1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in ... Read More
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in Eidfjord then Flam where we took a train amd saw the most wonderful sights. (Waterfall)Then in Bergan we enjoyed shopping. What was also great was you could go enjoy the days out without losing sight of where the ship was. Everything about this cruise was good from start to finish. The Captain was friendly and chatted to everyone and the food was excellent. From the staff who looked after our room with the gorgous animal (towels) we got every night. It brought a smile each nigh we returned to our room after a night of great entertainment from the great singers amd dancers performing to the comedian who had us in stitches with his jokes and singing. And of coarse not forgetting Ian the magician and cruise director. One of the most friendliest ships from staff to passengers. Will travell again in the not so distant future. Had a blast. Well done cmv. Till next time. Lorraine x Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was perfect. This was my first cruise so I wasn't sure what to expect. I absolutely loved it! I met a lot of very interesting people and we ended up sharing our cruise together - mainly in the bars and restaurants. I was very impressed with the arrangements for solo travellers - the company works hard to make them feel welcome with welcome drinks, lunches, dinners etc...and it worked. It was unnaturally hot for Norway, so the pool area was very busy - I gave Bergen a miss as didn't fancy a tour in 35 degrees. Norway in a Nutshell tour is well worth doing - the views are mind-blowing. Flam railway is great fun! If walking is a bit of an issue (it is for me) - it is quite a walk to the hotel in Voss which the company doesn't warn about. It may depend on where the train from Flam stops though. I probably wouldn't do the tour to the dam again - I would stay in Eidjfiord and have a wander. All the bars are great - I visited every one frequently. The cocktail list is extensive. I chose the premier package that includes tips, drinks, wine etc...and definitely don't regret it. It is great value. The food isn't five star - but neither are we paying for five star. It was fine though - desserts provided much amusement trying to guess what they tasted of. Some people complained that the food should be better - bear in mind, that going to a Michelin restaurant costs around £250 per person upwards and that will manage expectations. My happy place? Sitting at the back of the boat behind the Plantation buffet - having either breakfast or dinner with a beautiful view of the fjords - priceless! I loved it! Already booked another and I got home less than 24 hours ago. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small group and ahead of the crowds. Exceptionally quick and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Staff gave us a friendly welcome. Inner cabin larger than we expected, light, airy, quiet and clean. We’re vegetarians and never had such a varied choice of food: didn’t have the same meal twice for dinner. Waiters attentive. Great drinks packages. Prices around the same as at home rather than inflated. Friendly, efficient staff. Always smiling. I had the hot tub to myself most days! Wish swimming pool was heated though! Could always find somewhere quiet to sit inside and out with good deck space. I particularly appreciated the fact that there wasn’t music playing everywhere. Not really bothered about evening entertainment personally, but others seemed satisfied with it. Showed films on sea days in Palladium. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this ship because I wanted to go to a German Christmas market. Prices were good on board, very clean, staff were excellent and entertainment was brilliant. Food was good with lots of choices. There is only one downfall, the ship in ... Read More
I chose this ship because I wanted to go to a German Christmas market. Prices were good on board, very clean, staff were excellent and entertainment was brilliant. Food was good with lots of choices. There is only one downfall, the ship in parts were too cold. In the buffet style restaurant it was so cold you had to wear your coat to eat. One waiter showed me his hands and they were like ice, little bit inhuman for those working in this restaurant. Everyone was complaining about it. At one stage they had the air conditioning on. We also had to complain about our cabin but were told where the control was and then it started to get warmer. The lifts leave a lot to be desired on the aft side. One lift was stuck on 11 for 2 days so the wait for lifts was not good. Service was excellent in all the bars and restaurants. Food in the waterfront restaurant was beautifully presented and tasty. Food in the buffet restaurant was equally as good and well presented but it was too cold in there to enjoy your food. The breakfast was excellent with lots of choice in both restaurants. There was afternoon tea in the buffet restaurant which was really good. Bar prices were excellent, cocktails for only 4 euros 75. They were delicious. Tea and coffee making facilities in your cabin and there was 24 hour tea and coffee machines in the buffet restaurant. On gala night the waiters did a dance for us which was amazing. In connexions bar there was a duo singing who was fantastic. In the other 2 bars you could enjoy a pianist and violin playing and guitar music. There was a different show every night and they were fantastic. Such talented singers and dancers. Plenty of things going on during the day, quizzes, games, bingo etc The ship is very big and the decor is beautiful. There are 2 shops on board selling duty free. There is no shop to buy sweets, drinks or other essentials. There were excursions available but this involved too much walking. Amsterdam town centre was literally 15 minute walk. In Hamburg the cruise ship laid on shuttle coaches which was an excellent service. Embarkation and disembarkation was so smooth and well ordered. I would definitely go on this cruise ship again but hopefully in summer Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I would highly recommend the 2 night mini cruise to Amsterdam from Tilbury on the Columbus, from start to finish it was stress and hassle free. We had a lovely cabin, the ship it’s self has plenty to keep you busy, lots of bars to choose ... Read More
I would highly recommend the 2 night mini cruise to Amsterdam from Tilbury on the Columbus, from start to finish it was stress and hassle free. We had a lovely cabin, the ship it’s self has plenty to keep you busy, lots of bars to choose from and the food in the waterfront restaurant was brilliant. We had a lovely day in Amsterdam and was back on the ship at 4.30pm. The shows on the ship were great, I couldn’t fault anything, I will definitely be booking every December as a pre birthday / Xmas treat and will take my partner next year too. It was such value for money, go and you won’t be disappointed. The whole experience from start to finish has made me not want to fly abroad anymore unless absolutely necessary, it’s cruising for me and my friends and family now, so book ASAP!!! Be prepared to gain a few pounds. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose this cruise as it was such good value, booked about 8 week's before departure, myself, husband and two friends. Everything ran smoothly from start to finish, dont have a bad word to say about this cruise! Cabin was lovely, we ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was such good value, booked about 8 week's before departure, myself, husband and two friends. Everything ran smoothly from start to finish, dont have a bad word to say about this cruise! Cabin was lovely, we had an outside room on deck 6 which was a nice quiet location. Having tea making facilities and a fridge in the room was very helpful. Food was excellent, both in the buffet and in the main restaurant. Afternoon tea in the buffet is particularly good. Yes it could get busy in there at times but thats to be expected when you are catering for so many passengers. We always managed to get a table in there. Staff were friendly and helpful in all areas of the ship. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and it's not as luxurious as that but for the price paid I didn't expect it to be! Overall, four very happy passengers already looking to book another cruise for next year on Columbus. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and ... Read More
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and Razamataz of some of the modern ships but more of the old time glamour and comfort. They had bars and drinking areas to suit all, from the boisterous to the quiet and relaxing. The food from the buffet to the formal dining rooms was some of the best that we have had on something like sixteen different cruises. The level of cleanliness throughout the ship was something to behold, at busy times they even had full time cleaners stationed in the toilets. On the entertainment front the dancers were outstanding as were the resident singers, unfortunately the specialist acts who were Comedians from a bye gone day on TV did not appeal to us although a lot of the guests enjoyed them. The Captain of the ship was a star in as much as he toured the ship at least once a day and was prepared to talk to anyone even those few who had a complaint. We enjoyed the experience that much that we have signed up for CMV 120 day world cruise on the Columbus in January 2019 Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have time.) But I did see the equipment and was suitably impressed. I was rested and had learned new skills. I had FUN. The food was great,and I was on a very restricted diet. But the catering manager really looked after me.The staff and crew were lovely. Again I felt looked after yet respected. The sanitation rules were quite strict but I felt physically safe to use the handrails and public facilities due to seeing them almost consistently cleaned. Ive even adopted the sanitation procedures at home and my hands and nails have never looked better. As for the enrichment activities.I am now the proud owner of a lovely hand made flower and beautiful pop up card. I could never do anything like this before. The craft centre activies were great.Lovely people teaching and a great social event too. Now to the entertainment.I read in another review that there was only one guest performer.True. But he performed twice on my cruise and both shows were completely different.After seeing him the first time I couldn't wait to see him again. The dancers and singers were fantastic.Im a music teacher (violin and piano)and ex dancer so I really do know what Im talking about.Well trained talented people who were a joy to watch and listen to.Another special mention should go to the band.Excellent musicians. As for the two young female pianist and violinist.Absolutely beautiful.So hardworking and so very talented. The magician Ian who was cruise director was another hardworking and talented man. I hate magicians generally but I thought Ian was very good and was also a lovely approachable person with lots of personality and always made time for anyone. The last time I felt like this about a holiday was in Orlando at the Dusney parks. I felt looked after and valued. i will definitely chose to go with C&M again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Just returned from my first cruise ever. All previous sailing has been on a 49 feet friend's yactht. Vowed that I would never go on a cruise. But always wanted to go to the Baltic including St Petersburg. So a cruise was the best ... Read More
Just returned from my first cruise ever. All previous sailing has been on a 49 feet friend's yactht. Vowed that I would never go on a cruise. But always wanted to go to the Baltic including St Petersburg. So a cruise was the best option, particularly since visa arrangements in Russia were made easy. Must say that some reviews I read were not promising and depressed me. But after a highly efficient boarding procedure at Tilbury, my first impressions of Columbus were most favourable. As a solo (very well catered for with solo events and dedicated solos restaurant tables), we were well looked after. Treated myself to a superior ocean view cabin with tea making facilities/ fridge/ proper window. Food, staff and entertainment were excellent. On board lecturer (Dave Wright) giving lecturers on the Romanovs etc was first rate (shown by the fact that his lectures were packed out). The show team were good and enthusiastic and the pianist and vlolinist ladies first rate. The ship ran like clockwork. Shore excursions well organised and reasonably priced. Bar prices very reasonable. Staff were lovely. The whole experience on and off board was very very positive. The positives outweighed the inevitable negatives a hundred fold. The self service Bistro could get a bit manic at times so necessary to plan the visits. Air conditioning in any establishment not conducive to clear air passages. Some shore excursions (particularly St Petersburg) not helped by several cruise ships being in port at the same time. Would I retur?. Yes, definitely, provided there was a purpose I wanted eg to see specific places or on board activities eg Choral cruise. Thank you CMV. Good luck for your future success. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We took 40 people on the cruise around the British Isles aboard the Columbus. The itinerary was excellent and we managed to get in to every port! Every single person was more than happy with the ship and the destinations . Admittedly, we ... Read More
We took 40 people on the cruise around the British Isles aboard the Columbus. The itinerary was excellent and we managed to get in to every port! Every single person was more than happy with the ship and the destinations . Admittedly, we did have surprisingly good weather which helped but three months later people are still taking about their good experiences. Embarkation was very smooth and efficient, there was no waiting around. We were aboard the ship and the luggage was in our cabins within an hour. The cabins are larger than average with plenty of storage. The shower had plenty of room to move and there was a full length mirror. The ship was clean and well maintained. The staff worked hard to ensure public areas always looked good. All the staff were friendly and helpful. Unlike some of the larger ships staff got to know you and made sure that you were well catered for. There was plenty of choice in both dining rooms. The food was delicious and presented beautifully. The staff were attentive and ensured dietary needs were attended to. The ship has been renovated. The public areas are comfortable with plenty of seating. The evening entertainment was varied and there were quizzes, music and dancing every evening as well as the theatre entertainment. We would most definitely go on another cruise on the Columbus, it was great value for money and bar prices were not inflated. Highly recommend to others. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Background We have had around 40 cruises, mainly on the 'ultra' luxury lines but with the occasional exception such as Celebrity and RCL. We have also had many cruises on the 'premium' lines such as Oceania. Our CMV ... Read More
Background We have had around 40 cruises, mainly on the 'ultra' luxury lines but with the occasional exception such as Celebrity and RCL. We have also had many cruises on the 'premium' lines such as Oceania. Our CMV cruise was suggested by friends and 6 of us cruised together. Cruising with friends definitely increases the 'glass half full' mentality and does, admittedly, make you a little less focused on finding fault! The itinerary (around Britain) was an inspired choice - but then the weather was as good as you are ever likely to get on such a routing. Boarding What a joy to have such a short journey to Tilbury and a remarkably efficient and quick boarding process through a terminal that even had its own charm (a bit like Dover). We arrived at our appointed time and queued for no part of the process - and were warmly greeted in the atrium. Impressive start. First impressions We are used to a variety of ship layouts and facilities. We did a quick scoot around and were quickly impressed by a number of things. The rear staircase is huge and eats a massive amount of space. The rear of the ship is entirely clear of cabins so there are extra small seating areas of varying size according to deck. One accommodates two hot tubs and there is even a bar on one level. Seating is comfortable but with fixed rake sun beds with padded cushions. Lounge / bar areas were large and comfortably furnished and in good order - as was the decor, in general, throughout the ship. The overall impression was of a ship that was surprisingly well maintained for its age / price point and one that was far more spacious than the modern equivalent. Cabin We had chosen a standard outside limited view cabin - and by a process of detailed research chose one that appeared to suffer little obstruction to the view. As it turned out the room was spacious, with the equivalent of what is termed 'walk in wardrobe' by some other lines. The view across the prow of a tender was well worth the saving made - although the downside was the commotion when the tenders were lowered and the fact that there is a crew walkway immediately outside the window! Neither downside left us regretting the choice. There was a multitude of drawers and the bed was comfortable. Linens were adequate only. The plastic bathroom was in OK shape with a spacious shower. The worst thing was a basin tap that was distinctly dodgy but working. Hot water was plentiful. Dining Not since a few trips on Cunard have we had traditional dining. Our pre-arranged table for 6, late dining, was waiting for us and we enjoyed the advantage of a consistent wait team who worked hard to look after us well. The dining room is large but unusually split into smaller parts by tall dividers. Consequently a feeling of a dining hall is avoided. The menu choices across a starter, soup, salad, main, dessert, coffee course were many and varied and there were 'always available' options too. I think most people would say that the quality of the ingredients was largely what you might buy at home. But others would say that the ingredient quality definitely reflects the cruise price point. Two extra cost mains were offered - and we had the surf and turf which was extremely good. We never used the buffet for an evening meal but did for breakfast where the choices were extensive, the egg station well managed and, we felt, never too crowded. To illustrate that we used the same table on the outside terrace for every morning of the cruise. Specialty restaurants were used on no less than five occasions - so good were they. The Indian option uses a section of the buffet restaurant in the evening and is attended by suitably uniformed Indian staff. The food is proper Indian food - a bit limited in choice but terrific quality - using, in part, a tandoori cooker on the pool deck. The desserts were little less than extraordinary and not what we have ever seen in any Indian restaurant outside of India! The Grill restaurant is in a separate room on the pool deck and again offers a high quality experience with a decent range of choices. Meat quality compared to our high quality local butcher. Entertainment We focused on the production shows, performed twice for the two dining sittings. There were a dozen singers and dancers and a live band. The quality of the productions far exceeded expectations although not every music genre performed was to our taste. We tried one of the 'guest' performers one night but it was so woeful we missed all others so cannot comment further. Each bar had its own dedicated musician(s) with all but one being, in our view, excellent quality with consistent enthusiastic performances each night. Lectures There was only one sea day so we had no expectation nor need for an extensive enrichment programme. Just as well as the one lecture we did attend was poor quality in the 'death by power point style'. Ports What made the cruise so enjoyable was the terrific range and variety of ports, most of which we had never visited before. It was a real reminder of how much there is to see on your door step! We had a very different sort of day at every stop - mostly pre-arranged self sorted activities but with two ship excursions which were essentially 'transport only' that facilitated visits to Tresco (Scilly Isles) and Sark (Channel Isles). Both wonderful days. Tendering Several ports were tender ports. With the exception of one day they were managed efficiently with no undue waiting around or bun fights around the embarking areas. Return trips never involved more than 10/15 minutes of waiting. Bars / VIP Package We had invested quite a hefty sum in the all inclusive package - that includes gratuities, water and 50% discounts in special restaurants among a few other things. Bar staff were thick on the ground and there were fewer waits for drinks than we have experienced on all inclusive lines! The staff were friendly to a fault and responded well to our warm and friendly approach. Equally we only waited once in the dining room for wine to appear on time. Drink quality was good but then we steered away from cocktails which might have been less good. Wine quality was poor, We found a decent enough red (Malbec) and a sparkling white but the 'by the glass' white wines were dreadful, really dreadful. However, did we get good value? Yes I believe we did..... Staff Exceeded expectations says it all. As a completely random example, there was routinely someone permanently in the key public toilets at busy times, and there was always stair hand rail cleaning going on, bar staff cleaned every singly scrap of surface at the end each evening, room steward was attentive etc etc. Some staff needed slightly better language (English) skills but with patience we always got there in the end. They came across as a happy cohesive bunch of people. Passengers(!) The huge majority were Brits - lovely people who were focused on having a good time. Formal nights saw a real effort to dress up. You got the feeling that staff were generally being treated in a respectful way by the passengers - something we have seen missing sometimes... Disembarkation This was handled in a really low key way. Nothing was mentioned about it until the night before and even then it was possible to select 'self service' and simply walk of the ship as soon as clearance was given. Lessons for others to learn?! Summary We thoroughly enjoyed our trip on a largely well run ship that is being well maintained. No it is not new / modern but the value for money is remarkable and the concessions necessary to achieve the price are entirely bearable. We would certainly cruise CMV again for the right itinerary. ((Obviously others might disagree but this review reflects our PERSONAL views!) Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We are relatively new to cruising, this was our seventh. After reading some of the reviews we were a little apprehensive. Bu t the ship far exceeded our expectations. We used the long stay car park at Tilbury, very smooth and quick, ... Read More
We are relatively new to cruising, this was our seventh. After reading some of the reviews we were a little apprehensive. Bu t the ship far exceeded our expectations. We used the long stay car park at Tilbury, very smooth and quick, although we arrived early we were processed straight through to the ship. The Columbus is a tremendous ship, very spacious and modern. The cabin ( deck 5 outer) was as good as any we have had, this includes P&O and Celebrity among others. The dining arrangements work very well, we had late sitting, so straight from the early show and in to dinner, then on to the various music venues. The entertainment was superb, led by the brilliant cruise director Ian. Food, out of this world, I don't know what some of the other critics expected, we could not fault this cruise. Our first CMV cruise, definitely not our last. Thank you for a wonderful holiday. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as it was a fair price and it went from Tilbury which is quite near to where we live. Also friends asked us to come with them which made it even more enjoyable. This cruise stopped at Copenhagen(Denmark), ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was a fair price and it went from Tilbury which is quite near to where we live. Also friends asked us to come with them which made it even more enjoyable. This cruise stopped at Copenhagen(Denmark), Warnemunde (Germany), Helsinki (Finland). St. Petersburgh (Russia), Tallin (Estonia), Stockholm (Sweden) and Aarhus (Denmark) We took an organised CMV trip in each place although there are shuttle buses in several places should you wish to go it alone. There was a good variety trips so it was difficult to choose but I think we did well our choices and we were more than satisfied with most. The least liked, but it did what it said, was Copenhagen 'Yours to explore' only because we were just wandering around. The two day comprehensive trip in Russia was absolutely the best. Such a lot was crammed into the two days and we had a very good guide. I find it hard to express the wonder I felt in all the churches, palaces, cathedrals and museums. Breathtakingly beautiful. We have been in magnificent cathedrals in the UK, but nothing as beautiful and elaborate as the palaces, museums and cathedrals in Russia. Also included was a ride on the Metro. Saint Petersburg Metro is one of the deepest metro systems in the world. We had a good cabin on the ship an an excellent cabin steward. Towels and tea/coffee making replaced daily. The food was very good. It was lovely being waited on in the Waterfront restaurant with 5 courses per meal. Of course you could pick your own food and the quantity if you went up to deck 12 to the Plantation restaurant, which we did at breakfast and lunch-time. You could have afternoon tea and cakes and burgers on the deck at lunch time. Food was hot and delicious and plenty of choice. One day there was a barbeque out on deck which was good. Drinks are quite expensive as you would imagine, and if you are a drinker it might be worth getting the package, but we often had the cocktail of the day which was a very pleasant drink. Embarking and disembarking was well organised. We had to be out of our cabin by 07.00 but we didn't actually get off the ship until 11.10 which was a long wait but considering there were 1400 of us it had to be that way. The entertainment was good too. Something different each night. Singing, dancing, magic. I am not a lover of magic, but it was presented in an entertaining way. We also had a laser show. You need to be prompt in the Palladium theatre to get a good seat. Various other activities took place at different times but we didnt take part. I went to art and craft and enjoyed painting and card making on days at sea. It tells you on the daily sheet (which is delivered to your cabin the previous evening) what activities are on where and what time. Also the dress code, bar and dining times, etc. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
A huge ‘thumbs up’ for staff and crew of ‘Columbus’ on the themed ‘Legends of Magic’ Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise that departed on 11th August from Tilbury. Embarkation was smooth and a warm welcome was waiting on ... Read More
A huge ‘thumbs up’ for staff and crew of ‘Columbus’ on the themed ‘Legends of Magic’ Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise that departed on 11th August from Tilbury. Embarkation was smooth and a warm welcome was waiting on board. The inner twin cabin on Deck 10 was spotless and kept that way by the hard-working Svetlana. It was well-proportioned, provided adequate hanging / storage space, effective A/C, TV and the addition of tea/coffee making facilities was a bonus. Prior to departure the Muster Station Drill was well organised and completed quickly a great improvement on my previous experience. The food in the Waterfront Restaurant was very good and sometimes exceptional (Quote from the Cruise Director…You come on as passengers and leave as cargo!) Dining in the Fusions Indian speciality restaurant was definitely an enjoyable experience where flavours and presentation were combined in an imaginative way, resulting in an unforgettable evening. A suggested Dress Code is published every day allowing those who wish to ‘dress for dinner’ the opportunity to do so, although ‘smart casual’ appeared to be acceptable in the Waterfront Restaurant at all times, which annoyed some. There were two ‘formal’ evenings and the Captain’s Cocktail Party and those who had no inclination to ‘dress up’ used the Plantation Bistro. The ‘Columbus’ singers and dancers provided entertaining and enjoyable shows with singer Chloe and dancer Yana offering outstanding performances. Not West End or Broadway standard, but certainly commendable and better than some cruise shows I’ve experienced. Then there were the guest magicians (including Fifth Dimension, John Archer, Nardini and Paul Wilson from BBC’s ‘The Real Hustle’), who were genuinely amazing. What was also impressive was that they were often seen around the ship talking with passengers. This was a Multi-Generational cruise but there were plenty of organised activities for all ages. The entertainments team always seemed to be involved with something outside their normal shows – rehearsing, hosting activities or supervising and escorting excursions. On this particular cruise, I have to commend the parents who too responsibility for their youngsters and I didn’t encounter any children running riot, as noted in some reviews. Embarkation and disembarkation at ports was accomplished smoothly and there was a comprehensive range of shore excursions available, though it has to be said that many could be sourced locally at a lower price. The vast majority of crew and staff were friendly, attentive and exceptionally hard-working though some still need to ‘up their game’ and learn to smile! Some of the male staff in the Taverner’s Pub seemed to make a habit of ignoring passengers. The staff in Connexions were always ‘on the ball’ and in Raffles exceptional (if somewhat slow) service and long conversations were the order of the day. Whilst every cruise and each passenger’s experience is different, the ‘Legends of Magic’ themed Baltic Cities and St. Petersburg Cruise on ‘Columbus’ certainly exceeded my expectations. I will have no hesitation about cruising on ‘Columbus’ in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. Firstly I should say we were blessed with super weather everywhere except Dublin. The three Tender ports were easily accessed and Prince Charles was in one place and Princess Anne in another! Some thought this a plus, others not! The evening food offering in the main restaurant was we thought the best we have experienced on any cruise. Good choice on each course, served promptly by pleasant staff. The quick meal option was like all the others we've had, bit crowded...(and not a chip in sight) .breakfast in main restaurant was not all that well organised... We found evening shows in the main, wonderful entertainment..Some folk seem to expect "exactly to their taste" every evening....That's never going to happen. The only poor performer was the Tenor...the Magician was brilliant, he is also Entertainment Manager...best we've experienced... In the Atrium 3x nightly were a wonderful musical duo pianist and violinist, their performances were superb. The cabin on Deck 10 was large and kept clean. Bit dated I suppose as was the bathroom. But shower was easy to adjust and large enough. My critical comments relate not to the ship but to the cruiseline. We understood we had booked 1st Sitting. We had this in writing. It transpired that dining room has space for 700+ & CMV had told 850 or so they had 1st Sitting so the poor Restaurant Manager was dealing with VERY irate passengers for at least 2 or 3 nights. It was said no sittings were guaranteed! That is totally unacceptable, some folk were diabetic and needed their food and why should they have to eat upstairs. We accepted it, as the irritation could have spoiled things, and as a result on 2nd sitting shared a table with a delightful Swedish couple with whom we got on the with especially well and plan to keep in touch with. But CMV should definitely address this thorny and totally unnecessary issue. The other matter of contention is the thorny one of gratuities ..there is absolutely no reason on earth why these cannot be incorporated into the cruise fare. To adjust the £7 per person per day you go to Reception once you've received interim account, collect a form, and say what you are happy to pay per day which we did. Folk had come from Russia, Sweden, New Zealand, America, and Croatia that we know about to do this cruise which was an interesting fact too .. Finally then a wonderful holiday friendly people lovely ports and the strange thing is far more folk of our acquaintance have asked about it with interest than they ever have about the ones on 'posher ' ships and more exotic locations.... Ps Some folk can moan about ANYTHING - one lady was outraged that her egg was too soft one morning, and another rather nice couple were "very disappointed " there was no choir on board as there had been on their last ship Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Last week my wife and I went on our 1st cruise to the Norwegian fjords and for two walkers thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit apprehensive but no problems it was like having a floating hotel. All 5 of the land days we went ashore 3 off ... Read More
Last week my wife and I went on our 1st cruise to the Norwegian fjords and for two walkers thoroughly enjoyed it. I was a bit apprehensive but no problems it was like having a floating hotel. All 5 of the land days we went ashore 3 off them we did guided walk and the others found our own then did coach trips in the pm. Food and hospitality was 100 % cabin excellent apart from being an inside one which we won't do again nothing wrong with it apart from no natural light.. we were blessed with excellent weather which helped. Highly recommend cruising but I think 8 to 10 days would be our comfort limit. I was worried about the dress code but this wasn't an issue as each day you got a news letter through your door telling you about the next days cruising etc and what the dress code was for the evening, sadly I don't think many people read this as there were always several people (mainly men) not wearing the right attire for the evening meal in the restaurant and I felt that these people should have been refused entry and either go and change or suggested they use the self service restaurant which served the same food. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Everything about this cruise was excellent. We have been on 28 cruises and this was a good one. The food was very good and varied. The service was vey good. The staff were all very efficient and friendly. The cabins were spacious and the ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was excellent. We have been on 28 cruises and this was a good one. The food was very good and varied. The service was vey good. The staff were all very efficient and friendly. The cabins were spacious and the beds were extremely comfortable. The entertainment was varied and the show dancers and singers were very talented. The guest acts were also good except for the tenor who could not hold a note and was consequently flat most of the time. This view was held by all the people we spoke to. We stopped in 10 ports and all were lovely. We only did 2 ships tours, Belfast and Tresco. I had gone on line and booked a taxis that held 7 on Mull. It cost a total of £100. Our table companions came with us. Excellent taxi owner Alan. He took us to places that the ships tour couldn't get to. Tour was three and a half hours long. Don't do it on Skye. Taxis are very expensive. Weather was sunny all the cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
As first time cruisers we wanted to go from Tilbury (a port local to us) and do the British Isles Discovery 12 night cruise, booking direct with CMV (excellent advice and information provided to us by the CMV customer service agent). ... Read More
As first time cruisers we wanted to go from Tilbury (a port local to us) and do the British Isles Discovery 12 night cruise, booking direct with CMV (excellent advice and information provided to us by the CMV customer service agent). Right from the very beginning we could not fault a single thing. Embarking/disembarking was made so easy, effortless and hassle free due to the fantastic organisation by the London Cruise Terminal team and ALL CMV staff checking us in/out. We met some lovely people, enjoyed excellent cuisine throughout the different restaurants onboard (waiter led and self-service alike), the drinks were really varied (brands, etc) and all the staff were a credit to the company. Nothing was ever too much for our cabin steward and he always went that extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction. Waiters, waitresses, bar staff, entertainment staff, ship's crew and officers were second to none - always making sure that we were catered for depending on our needs, tastes and, of course, our safety. We were due to visit St. Peter Port, Guernsey but due to rather high swells, the tender boats could not be used so we were informed that as safety is the captain's priority, we would not be going ashore - those who had booked excursions got refunds and the entertainment team put on extra activities as well as projecting a blockbuster film in the Palladium Lounge. Yes, it is always a pity when certain places can't be visited but if the captain reckons that it's not safe to do so, then so be it.... he has my backing all the time in such circumstances! All in all, l can honestly say that this is the best holiday l have ever had and l would recommend CMV's Columbus without a shadow of a doubt! Congratulations CMV and here's to my cruising with you more and more! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I was impressed with Columbus. It was excellent value for money. Recently refurbished it was not the most glamorous ship I have been on but very comfortable, excellent cabin very spacious, very good food and entertainment. ... Read More
I was impressed with Columbus. It was excellent value for money. Recently refurbished it was not the most glamorous ship I have been on but very comfortable, excellent cabin very spacious, very good food and entertainment. Excellent organisation and choice of trips. Modern and plenty of seating outside and in. Very friendly ship I had read some negative reviews so I was wary but was impressed Friendly staff. Great outdoor screen for watching the World Cup on. The only criticism is that the wine selection was not great. The quality of wine differs from one bar to another and restaurant. I struggled to get a nice Sauvignon wine. Shops on board quite limited. There is no central atrium but the ship has been refurbished well. The staff went the extra mile. The entertainment team worked really hard and there was a good choice of entertainment at night. Great value. I would go again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We were keen to see some places that we had never been and most likely would not otherwise see. Therefore we decided on the Grand British Isles Discovery this time. We had a great time and the only port where we could not get off the ship ... Read More
We were keen to see some places that we had never been and most likely would not otherwise see. Therefore we decided on the Grand British Isles Discovery this time. We had a great time and the only port where we could not get off the ship was St. Peter Port, where some people did manage to get to the island by tender but the sea swells became dangerously high and thus the captain sensibly decided to stop the use of tenders. He did ask a local larger vessel if they might be able to assist but the tides made it impossible to get close enough. To those who complain about missing ports on some cruises I really do believe that the captain us the best judge of suitable sea conditions and not the passengers. A sunny day and calm seas do not always mean all is well. There are currents and changing winds, etch to consider, We had a great time and enjoyed all the ports. The service on the ship was, as usual, excellent. Not one member of staff was ever rude or showed an uncaring attitude, quite the reverse. The staff serving drinks on the pool deck made every effort to serve quickly and always with a really friendly and positive attitude. The cleaning staff, not just the steward looking after our cabin, were all a real credit to CMV. Every one of them that we came across smoked and passed the time of day, etch. The entertainment team were really very good and the new cruise director is an excellent choice by CMV as he witty, keen and informative without being too over the top. Food in bistro excellent choice but evening meals in Waterfront a little disappointing on this cruise on occasion. Waiting staff excellent though and our waitress made a point of telling us we could change any course if we did not like it when it arrived. We opted for second sitting for dinner for the first time, had a great table of 8 and were happy we chose this sitting just because it made a change for us. We never left the dining room later than 10 and that was usually because we were cgatting Really excellent value for money all round, Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Just returned from a 7 night Norwegian Fjords cruise on the Columbus. Had a great time and only after we had sailed did I realise it was also a 70’s cruise. Well, that meant we also had “The Rubettes”, yes the original group who ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night Norwegian Fjords cruise on the Columbus. Had a great time and only after we had sailed did I realise it was also a 70’s cruise. Well, that meant we also had “The Rubettes”, yes the original group who sounded exactly the same as they did originally, not a tribute act and who were absolutely brilliant plus Lynn Paul appearing on board, along with tribute nights by the ship’s theatre company, who were also very good, featuring ABBA and Queen and also appearing was Elvis. So, with that sort of entertainment on top of the spectacular scenery, that really made it memorable. Also, we had Angela Rippon on board as a passenger I think and as she was also in our lifeboat, we knew we would be okay if the ship went down. Also, the weather was superb, calm seas and really warm weather all the way (32 degrees C in Flam - phew!). We had cruised on the Magellan but not been on the Columbus before but found her to be equally as good and not too big, very presentable décor, good comfortable cabins, firm but comfy mattress and very efficient Aircon in the cabin. The food was fine, although, in the buffet, a very limited selection of things to have with your salad and the same each day, although with fine weather and the opportunity to eat outside on deck, it was fairly easy find a table, which was a bonus. The main dining room is not so open plan and more dark wood and “club like” than you usually find, which I particularly liked and the food in general was well up to standard and fairly typical of what you normally get on a cruise. Our only significant criticism is that the breakfast and lunch meal times in the dining room were really short and finished quite early, with breakfast finishing at 9.00 am and lunch at 1.00 pm, so much so that we never made it to either in time. These were small things though and didn’t affect our enjoyment of the cruise. Well done CMV, we’ll be cruising with you again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was my first cruise and first solo holiday, having read previous negative reviews I boarded with nervous anticipation. I travelled to Tilbury Docks via the CMV coach from Victoria which was very well organised. The embarkation ... Read More
This was my first cruise and first solo holiday, having read previous negative reviews I boarded with nervous anticipation. I travelled to Tilbury Docks via the CMV coach from Victoria which was very well organised. The embarkation procedure was very straightforward and quick. The staff on board were extremely welcoming and helpful. Solo travellers are very well cared for and I soon made friends. The food was excellent and very well presented. All dietary needs seem to be catered for but do let them know in advance. The trips were well organised but next time I will probably book them independently. The entertainment was variable. I personally enjoyed the classical pianist with the violinist, they were superb, likewise so were the classical guitarists. The ship was immaculately clean and tidy. There was always enough sunbeds, lovely comfortable ones at the *blunt* end! I would certainly book and travel again on the Columbus. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, ... Read More
Having never cruised with CMV before, we drove toward Tilbury with some trepidation as the car radio warned of congestion on the M25 but as it happened we drove right up to the Terminal with time to spare. I decanted a ton of luggage, The Management and the Mother-out-Law, all of which was immediately gathered up by a lady porter and whisked into the Departure Hall as I drove back to the Long Stay Car Park. Got parked up (squeezed in very tightly) and boarded a nearly empty shuttle bus with only my hand luggage to worry about. The driver didn’t set off until the bus was full to capacity and that turned out to be the longest wait of the day. The embark procedures were very swift and within minutes we were onboard Columbus, located the M-o-Ls cabin on Deck 6 and were delighted to see she’d been upgraded from inside single to outside twin cabin. We then proceeded to deck 10 to locate our billet to find our cases already there. This was probably the quickest most efficient embark in our experience. Well done CMV. Our Cabin was of a reasonable size with large bed and room under for cases. Small tv on window wall, dressing table bearing the tea/coffee facilities which was a pleasant surprise as we thought there would be none, two chairs and a storage unit housing the fridge and space for the provided sun lounger towels. The en suite was accessed from a short corridor at right angles to the main passageway with a large chest of drawers and an open wardrobe. The shower unit was just large enough to avoid bodily contact with the shower curtain, the water was piping hot with good pressure and space for the usual products. For a 29 year old ship – not at all bad and no worse than any other comparable ship. The décor was plain and simple and easy on the eye. Small 4-drawer units either side of the bed provided more than enough storage for us. The cabin was very quiet and vibration free and the air con worked well. Access to the cabin is with your credit card size key which identifies which drinks package you have. We initially needed a stewards help to open the door as there was a slight knack to it and the same with the room safe. This is where the age of the ship shows as the door locks and the safe were pretty ancient and well used. The tv sound was not good – really crackly so we only used the tv for the navigation charts and forward view camera. Also the window was filthy on the outside but was cleaned on the penultimate day. Any other little niggles were sorted out by very obliging steward who said he was known as Oh Oh. The compulsory life boat drill was carried out before we set sail and was actually held under our designated lifeboat – much better than in a crowded theatre like on other lines. We pre-booked the VIP drinks package so set off to put it to the test. We chose VIP as it meant we would always have bottled water in the cabin, small bottles of water on disembarking and specialty teas and coffees. Ordinary tea or coffee isn’t good enough for The Management so she was pleased to be able to order decaff soya lattes or Camomile tea around the ship. Over the course of the week we sampled many excellent cocktails and the gin is Bombay Sapphire but you have to specify this otherwise you’ll get Gordons. Knowing you won’t get a huge bar bill at cruise-end is very liberating but with such reasonable bar prices, a light drinker would not need that package or could opt for a cheaper one. We dined 2nd sitting in the Waterfront Restaurant and found the food generally to be of a higher standard than we were led to believe and the presentation was excellent. Our waiters and drinks servers were lovely friendly guys and very efficient. No complaints at all. Alas the same cannot be said of the breakfast service in the MDR. We tried it on the first morning only and didn’t bother again until the last day. The service was haphazard and slow and the food quality was merely adequate. The only alternative was the smash 'n’grab or Plantation as its called. Food on offer was OK with reasonable variety. A bit crowded on sea days and we couldn’t always get a table at our favourite place - the open aft deck - but this is no different to most other ships we have been on. I don’t do lunch as I usually eat a reasonable breakfast but thought I’d give the afternoon tea a try. This is self-serve and therefore not a patch on say P&O. The sandwiches were pretty dry after being out for a while but tasty enough and there were some pretty colourful looking cakes on display but I resisted the temptation. On one occasion we tried The Grill (£7.50 supp with the VIP package) and it was very good. Huge 10oz Ribeye was superb and after the 3 courses we were very full. It wasn’t quite the sophisticated experience as say on Celebrity but very enjoyable and extraordinarily good value. There is also an Indian cuisine speciality restaurant but we didn’t have time to try that. The staff we met were all very friendly and professional and most of all helpful and keen to please. Mainly from the Asian sub-continent, Burma and E Europeans, they all spoke very good English and were a credit to CMV. The first port of call was Amsterdam. Here I will offer a warning. There was an Amsterdam Tourist office presence in the arrival hall with the usual maps and leaflets. We enquired about a canal cruise and were sold tickets for €20 each for a hop on-hop off trip, and given a map. We were told to pick up the boat at the adjacent canal landing stage. Soon enough a red hop on/off canal boat arrived (in the same livery as the red double decker tour buses you find in many ports) but we and several other people were turned away. We were advised to look for the pale yellow boats with a green band. Soon one such boat arrived – again we were turned away as this was for a pre-booked party. We realized we were in the wrong place and after sheltering from a fierce thunderstorm and wandering many alleys and canal under-passes, eventually found a basin with many boats. We sought out the correct liveried boat only to be told our tickets were not valid and were pointed toward an identical vessel across the basin. The M-o-L is 87 and we were heartily sick of all this traipsing about so returned to Columbus. Infuriatingly the Tourist people had by now de-camped to the next pier to enlighten the hordes descending from the MSC ship that had just docked. I am happy to report that after a full and frank discussion with the manager I got a full refund. After departing Amsterdam the ship felt somehow a little more crowded and it transpired that many new passengers had embarked, mainly Dutch and Germans who stay on after Tilbury as Amsterdam was the next port on the following cruise. Cunning marketing there, CMV! The journey back to the North Sea takes a couple of hours including passage through a large lock. There followed a sea day before arrival at delightful Eidfjord. The tour from there wasn’t cheap but we had a brand new Volvo coach and an excellent guide so probably worth it for a first-timer to Norway. To avoid turning this into a travelogue I will summarise by saying the weather in Norway at the 3 ports of call was fabulous, the scenery was fantastic, the sunsets sublime, the other ports of Flam and Bergen were beautiful, the Flam Railway was very interesting from this rail buff’s point of view and the whole cruise was just a delight. As a 29 year old ship Columbus has seen better days but her pedigree as a former P&O vessel amongst other owners is there to see. The inside areas feel open and spacious especially the 3 deck Atrium and the ambiance is relaxed and uncrowded. Although some of the décor is a little dated, the lighting has been improved in parts but could do with more work in other areas. The adjoining Taverners pub and the Connexions bar are very comfortable and sometimes busy and there are nice coffee bars including Cappuccinos on the Pool Deck serving good coffees and especially good Whittards Teas – all included on VIP but otherwise at modest extra charge. We only visited the Palladium theatre a few times but what we did see was very good and one of the regular performers, Chloe, has the most fantastic singing voice. The cruise theme was The 70’s and turns included The Rubettes and an Elvis impersonator. The last 2 night’s shows were performed in the Atrium so everyone could join in. There were a small number of young children on board and they were mainly to be seen in and around the pools and flocking round the performers at the Atrium shows. Credit to the parents here as they were very well-behaved and I think had a great time. Start em young as they say. The shows were mainly aimed at the British in content, showcasing Beatles songs and Queen songs for example so what the Dutch made of all this is not known. Blessed with such fantastic hot weather and with 2 sea days the pool deck was very busy but you would eventually find a lounger somewhere. Disembarkation was well flagged with leaflets in the cabins asking for cases outside by midnight and colour coded labels distributed. It actually ran ahead of schedule in our situation, everything went smoothly, cases found in the hall, shuttle bus waiting and the car started so all good. All in all a very good cruise, terrific vfm and I’m sure we’ll try CMV again subject to the itinerary. There are some exciting long voyages on their new ship Vasco da Gama coming up so who knows… Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have just returned from the Baltic Cities Cruise on the Columbus and in my view (bearing in mind I am not an experienced cruiser) the cruise was excellent. Calling in at 8 ports and spending two days in St Petersburg. My only ... Read More
We have just returned from the Baltic Cities Cruise on the Columbus and in my view (bearing in mind I am not an experienced cruiser) the cruise was excellent. Calling in at 8 ports and spending two days in St Petersburg. My only criticism is I would have like more time in Stockholm and Helsinki. As for the ship, I thought it was very good. We were upgraded to an outside cabin having paid for an inside cabin on a 241 basis. The cabin was on the Reception Deck (Deck 5), was large, comfortable with good storage for clothes. The shower was hot and powerful. There was a TV and tea and coffee making. The cabin was very quiet, we heard no noise from other cabins The food at dinner was good with a choice of five dishes. The portions were not large but were sufficient. We toured the kitchens which were spotless. We were told that there are 1200 different dishes so none are repeated on any one cruise. We had breakfast in The Plantation Restaurant on Deck 12 which is self service. The was a wide choice of dishes both hot and cold. I can recommend the omelettes which are cooked while you wait. Sometimes it was difficult to find four places together (we were travelling with friends). You could also have afternoon tea here. There are sufficient bars on board (6 or 7). The price of most of the drinks are cheaper than my local. There is generally entertainment in most bars with some very good performers, some not so good, but you have the choice. The young entertainment team had a dodgy start but their shows improved as the weeks went on and became very enjoyable. The theatre is not well laid out with poor sight lines. There are plenty of daily activities an the single travellers (140) on our cruise are well looked after with special meetings. I would have no hesitation in cruising on Columbus again if the right destinations were on offer. Read Less
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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