ship in general more than I expected and some of CMV intermarries look favourable. I wont rush to book another, but neither will I rule them out. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our fourth cruise with Cruise and Maritime and we have another booked on Astoria (a lovely old ship). We booked this short break as a taster of their newly refurbished flagship and had this been our first cruise with the Company I ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Cruise and Maritime and we have another booked on Astoria (a lovely old ship). We booked this short break as a taster of their newly refurbished flagship and had this been our first cruise with the Company I don't think we would have booked another. A first trip we expected some hiccups and the first one was a computer problem which meant some people couldn't get into their cabins was probably to be expected annoying though it is (I had three cruise cards none of which worked properly). Our main grievance was the food. I have responded to several reviews about the company's catering pointing out that it is always well cooked and with six course dinners etc. how much do you want to eat!! On this occasion the catering was nowhere need the standard of the other ships. In both the restaurant and the buffet they seemed to find keeping food hot too much of a challenge. The service in the restaurant (we only used it once was appalling. The first sitting was at 5.45 and we were there on time and ordered promptly We left at 8.20 having had to return two meals because they were cold. we understand from other passengers that there was little improvement. At the first breakfast we complained that all the so called hot food was cold. Even the plates from the hot plate stands were cold. I think we acted as salesmen for the Company in telling dissatisfied first voyagers that none of this was typical. We have sailed on Marco Polo, Magellan and Astoria and always had a great time. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruises line because it was one we had not done before and the date was perfect for us to have a short break, the ship was the companies flag ship the Columbus ( old Arcadia and ocean village) it was its first trip out with ... Read More
We chose this cruises line because it was one we had not done before and the date was perfect for us to have a short break, the ship was the companies flag ship the Columbus ( old Arcadia and ocean village) it was its first trip out with paying passageners calling at Amsterdam and Antwerp, the embarkation was a joke all sorts of problems, the ship is a long way short of being ready to receive passengers, it was a total farce, we had a balcony cabin which was nice but the cabin steward did not do his job properly and it was never clean, he just tidied up, the cabin had the usual fruit and bottle of wine and on arrival canoppies on the first day nice touch, the new carpets were not fitted properly and the shower room and not been upgraded, dining was a joke we got in to the dining room for 8.30pm second sitting did not get a menu till 8.55 pm and got our main course at 9.45pm it was a total shambles and to top it all the food looked and tasted like Aldi specials not to my taste thankyou, my wife booked a massage and walked out because there are problems with the air con on board and all the rooms were freezing cold, entertainment was poor the worst we have ever seen on a cruise ship and the cruise director we'll all can say about him that is pleasant is he was totally immaturely crap. No English speaking people on board in the staffing department even tho use it is classed a British ship, so communication is poor, top and bottom is don't cruise on this ship it is not ready for sea, and the company need to have a good hard look at themselves Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Embarkation late but this was only the second cruise CMV had done with this ship. The cabin on the upper 10th deck was spacious and bright with plenty of space for clothes etc. Sadly, the toilet stopped working on three separate ... Read More
Embarkation late but this was only the second cruise CMV had done with this ship. The cabin on the upper 10th deck was spacious and bright with plenty of space for clothes etc. Sadly, the toilet stopped working on three separate occasions and a plumber was called. The first two times it was fixed reasonably quickly, but our last night was spent with no working toilet and liaising with reception. I met about twenty people with similar problems to this, some involving flooded cabins. I also witnessed problems with toilets in communal areas. Dining was pleasant in the Waterside Restaurant in the evening. Breakfast and lunch was a bit chaotic and crowded. Scrambled egg and bacon was cold. We enjoyed the entertainment. Service was good on the whole but a little slow. We did two excursions, Norway in a Nutshell was excellent, Ice, Heights and Highlights was terrible and a waste of money. We queued for one and a half hours EACH way for the cable car, didn't have time for the sightseeing and a rushed visit to the Ice Bar. The excursions manager organised a 20% discount for this. As we spent three hours in a queue and missed the sightseeing we were not happy and contacted head office. That was one month ago and still no acknowledgement of letter. One activity we did do independently was the Water Plane. Expensive but worth every penny! There were some very good things about the Cruise but sadly overshadowed by the bad ones. Customer Service is sadly lacking. Not sure if we will cruise again but would not go with CMV. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise based in price and itinerary. This was our first ever cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. The crew, entertainment, food, cabin service were excellent. The enthusiasm of the entertainers was ... Read More
We chose this cruise based in price and itinerary. This was our first ever cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smoothly. The crew, entertainment, food, cabin service were excellent. The enthusiasm of the entertainers was amazing. The shows were so professional. The service in the restaurant could not be faulted and the meals extremely well presented and tasty. The Cabin steward could not do enough to be helpful, the cabin was spacious and the shower of a good size. The ports we called at were lovely and again embarkation and disembarkation were run smoothly. All the waiters in the bars were attentive and professional. The drinks package was good value for money as were the gratuities. The on board entertainment other than the shows was of a good variety to suit all tastes. We were so impressed we have booked another cruise with this company on this ship in 2018. Read Less
32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to celebrate a birthday and this cruise was at the right time and destination was new to us. We have travelled with CMV on a number of occasions and the value for money has impressed. Embarking was a bit chaotic with long ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate a birthday and this cruise was at the right time and destination was new to us. We have travelled with CMV on a number of occasions and the value for money has impressed. Embarking was a bit chaotic with long queues and a fair wait for boarding passes. Our cabin was spacious and reasonably well appointed. The shower was good, hot and strong at all times. But the loos were not good and on more than one occasion it would not flush. Our neighbours had repeated problems with the lack of vacuum and the plumber became a close friend. More seriously a number of cabins on our deck got flooded and dryers were a constant on the trip! Our first breakfast in the Waterfront restaurant was not a good experience with most staff new and still finding their way around the boat. Nothing was hot and service slow. Thereafter we ate breakfast and lunch in the self service plantation buffet where the food was hot. Food in the Waterfront improved as the trip went on and was to a good standard by the time we returned to Tilbury. The shore trips were fine and we certainly enjoyed the views from the boat and from either coach or train. The small villages were very pretty and Bergen was an interesting destination with fabulous views from the head of the funicular railway. There was a wide variety of entertainment on board. Our favourite was Rico who played familiar favourites in his own style on guitar and harmonica. We saw all the shows in the Palladium show lounge and they improved as the week went on. The comedian was an excellent turn. Overall I was pleased with the boat as value for money but the plumbing issue needs to be addressed very quickly and thoroughly as a number of guests all suffered the same problem. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
embarkation and disembarkation very good, but other than that not impressed with CMV I'm afraid. It was advertised as their flagship and we were on the maiden voyage but there were no bells and whistles on this journey. Cabins were ... Read More
embarkation and disembarkation very good, but other than that not impressed with CMV I'm afraid. It was advertised as their flagship and we were on the maiden voyage but there were no bells and whistles on this journey. Cabins were advertised as having hairdryers and tea and coffee making facilities but there were none in the cabins. I asked for a hairdryer and got given an old one with an adaptor plug attached to it, it was well used and the PA test was dated 2010, very bad! Toilets were constantly not flushing and the bed linen was old and 'bobbley'. No wifi on board and when I asked they said they cannot get it. Entertainment was poor and we always love the atrium on ships for atmosphere but there was none on here even on Gala nights. Good points were the restaurant which had been updated and the food was lovely, but the Plantation buffet was too small for the amount of passengers....it was a free for all scrum so we avoided it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have sailed on the Marco Polo several times always at a bargain price and booked and sailed on CMV Colombus on their 2nd trip out to the Fjords this time, again at a very good price so l never compare CMV with the other American ships l ... Read More
I have sailed on the Marco Polo several times always at a bargain price and booked and sailed on CMV Colombus on their 2nd trip out to the Fjords this time, again at a very good price so l never compare CMV with the other American ships l also cruise on but l do expect a functioning toilet and anh problems to be rectified efficiently and professionally ! As it was only Colombus 2nd cruise we were prepared for the hiccups, untrained and new staff, language and communication problems, slow service as l always view its part of the cruising experience. As the ship is quite old our standard cabin was clean , spacious with alot of wardrobe space. Bathroom was dated but very clean. The bed and bedding clean and comfortable. Continental breakfast room service was on time and of a good standard. I found all meals in both the waterfront restaraunt and the self service option again of a good standard for the price l paid for the cruise. The served food was always hot and the afternoon tea selection was worth queuing for. The £17pp per day drinks package is a bargain compared to the RCI cruises and the service was efficient and friendly. The entertainment , day time activities and evening shows were 'average but 'spirited ' but the nightclub singer and the classical duo in one of the bars were exceptionally good enjoyable. The guest speaker was also worth listening to. We booked and went on 2 of CMV excursions and were lucky that the rainy weather didn't affect the wonderful views. Disembarkation for excursions was well organised without having to queue up for 30mins in the stairwell before getting off the ship. From embarkation to half way through the cruise we had no working toilet in the cabin. We went to guest relations on day one and instead of being told it would be fixed we were informed to use the nearest public toilet which was near the casino ! Staff have obvious never heard of the novo virus ! A nightmare as l have mobility problems and it was difficult for me to walk to the toilet by the casino during the night, After 11visits to guest relations and request to see their complaints policy at last resulted in a plumber. Great we thought but no ! The plumber made things worse as the first time we flushed the toilet it over flowed and flooded out the bathroom so now we had no shower, After some strong words at reception they agreed to move us to another cabin despite the usual notice Full so no cabin changes etc are available. The guest relations manager requsted to see us and was embarrassed and apologetic that his staff initial response was to leave the cabin and walk to use another toilet when l obviously have a disability. Currently in communication with CMV for a 50% refund as half the cruise was ruined and the £200 being offerred doesnt reflect the disappointment and hastle we had. Shame as this experience is deterring me from CMV again even at their bargain prices. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This is the 7th cruise company that I travel with and 1st time with CMV. The trouble starts from the minute when you checked in... Even though I've input all info online in advance that info was still wrong (took me as UK citizen ... Read More
This is the 7th cruise company that I travel with and 1st time with CMV. The trouble starts from the minute when you checked in... Even though I've input all info online in advance that info was still wrong (took me as UK citizen instead of US)... And the passenger card was never work when I embark/disembark for the next 7 days.... I think a big part of the horrible experience that we had on this cruise ship was from the crews that are not properly trained and have no authority in taking care of the problems/complaints right on the spot. Out of 700 crew on the ship, maybe only 5% English is their mother language, which still won't bother me too much as long as they understand the guests' requests or complaints but obviously it wasn't the case here. Mainly they put Ukrainian crew to the reception desk which they don't have any authority to correct the billing errors or other adjustment, everything needs to go to "accountant" who in turn was never present at the reception desk.... Anyway, there was simply too many incidents within this week frustrating me and there is no way for me taking CMV again in the future, period.... Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Had an enjoyable cruise. Having read the other reviews I was a little apprehensive, but apart from a few minor problems probably related to lack of staff experience with this ship and some 'shake down' issues from the recent ... Read More
Had an enjoyable cruise. Having read the other reviews I was a little apprehensive, but apart from a few minor problems probably related to lack of staff experience with this ship and some 'shake down' issues from the recent refit, plus a bit of bad weather around the north of Scotland , it was a great cruise. The cabin was more than adequate; very clean, comfortable & everything worked as it should 99% of the time. The food was very good with plenty of choice for all diets. The staff were very helpful & friendly. The various evening entertainments were very good & well attended The drinks, extra food items and the shops were not overpriced. The trips out were good and the places visited were interesting. The talks I attended were excellent and informative. I missed the tour of the galley unfortunately ! It would have been interesting to have a talk about the ship itself, some technical detail and logistics - what happens at each port of call with re-fueling, waste management, resupply etc., or even a look at the engine, bridge etc. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The ship is not quite ready. No air conditioning in the gym made it unusable. The promised launderettes were closed. Food quality was a tad better than school dinners and up there with an average old age home. For example the chef ... Read More
The ship is not quite ready. No air conditioning in the gym made it unusable. The promised launderettes were closed. Food quality was a tad better than school dinners and up there with an average old age home. For example the chef admitted that they knew there was a problem with some ribs--so why serve them ? Oh and did I mention the nightmare facing me and many other drivers finding the car park at Tilbury ? Signage had been put out by a person who clearly did not drive, we went round in circles for 45 minutes . Officers were conspicuous by their absence None of the meet and greet stuff you get elsewhere. It was as if they were keeping out of the way, Staff appeared badly managed two of them admitted to me that they weren't ready . Way over £3K for 9 days is fine if the deal works. It didn't Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruse for both the itinerary and because of great memories from when it was Ocean Village. Due to issues during our cruise we felt that we needed to email Cruise and Maritime and are now putting the email on this site due ... Read More
We chose this cruse for both the itinerary and because of great memories from when it was Ocean Village. Due to issues during our cruise we felt that we needed to email Cruise and Maritime and are now putting the email on this site due to the fact that after twice sending it we have not had even an acknowledgement let alone a response. Our gripe is as below: We have just returned from cruise C704 on Columbus which we enjoyed very much. The food was first class, entertainment was high class and the dining and bar staff were friendly and efficient. The cabin was comfortable, but a little on the drab side as lack of wall pictures. We understood that we should have had tea/coffee making facilities, but there had been no time to include in all cabins. As we chose to convert to a double bed, no light was reachable from one side of the bed which made it awkward and unsafe to access the toilet at night. However the main and major problem was the inefficiency of the vacuum toilet system. We had very little available use of our toilet during the cruise as the vacuum system failed to work for the majority of our time aboard. This meant delays for us getting off the ship each day as we had to find an alternative toilet which again many were out of action. Our friends who were on their first cruise on our recommendation woke up to find their bathroom flooded with water and excrement and we tried to direct an elderly lady with a zimmer frame, who was desperate to find a toilet and was quite distressed. We approached reception on many occasions over the 9 nights, but they did not show much concern, just kept repeating that the engineers were dealing with the problem. We had already spoken to someone from the previous cruise before we boarded that had told us that there had been problems with the toilets on their cruise. Overall the reception staff seemed unfriendly and uncaring. We received no apology from any supervisory position. We would have been happy to accept a small compensation, but we were told that it was not company policy and to complain on the last day! We felt very aggrieved and asked that we not pay the gratuities. As we really felt that this affected unconnected staff we did hand gratuities directly to staff member, but felt that we had to make a statement in some way and we had no alternative method available to us. We feel that you should be aware of these problems as the cruise itself was brilliant, but we heard so many negative comments due to this major problem from fellow passengers swearing never to cruise with your company again. We must admit, we also feel that way too. Our first ever cruise in 2003 was on this ship when it was Ocean Village and therefore it should have been special to us. I hope that you take note of these comments and hopefully the problems will be resolved as soon as possible as we would not like people to go through the discomfort that we did Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Round Uk for Scottish ports especially Ullapool, my grandmother s origin was our reason for the trip, our first CMV out 16 cruises. Lack of information bugged me starting with parking,we unloaded cases at the terminal and were advised to ... Read More
Round Uk for Scottish ports especially Ullapool, my grandmother s origin was our reason for the trip, our first CMV out 16 cruises. Lack of information bugged me starting with parking,we unloaded cases at the terminal and were advised to 'follow the bus ' to park. It was in a yard a mile away in the port area used by cementex road tankers. Bus back. A postcode for it in advance would be helpful. Boarding was ok . Double bed cabin deck 9 was well presented ,steward Nantha great throughout. We were on a waiting list for Strathspey railway tour found the tickets in the cabin. I had been trying to make alternate arrangements luckily not spent money, E mail would have been useful. 1st stop Invergorden all ok. Local guide on the tour excellent.full instructions given on arrival at Aviemore station,ships tour woman then came from back of coach to repeat everything in broken English,spoiling our time there and preventing loo visits ! She also tried to hurry us off the train for no good reason, by this time departure time had moved from 1600 to 2200hrs as the Captain cancelled Ullapool Tobermory and gave extra sea day and Belfast instead because of adverse weather for tenders. In Belfast we watched crew struggle to get a tender back aboard running from below it at one stage. Still at St Peter Port they operated successfully. Although disembarkation in Scilly Isles was a 2 hr wait, local tenders were there ok ,the ship used only one side it may have been a card reader problem. No apologies from our unseen Captain. Also the many very elderly with mobility problems slowed things down considerably, lm late sixties and was one of the youngest! We had trouble with the tv coming on in the night which was sorted also the cabin aircon didn't work,the repair left it on all the time as no spare circuit boards were available, pity the next occupants in Iceland ! Luckily our toilet ,bathroom were fine unlike many especially on deck 6 and public ones. Had to feel sorry for the crew only on board a month and having to deal with it. They were given a party up in the dome one night. Information: I asked at the desk when the 2nd formal night was,no luck. Disembarking can be from various decks. Honfleur was deck 7 first time. We hunted up and down for it, I suggested signs by the lifts as other lines do. Was told listen to announcement . Broken English no doubt there are only 21 Brits in the crew . Finally the comment card drop box it's round the blind corner from enquiry desk when I suggested a sign I was told to ask at Enquiries, that's all 1400 of us ?? Dining was okay apart from bacon being all fat at breakfast,cook said he had sent an Email, I suggested he inspected what came on or change suppliers. The bar areas are good as was the service. We took the £17.50 a day each which was a mistake as you have to pay extra for palatable beer or wine. Tried to cancel it but was just out of the 24 rule! So drank two cocktails a night still didn't get value.Enterttainment was ok but the Captain should do his daily rant between shows as it was he cut off a solo singer and unbeknown to him received a slow hand clap. The ship has just had a 3 week refit and needs more. P&O Australia handed it over in poor condition and CMV survey missed a lot. Funnel smoke was bad and a periodic whining noise from down below especially when docking suggests other problems. It has a further 2 week refit in December before its world cruise. I was told they may cut the ceiling out to the Waterside Restaurant into a storeroom to make a 2 tier restaurant. If that made one sitting the theatre won't cope. Generally the ship is spacious built in 1989 before mega ships, it sailed well in the storm. I might try a Europe 2 night in the future but this was definitely could do a lot better. Read Less
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Inadequate training and indecent haste to commission their new flagship resulted in a disappointing, distressing and almost unbearable experience for many guests on our Round Britain cruise which was due to call at Invergordon, Ullapool, ... Read More
Inadequate training and indecent haste to commission their new flagship resulted in a disappointing, distressing and almost unbearable experience for many guests on our Round Britain cruise which was due to call at Invergordon, Ullapool, Tobermory, Dublin, Scilly, Guernsey and Honfleur. This was Columbus third cruise since being acquired by CMV following a 3 night and a 6 night cruise. This review is not intended to be a moan, but rather to tell it how it was for us in an attempt to help others to decide whether this company is safe to cruise with or offers value for money. Embarkation: Transfer from car park to ship for 1.30 embarkation was well organised by friendly helpful representatives. Registration was efficient with 13 crew members on duty. Although some passengers and their hand luggage were scanned others were instructed to bypass this procedure. This gave us serious cause for concern as potential terrorist activity on board a ship is too dreadful to contemplate. One questions whether large cases were scanned. A good selection of food was available in the buffet. Food was lukewarm but we assumed that this was because it had been on display for a long time. A brief tour of the ship impressed with its spaciousness, bars and lounges, spa, gym, shopping area and pleasant atrium, two tier theatre, and two delightful small deck areas at the stern equipped with very comfortable loungers . Our junior suite had a seating area, comfortable beds, usual amenities, 28 drawers and 6ft open hanging space. The small tv had poor sound and picture quality and there were 2 plug sockets. Fresh fruit and canapes were delivered daily and a bottle of wine was provided. The tv remote was broken, the standard lamp did not work as the cable was simply pushed into a hole in the wall with no cover, the washing line did not extend, the grid which covered the lights around the wash basin was dusty and when this was removed it revealed a revolting accumulation of dust and dirt. Wine glasses were rarely washed and cutlery and plates were not replaced. Some towels were very thin and grey. We did not receive our Breakfast in Bed card until day 3 as our steward told us that these were for lower grades of cabin and that we should order from the additional items menu available for suite passengers which consisted of smoked salmon, omelette and toasted sandwich but no basic items. Eventually he discovered the truth and supplied us with 34 cards. He was very friendly and eager to please but had not received sufficient training. His performance was not being monitored by his superiors or these oversights would have been rectified. We did not want to appear to criticise him by asking for these issues to be corrected. We viewed an inside cabin which was spacious with plenty of storage but no toiletries or kettle. Health and Safety: Lifeboat Drill was a complete shambles lasting 45 minutes. Well before the alarm sounded a crew member knocked on cabin doors telling people to go to the assembly point. No checks were made on entry although this was done at other stations. Four crew members called out cabin numbers for ten minutes in four areas of the extremely crowded room. It was like a cattle market and the noise level made by bored passengers chatting between themselves made it impossible to hear. No one was available to assist passengers who had difficulties with life jackets. We then had to file out onto the adjacent deck placing our hand on the person in front. An estimated 90% of passengers were aged over 70 and as some had limited mobility this took fifteen minutes by which time some passengers were feeling ill due to having to stand for so long. Nothing happened when we stood outside. Information in the cabin regarding operation of the light on the jacket was incorrect. There did not appear to have been any officers on duty at embarkation or at the Lifeboat Drill. One would have expected that with an inexperienced crew it would have been of paramount importance to check that vital safety procedures were being properly conducted. Extremely concerned about how a real emergency would be handled we requested an interview with the ships Safety Officer the following day stating that we had serious safety issues we wished to discuss. We heard nothing that day or the next and on the afternoon of the third day we made another request to the Guest Services host who arranged for us to meet him within 10 minutes. We made our points to the officer who seemed genuinely concerned about the haphazard way in which the drill had been conducted and agreed to urgently revisit the training of the crew and to discuss with the captain the need to file onto the deck. He was horrified to hear that not all guests and their hand luggage had been scanned at the start of the cruise and agreed that in these days of heightened security it is essential that this extremely important procedure is fully implemented. Apart from one line in the first daily information sheet advising passengers to use the hand sanitisers there was no effort to encourage this anywhere on the ship. Well over 50% of passengers who entered the buffet did not sanitise their hands but proceeded to handle tongs, spoons, jugs and drinks dispensers, thus potentially spreading any virus which they may have carried. The most worrying and distressing health concern was the large number of cabins whose toilets stopped working. We met a couple who changed cabins 4 times due to this and another two ladies were without a working toilet for 7 days. Many of the public toilets were also out of order causing considerable problems for many guests. Carpet cleaning and use of blowers in corridors due to flooding was a permanent feature. Itinerary: En route to our first port the captain announced that due to forecast adverse weather it would be unsafe to tender into Ullapool and Tobermory and he would therefore stay longer at Invergordon, have another sea day and call at Belfast. Disappointing but sensible. During the gale force winds the ship was very stable and comfortable. Tender and shuttle operations were controlled by ticket. The tender driver from and to the ship in Guernsey was the Safety Officer. In view of the need to revisit shortfalls in safety and security which we had identified one would have imagined that he could have been better employed. There were no scanners in use when we reboarded the ship at any port. Food: Two restaurants with cover charges: The Grill serving organic meat at 24.90 pp, Indian Fusion at 14.90 pp, The Chefs Table at 49 pp includes drinks, 9 course menu and 3 photos. High tea is served in The Grill at 10. A small room service menu is available offering salad from 6.80, sandwiches from 3.95, burgers at 8.95 etc. A good coffee is available in the Atrium for a small charge. Buffet: Plenty of tables. No trays which meant several trips to obtain courses. Hot food was never hot. Plates were usually cold. Butter was frozen. Breakfast was good apart from bacon which was extremely fatty and flabby. Fried eggs, omelettes and poached eggs were cooked to order. Wide choice at every meal although it was possibly not what one expected. One lunch menu offered roast pork neck, fried tilapia, roast pork belly, bangers sausage, pasta with quorn mince, potato dumplings or chilly gobi. Scones with clotted cream and jam at teatime were excellent. Up to 1400 guests trying to obtain a scone within the one hour time slot during which tea is served created queues. Dinner was similar to lunch with no tablecloths, the usual cutlery wrapped in paper napkins, wine in plastic glasses and thick mugs for hot drinks. Food was removed at 8.30pm on the dot. There were plenty of waiters clearing tables. Windows and revolving doors to the deck were dirty. Dining Room: Sittings at 5.45 and 8.30. Tables were close together and were mainly for 6 or more although there were a few for 4 or 2. The room is sectioned off presumably to create a more intimate atmosphere but we prefer a large open dining room which is less claustrophobic. Tables were not laid with cutlery, but this was provided according to what was ordered. Some waiters asked for your dessert order before the meal and others waited until you had finished your main course. One wonders whether they all went to the same training school. There was always a good choice of food, but it was never hot. Quite often the wrong food arrived, and very often waiters started clearing plates before everyone had finished eating. Seals around windows were degraded, blistered and black. Rain water seeped in, soaking items placed on the sills. Should anyone mourn the passing of the Baked Alaska parade on other cruise lines, they can be assured that it is alive and kicking on C&M, sadly now without the sparklers! The drinks package at 17 per day may have been good value for some. We did not use it and were surprised to find that a glass of cider cost 25% more in the buffet than in the dining room. Was this due to lack of training of wine waiter? Shore excursions: A good variety was offered. In common with most cruise lines they are much more expensive than doing it yourself. A trip to Sark on the regular service cost 49 booked on the ship but 28.65 at the kiosk. Similarly booking Herm on the ship cost 35 but 13 at the kiosk. There is a 20% cancellation fee up to 48 hours before arrival in port and 100% fee within 48 hours. Entertainment: Quizzes were fun with basic general knowledge questions hosted by the friendly production team who ensured a good atmosphere. No deck games. A shuffleboard grid was marked but no equipment was available. On port days no activities were organised between quizzes at 9.30 and 4.00 and the library was only open from 4.00 to 5.00. Live music around the ship from 4pm was very good. Jeff Chandler provided fascinating insights into the Crimean War, Gallipoli and D-day landings. Sight lines in the theatre were poor due to lack of tiering downstairs and a safety rail upstairs which always seemed to be in the way wherever one sat. People constantly moved seats to get a better view. Raising the stage would help. During the presentations noise emanating from the control booth upstairs from crew talking and radio chatter was distracting. The comedian was past his sell by date and after 10 minutes of smutty jokes we left. The Queen Tribute may have been good but the volume was so loud that it was painful to listen to and we left after 5 minutes. The final production show with a classical and operatic theme was excellent in every way. Cruise director Tony Parkin was lacking in social skills and nowhere near the standard we have experienced on ten other cruise lines. His crude joke about genital exercises was not very amusing. Other points to note: This is the only cruise line where cabin numbers are printed on cruise cards. This would seem as foolish as attaching your home address to your house keys. We were asked to vacate cabins by 7.00am on final morning. Disembarkation announcements were only made in the allocated waiting areas. We arrived 30 minutes before our time slot to find that our group had already been called. Announcements requesting missing passengers to contact reception were not broadcast in all areas. On day 3 we were woken at 4.15 am by furniture being moved on the Lido deck above us. At 5.15 it was moved again. The Guest Service manager apologised, said he had already spoken about this before and he had now told them again. Why did he need to tell them twice? We visited reception to request a dvd. This would be dealt with by someone who would deliver it to the cabin. After waiting 3 hours we went down again. A different crew member turned to the drawer behind her where they were kept and handed it to us. No details of films or timings were available on the 5 film channels. The laundrette was not functioning as the slots on all machines needed Australian dollars. Reception could not provide them and suggested using the laundry at a cost of up to 4.10 per item. Apart from at the reception desk almost all the crew were extremely polite, smiling and helpful. They tried their best to do a good job but due to deficiencies in their training or lack of communication and follow up by their managers, their best was not always good enough. We did not see any of the officers around the ship. Cruise and Maritime should have anticipated that the previous owners would have carried out minimal maintenance during the months prior to handover and had a year to build in sufficient time before sailing to carry out a thorough inspection of vital services such as plumbing, allowing time to rectify problems. A deep clean should have been implemented. Some areas could be rated as satisfactory or good but if the unsatisfactory aspects are not typical of the way in which the company operates, we believe that a serious error was made in putting to sea in a ship that was not fit for purpose. After the first two cruises when so many problems came to light, the decent and sensible way forward would have been to cancel all future cruises until the ship was made safe and serviceable by more effective staff training and by ensuring that all areas were operating hygienically, correctly and efficiently. If C&M preferred not to do this they should have warned passengers about the problems which they would undoubtedly encounter and offered them a reduced rate to continue with their booking. The ship has now been operational for 19 days and there are still many functionality and aesthetic snagging issues to be dealt with in addition to the major concerns. Columbus has the potential to offer value for money. It is a pity that the ship was put into service before the problems which we encountered had been addressed. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
On a recent trip to Iceland and northern islands, we were surprised how much this 64,000 ton ship was moved around by Atlantic swells and waves. We were a bit unlucky with the weather. There was excellent entertainment on board with an ... Read More
On a recent trip to Iceland and northern islands, we were surprised how much this 64,000 ton ship was moved around by Atlantic swells and waves. We were a bit unlucky with the weather. There was excellent entertainment on board with an outstanding violinist and also a wonderful soloist, and very good groups. Guest speakers were entertaining and the impressive lounges, bars and other public spaces were top notch, but unfortunately for comfort, varied a lot in temperature. Crew and staff were generally very good. Excursions were well organised. The PA system was easily heard well in most parts of the ship, and the information given was clear and helpful, without being intrusive. Don’t expect a luxurious cabin on this oldish ship. Ours on deck 10 had a poky shower, and there were some nasty plumbing problems on this deck. But otherwise the cabin was adequate with a good size and ample drawers and hanging spaces. The aircon was a little noisy compared with aircon systems on some newer ships. But a good cruise considering the cost. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The Columbus is 28 years old and was formerly with P&O (among others). Now Greek-owned and anything but crisp and ship-shape. Outside cabin, public room and restaurant windows NEVER washed and filthy dirty. An international crew, ... Read More
The Columbus is 28 years old and was formerly with P&O (among others). Now Greek-owned and anything but crisp and ship-shape. Outside cabin, public room and restaurant windows NEVER washed and filthy dirty. An international crew, mostly Eastern European in the higher ranks and Indian/Mauritian doing the grunt work. I was very distressed to discover that the latter are hired on 500 euro a month with the promise that they'll earn "that amount again" in tips, but in actuality the tips never make it down to their lower rungs on the ladder. So whilst it's perhaps OK for the single person travelling abroad to see the world, it's disastrous for the married man on a fixed nine-month contract with NOTHING to send home to a spouse to pay the mortgage or the electricity bill. I have cruised with numerous lines over the past 30 years, but WILL NEVER AGAIN SAIL WITH MCV as long this is the way they treat their staff. The INTERNET (£39 extra) worked for just TWO of the 12 days afloat. The Reception desk mantra: If in port: "Wait until we sail." If on the ocean: "Wait until we dock." For the first time in my long cruising experience, NO CHURCH SERVICES while afloat. Instead, our ship's newspaper gave details of services starting at 11:00 am in the Faroe Islands, apparently ignorant of the fact that the ship was due to dock at 12:30 pm! "Selected wines for the restaurant" tended NOT to be available when asked for. The (useless) Maitre d'hotel simply blamed other departments, the company, anyone he could think of while taking not the slightest responsibility himself. The state of his restaurant's windows was likewise the fault of anyone he could think of . . . other than himself. This "Manager's" head needs to roll, as he's clearly not up to the job. Classical concerts drowned out by shopping centre Musak, not once but night after night. No afternoon films, despite the fact they've got the space to do them, and any cinematic entertainment would be preferable to the pretty awful live shows on offer. IN SHORT, IF YOU'RE PERUSING THIS WITH A VIEW TO BOOKING MCV's COLUMBUS, DON'T EVEN THINK OF IT! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We always had Iceland on our bucket list and enjoyed the destination but sadly not the journey on Columbus Cruise C705 – 29th June to 11th July. The entire trip was to have been the highlight of our year to celebrate my 70th birthday ... Read More
We always had Iceland on our bucket list and enjoyed the destination but sadly not the journey on Columbus Cruise C705 – 29th June to 11th July. The entire trip was to have been the highlight of our year to celebrate my 70th birthday on along with our wedding anniversary but all this was ruined by the serious lack of essential facilities and very poor communication, lack of staff training, preparation and attention to detail. When facilities are listed e.g.:- “For the convenience of our guests on board Columbus, self-service launderettes are positioned on Main Deck 6 and Upper Deck 10. When the weather is fine, there are two heated swimming pools” (The weather was fine but the only person seen in the pool in 12 days was wearing a full wetsuit!) One has a reasonable expectation that these will be available and to have been notified well in advance should this not be the case. The launderettes remained closed and locked throughout and of course we had packed lightly with the expectation of being able to do washing two or three times during the voyage. The Swimming pools and hot tubs were not heated and I estimate the pool temperatures were around 12 degrees. The hot tubs remained roped off throughout. On other ships we have been in pools and hot tubs at 27 to 30 degrees 200 miles inside the Arctic Circle with air temperature at minus 15, so no excuse for this. What made matters worse were the continual lies being fed to us by the reception staff. “The pools would be open tomorrow”, “They are being heated at the moment!”, “We are waiting for parts!”, “They are closed due to local regulations”. We take up to five cruises a year so have plenty of experience and high expectations, however it was our daughters first ever cruise and she was totally unimpressed. Things got worse for her as a vegetarian with a very limited menu, crème caramel containing gelatine appearing on the vegetarian menu in the Waterfront restaurant and ham being found in the special vegetarian sandwiches, which were provided for her in the Plantation Bistro. There were many other shortcomings that were unexpected on a ship that had just been refitted and launched as a “Flagship”. Many passengers were complaining of blocked toilets, our bathroom basin took 5 minutes to drain causing severe delays as we were trying to get ready. I reported this to reception within an hour of boarding and on three further occasions before it was finally fixed on the third day. There were numerous water leaks and wet carpets which were still being cleaned. Efforts were made to satisfy us by changing cabins but to illustrate the incompetence they showed us to a cabin with only two beds, which I politely declined. They also eventually offered us a bag of washing to be laundered for £5, which was a bit of a cheek, and my wife and daughter were offered a dip in the spa hot tub on the very last day. However all this was too late to make amends having paid top prices back in January we still felt extremely let down and I’m certain we were not alone in this respect – we cannot recreate the celebrations as the opportunity has been missed. On the plus side, table service in the restaurant was great although the food was sometimes disappointing but staff tried to go the extra mile. The omelette chef in the Bistro did a great job at breakfast. Our cabin was spacious, well equipped for storage and the beds were comfortable. The entertainment was mostly quite good especially featuring some of the orchestra as soloists in the shows. The violinist who featured quite a lot and also played in the Raffles Bar was amazing. The above points plus rather a lot more were put in a written complaint to CMV's Head of Customer Services as soon as we got home on 12th July that was signed for upon receipt on 14th. So far we have not had a response or even an acknowledgement. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
In July we joined Columbus for a cruise to Iceland which turned out to be the cruise from hell. The problems started on arrival at Tilbury we had taken the coach transfer from Victoria which was delayed and despite being told on the tannoy ... Read More
In July we joined Columbus for a cruise to Iceland which turned out to be the cruise from hell. The problems started on arrival at Tilbury we had taken the coach transfer from Victoria which was delayed and despite being told on the tannoy to proceed directly to check in the cruise director told us to sit down even though there was no queue. Once on the vessel there was no possibility of getting anything to eat between 4:30 and 6:00. The lifeboat drill was managed by the entertainment team with no ships officers anywhere to be seen. Despite CMV pushing the fact they are a “British Cruise Line” the all inclusive drinks package include only a german lager no british beer at all, the bar staff also served cheap spirits which was meant for the cocktails rather than the named brands which were included in the package. The vessel had been refitted after arrival from Australia, one of the main changes was the main dining room which had been split into small areas, with partitions. This meant that to serve food the waiters had to lean over diners, it also meant we could not see the waiters if we wanted to attract their attention. There were many other problems in the MDR on the first night our dining companions could not get any of the first three wines they chose and later the waiter did not know what port was. Breakfast in the MDR was a disaster the menu was very limited, it was almost impossible to get toast and there were no preserves on the table when asked a spoonful was placed on the cold toast. Although at breakfast the food was better in the self service restaurant it was almost impossible to find a seat as people remained at the tables long after finishing their meals. Lunch in the MDR was acceptable despite having the wrong food delivered on a regular basis. Having cruised with other lines, the quality of the entertainment was significantly lower, the dancers were not synchronised and the singer’s voices did not blend together. The vessel has three levels of dress code formal, informal and casual, the informal dress code for men included a jacket however at least half did not wear them and nothing was said about it, on the formal night one man appeared in a jumper and again nothing was said. When we arrived at the ports no announcements were made to advise we could leave the vessel, at Torshavn we were told we had to collect tickets for the free bus to the town, having queued for half an hour to collect tickets everybody was told to go the buses together, when we arrived and looked for our bus we were told to get on the first one and ignore the ticket. The main conclusion was that the cruise and the vessel required better management starting from arrival times at Tilbury on the first day, they did not allow for traffic problems, right to the delays on the coach back to London. As things seem to change a little throughout the cruise it appeared as though CMV were using this cruise as a shake down to learn about the boat and the problems that needed attending to. This was not fair on the passengers who had paid for a normal cruise. The boat has had very little work done on it since the move from Pacific Pearl to Columbus, no work was done on the cabins. There seems to have been little training of a new crew especially with the range of nationalities who clearly had communications problems. There was not enough attention to detail regarding hygiene very little suggestions that we should use the hand sanitisers, it was only later in the cruise that the waiters stood by the door to the MDR with sanitizers. The quality of the food was poor served cool and several times incorrectly. The wine waiter at dinner did not do his job he seemed more interested in clearing plates and serving coffee before the sweet was served. The timetable on the boat is geared towards the first sitting dinner, lunch finishes at 2pm and although there was a tea it served dry sandwiches, variable scones and a couple of cakes during a one hour period, finishing at 4:30pm. There is then 4 hours until late sitting and , if you miss tea there is no opportunity to get included food until 8:30 dinner so it can be 6 ½ hrs between food. This is also true of other special events such as the whiskey tasting event on this cruise, held between 9 and 10 in the evening right in the middle of meal time, also the late night snacks served at 11 in the bars, which sometimes arrived before we did from dinner. If late night snacks can be provided for first sitting or those eating in the bistro why can they not provide pre dinner snacks for second sitting? The Captain and Cruise Director were almost invisible, we heard the Captain with his midday report any time between 11:45 and 12:15 depending on what suited him irrespective of what events may be happening also decided to announce we were leaving Kirkwall whilst the locals were on the dockside entertaining us with dancing and bagpipes. On other vessels the Captain will be seen walking around the vessel chatting to the passengers. We are used to seeing the Captain and senior crew in their whites for formal night, not there brown suits with bow ties. We never saw the Cruise Director before the early show. The bar staff were very good however waitresses should take an order leave it at the bar and go to get the next orders, collect the first one and deliver, they should also be circulating when not actually serving drinks. On returning from the cruise I sent a detailed list of problems to CMV with a list of suggestions on how a lot of the problems could be rectified, it took CMV six weeks to respond and then it was sent to our travel agent who forwarded it, the response acknowledged some of the comments but tried to defend the crew and ship especially the training of the crew. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Reading the previous reviews, I was worried; but have just come back from a cruise to Iceland, Faroes and Orkney (why doesn't the box here allow me to specify that?) and it was very good indeed. Food delicious, varied and well ... Read More
Reading the previous reviews, I was worried; but have just come back from a cruise to Iceland, Faroes and Orkney (why doesn't the box here allow me to specify that?) and it was very good indeed. Food delicious, varied and well presented. Cabin kept in excellent order by staff. No loo problems! Ship constantly cleaned; hand cleansing a constant feature. Drinks, speciality coffee, etc., very reasonably priced. All staff we encountered were efficient, cheerful and helpful. Excursions were good; all non-UK guides were excellent. Only the Orkney guide (from Yorkshire, originally) was hopeless. Ship detoured from Shetland because of high winds and the need to tender at Lerwick. Very good decision by the captain, and excursions arranged on Orkney at short notice. Only let down was the variety of entertainment, which seemed very lowest common denominator. Cruise director rather lacking in imagination (get Wimbledon on that big screen, for heaven's sake!), and equipment for things like bridge and table tennis was poor or lacking entirely. But if you were prepared to make your own entertainment, it was fine. Worst part was other passengers. Rather an elderly crowd, who were surprisingly unfriendly. It could have done with a few cheerful younger people, willing to chat! Given that there was plenty of everything to eat and drink, was surprised at how pushy people were at getting to it! Hard going to have to leave cabin at 7am, but not get off ship till 10am. Crowded public spaces to sit in and wait. Tilbury may, eventually, be a great place to embark.disembark; but it's not that yet. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We thought the relaunch of this PandO ship, which I travelled on many years ago, would provide a different cruise from the normal Med trip. Sadly it was a great disappointment. Despite asking for a twin the cabin was made up as a double. ... Read More
We thought the relaunch of this PandO ship, which I travelled on many years ago, would provide a different cruise from the normal Med trip. Sadly it was a great disappointment. Despite asking for a twin the cabin was made up as a double. On the first sea day bridge was advertised in the new card room. 25 or so lovely new tables and chairs, board games by the dozen, but NO cards or stationery! There was no foreign currency available - difficult as we were visiting the Faroes and Iceland. A huge screen on the pool deck but no one thought to show Wimbledon tennis until a passenger asked for it to be shown. There was not a great choice of activities during the day and the evening quiz - always popular - was at 10 pm so impossible to attend if you were on second sitting dinner. The entertainment team put on some excellent shows and the staff in the restaurant were excellent and attentive. However I don't think I would take another cruise on Columbus unless there are some drastic changes! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise after friends recommended M V Columbus. Had cruised on Marco Polo about 8 years ago and was not very impressed, Columbus is a lovely ship and gave a much better experience. Worst point is the car parking. Expensive ... Read More
Chose this cruise after friends recommended M V Columbus. Had cruised on Marco Polo about 8 years ago and was not very impressed, Columbus is a lovely ship and gave a much better experience. Worst point is the car parking. Expensive at £11 per night, but, the two awful points are (1 The directions to the car park from ship. Baggage handler told us to leave the dock and follow signs. THERE ARE NO SIGNS ! After touring the innards of Port of Tilbury we only found our car park by following the shuttle bus. Only a small fabric sign indicated the facility, the sign was low down and not visible when the endless queue of container lorries blocked our vision (2 The car pask is marked "CEMEX" a industrial cement facility, when we returned to our car it had a filthy layer of cement dust covering it ! After this poor start things improved dramatically. The ship is excellent and has been refitted to a high standard. Staff attentive and good natured. Entertainment on board was of a good standard and variety. The show team in the Palladium Show lounge were excellent. Only marred by the unctious and arrogant cruise director who strolled around with his nose in the air. Food was very good in both restaurants, only spoiled by fellow passengers in the Plantation Bistro many of whom had no awareness of others and regularly elbowed their way to the food. I was pleased with my inside cabin as was others in my party of 9. My friend in cabin No 10109 had to be moved due to a banging noise in the cabin which was handled promptly after a night without sleep. Beverage prices were reasonable (£3.30 for a large beer) Our cruise was to Iceland which is hugely expensive. Even the shuttle bus from ship to town (often free at most ports) was £18 for a journey of around 7 minutes !! The shore excursions were equally expensive. Have booked on Columbus for a future cruise Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, especially Iceland. It was our first time aboard a CMV vessel, and it will be our last. There were many things wrong, some just niggling, but many others more serious so I shall be ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, especially Iceland. It was our first time aboard a CMV vessel, and it will be our last. There were many things wrong, some just niggling, but many others more serious so I shall be completely objective in my assessment and deal with some of the many serious or annoying ones. The overwhelming percentage of staff were incapable of holding a conversation in English, bearing in mind that this is a British-owned ship sailing out of Tilbury, and catering for a British market. I offer two examples. 1. I went to the reception desk (where one expects staff to be fluent) to ask about the duty free allowance. The young lady said "gratuity added to bill". I repeated my question, but she simply repeated her answer. She obviously confused "duty free" with "gratuity". 2. Our Wine Waiter (definitely not a Sommelier) didn't understand when I ordered Wine meaning that I had to point to my selection in the Wine List, which incidentally was described as "extensive", but in fact had a very small selection. The assembly point for Shore Excursions was usually on deck 4, but it was only a tiny area, and provided nowhere near enough space to accommodate all those waiting to disembark. It meant that many passengers were forced to stand on the staircase, and whenever more people arrived by lift, the situation became quite fraught at times even leading to some passengers becoming aggressive with potentially dangerous consequences. The food generally was disappointing, but the service was good. However, there was another example of lack of understanding (or communication) when on one occasion lamb was on the menu. Several people on our table ordered it and when it was served someone asked for mint sauce. This was obviously something the waiter didn't understand and he had to go and consult with others (who knows who) to find out. Eventually, after most of us had nearly finished eating our main course, the waiter came back with a jar, yes a jar, of mint jelly and a spoon. The person who had originally asked about mint sauce patiently explained that this was not mint sauce, and so the waiter went off again. Fortunately at this point our own Waiter intervened and came back with some mint jelly mixed with vinegar on a saucer. Success. A similar thing happened on another occasion when someone asked for mustard and eventually a jar was produced. One thing that we found extremely irritating was intrusive background music. On one occasion we were enjoying a recital of classical music in the "Raffles Bar" by a duo of talented young ladies on piano and violin, but the background music was so intrusive, that the violinist had to interrupt the performance so as to find someone to turn the volume down. The shore excursions, which was our main reason for choosing this cruise, were very expensive, and we discovered later that some passengers had made their own arrangements to effectively replicate the shore excursions at considerably lower cost than the official ones. Many fellow passengers, quite a lot of whom had cruised aboard Marco Polo, or Magellan, were equally disappointed and the consensus was that there needs to be a period of several weeks to train staff and deal with the extensive teething troubles. This ship, although old and showing it, still has potential to succeed, albeit in the budget market. Keith Clement, Cambridgeshire. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because of the BOGOF offer (as did most of the folk we talked to on board). We had cruised once before with CMV 2 years ago and the experience had been a little unsatisfactory, but we thought - ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and because of the BOGOF offer (as did most of the folk we talked to on board). We had cruised once before with CMV 2 years ago and the experience had been a little unsatisfactory, but we thought - new ship to the company, too good an offer to miss, give it a go. We don't regret it entirely, but several 'issues' with the ship made the trip feel like hard work at times. I could repeat most of other reviewers' negative points re attitude of certain staff, especially the tendency to pass the buck - it was always someone else's fault, or the mantra we kept getting (in the dining areas): 'It's coming'.. The main problem we concluded was that many of the crew were insufficiently trained or did not have enough English to understand passenger requests. One thing that requires serious reviewing is the emergency drill procedure, which, as described by other reviewers, was a farce but not at all funny. God forbid they would ever need to put this into action in a real emergency... We found the quality of the food deteriorated progressively after the first few days, sometimes to the level of school dinners. If you can eat anything you'd be fine, but even without my dietary requirements (dairy, sugar and additive-free) we expect high-quality food as part of a good cruise experience. Maybe because we have only gone with Fred Olsen in the past (5 times) and always found the dining experience on their ships to be excellent. Overall, the ship is attractive and has some very pleasantly appointed areas - notably the Taverner's Pub, the Observatory bar and the Library - though a pity the latter is only open for 3 (separate) hours a day. If you like to settle with a book in a secluded quiet corner you will struggle as most of the bars/public lounges play piped music all day. The cabin (superior inside) was very spacious and kept immaculately by our lovely and hardworking steward. We could not fault it - though I struggled with the air-con and became so uncomfortably dried out I had to resort to using my saline eye drops up my nose in order to breathe at night . But we were luckier than many who had to be moved from their cabins due to toilet blockages. The musical entertainment in the bars was quite good - and as an ex music teacher I am critical - but we were disappointed with the show company whose singing we thought generally shouty or 'pitchy'. The backing band were accomplished but I have seen more imaginative choreography and better segue-ing between numbers in many school productions. We were however, delighted that they showed some of the Wimbledon matches on the big outdoor screen on the top deck, since the signal on the cabin tv was frequently intermittent.. The ports in Iceland were all very interesting and scenic - especially Seydisfordour, and the whole day 'Jewels of the North' tour was excellent. The stop at Torshavn in the Faroes was rather disappointing as it was a Sunday but we expected that from previous experiences, like the Lofoten islands in Norway! Overall, I would say that the crew are trying very hard to please, but somewhere in the 'chain' communication within and between departments is lacking. Read Less
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.7

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