3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This cruise was very cheap, but it was still unnecessarily disappointing. Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they ... Read More
This cruise was very cheap, but it was still unnecessarily disappointing. Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they could have taken anything on board: weapons, drugs, good manners. The ship: very austere and more like a ferry. Very few comfortable chairs or quiet areas. Some areas - the self-service restaurant, for example - were not kept clean. Dining: very disappointing. The main dining room was unattractive and the food was no more than adequate. The lunch was often perfunctory. The self-service was too small for the many who wanted to avoid the restaurant, and served cheap, unattractive food. In the end, I gave up and used the additional charge restaurants. Both were jolly good, but it felt odd, paying extra for a pleasant experience which should have been the norm. Entertainment: excellent if you enjoyed magic; poor if you did not. There were no lectures. Activities: derisory, and mostly unhosted because, presumably, there were not enough staff members to man them. Little was organised for children. Conseqently, when the weather was poor, they became noisily obvious. Service: friendly. However, there were simply not enough staff members. The library was a disgrace, and had often to be opened by the entertainments manager because others forgot to do their job. Areas around the ship were spoilt by deposited cups and plates which were not cleared away for long periods of time. Ports: excellent. Though only 6 hours in Stockholm was very little. Shore excursions: those in St Petersburg were excellently led and good value. But, 1 The introductory talks were awful; there were often simply members of staff reading off sheets and often knowing nothing about what they were reading out. 2 There were never maps of the ports available on the ship Disembarkation: very poor. Guests had to vacate their cabins by 0700, even though it was known that none could leave the ship until 0900. Consequently, many guests had to stand for two hours. An experience not to be repeated. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The entertainment was terrible the first night they introduced the entertainment staff and they sung a bit then the second day they introduced the shop staff,the photographer,the shore excursion person and the spa lady now I don’t call ... Read More
The entertainment was terrible the first night they introduced the entertainment staff and they sung a bit then the second day they introduced the shop staff,the photographer,the shore excursion person and the spa lady now I don’t call this entertainment the dancers were good but one of the singers was a terrible singer he just worbled and was out of tune, I feel the entertainment was on a very low budget or these so called entertainers are fresh out of college, we Walked out of a couple of shows as they were so bad they had an impressionist which was very good he was on 2 nights ,the food was not to our taste a bit too much a la carte ,the cabins were nice and clean but our keys didn’t work and we had to get them reprogrammed 6 times ,the day we came home we had to vacate our cabin at 7am but the ship didn’t dock until 8ish ,the restaurant for breakfast didn’t open until 6.30 so it was a rush to get breakfast down us then rush back and vacate our room then waiting around all over the ship it was rediculous not very well thought of Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, knowing nothing about CMV before we went. I should have done some research before booking, as I don't think we'd have gone with them if we'd known a bit more about them and the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, knowing nothing about CMV before we went. I should have done some research before booking, as I don't think we'd have gone with them if we'd known a bit more about them and the ship. The embarkation and disembarkation processes were very quick and effiicient, and our cabin (a Junior Suite as we'd been upgraded) was very good, comfortable and clean, with plenty of storage. Beyond that, what can I say? The TV was dreadful - about 14" with 'No Signal' being the most common thing seen on the screen despite us sailing around the UK. The food was very poor, although it did improve as the trip wore on. One evening meal in the main restaurant was especially poor. It was supposed to be a roast lamb meal. We had two small thin strips of lamb, smaller than two rashers of streaky bacon, and half of the strips was fat. A lot of people were complaining about it. There were very few vegetables with any of the meals and when I did request extra all I received was a slice of aubergine and an extra carrot. Hygiene on the ship was very hit and miss. Most of the standing hand sanitisers were empty. Staff stood at the entry to the restaurant and buffet spraying hands as you went in but otherwise no-one bothered. On other ships we've been on the crew have ensured you used the sanitiser when returning from a trip and when entering the main entertainment lounge, but not on Columbus. It was perfectly possible to enter the buffet without being sprayed. Whilst the majority of the crew were pleasant and friendly, there were a large number who looked miserable and slightly surly. Many of the reception staff didn't seem to understand English and were decidedly unhelpful. We encountered quite a few irate passengers who had tried to obtain information from reception and ended up being frustrated. I could go on. Suffice to say we wouldn't travel with CMV again and we certainly won't be recommending them to anyone. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Saw this cruise in the "Daily Mail". Should have been calling at places we had not been to before. Unfortunately for us the 3 places we had wanted to see was cancelled. Four days before getting to The Scilly Isles it was ... Read More
Saw this cruise in the "Daily Mail". Should have been calling at places we had not been to before. Unfortunately for us the 3 places we had wanted to see was cancelled. Four days before getting to The Scilly Isles it was announced over the loudspeaker that due to bad weather it was cancelled. Our friends should have been meeting a relative. When they spoke to the relative they were told that the sea was like a mill pond with clear blue skies and sun. Portree on the Isle of Sky also cancelled, as was Tobermory. We never heard a thing from the Captain unless it was to cancel a port of call. The food was mediocre, the service was atrocious, we used to get into the dining room for 2nd sitting at 8.30pm. We were lucky if we managed to get out for 10.50pm. 70% of the staff was so surly, A month before going on the cruise we received a letter requesting the money for the tips. We always request our tips are taken from the account as we like to tip the people who we think has given the best service. When I telephoned to query this I was told they had to have the money up front before the cruise. £14 a day tips!!!!! All in all a very disappointing cruise. I would not recommend the Columbus or Newmarket Travel. PS. Some Australian people who had done a very long cruise with them said they had many ports cancelled. Due to expensive docking fees. Do not know if that is true? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this round British Isles cruise for the itinerary as it started in Tilbury and we really wanted to see the Isle of Skye, Tobermory and St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. However, due to various dubious reasons we did not call ... Read More
We chose this round British Isles cruise for the itinerary as it started in Tilbury and we really wanted to see the Isle of Skye, Tobermory and St Mary's in the Isles of Scilly. However, due to various dubious reasons we did not call into these 3 ports which ruined the whole trip. I do not trust this cruise company, I think they do things cheaply and they do not tell the truth. The boats are tired and worn and the staff looked really miserable.I would not use this company again and I would not recommend them to anyone else. It should be said that you get what you pay for and this cruise did look good, perhaps too good to be true and it is done on the cheap. The food choice in the buffet at times was inedible and cold, I would recommend the restaurant for lunch and dinner, if you can get in.The entertainment is ok and they do their best, but there is not much to do during the day if you are at sea all day. Since returning I have found many reviews where the boats have not carried out the published itinerary, so I think that is the main problem with this cruise company. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The price was good, but there were a lot of problems. This was our tenth cruise and we won't be travelling with CMV again. Food was adequate but the service was poor, lack of training I think. Organisation of the restaurant was very ... Read More
The price was good, but there were a lot of problems. This was our tenth cruise and we won't be travelling with CMV again. Food was adequate but the service was poor, lack of training I think. Organisation of the restaurant was very hit and miss with timing of opening for breakfast on last morning late. Wrong sitting allocated and this applied to a long queue of us. Theatre seating not well designed, upper level has bar which obscures view. Seats in atrium designed for Giants with extra long legs! We missed three island stops, one due to an electrical fault, one to bad weather, (genuine) and one to bad weather ( rubbish). So we missed the Scilly Isles which was the main attraction for many of us. The only time we heard from the Captain was when he had bad news for us! Disembarkation at Tilbury went very well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
On a 122 night cruise you would expect to have fun, fun fun! No stress, no grief. Smooth sailing! NO! WRONG! First of all, the INTERNET that cost me 50 British pounds barely worked, most of the time cannot connect. A simple task of ... Read More
On a 122 night cruise you would expect to have fun, fun fun! No stress, no grief. Smooth sailing! NO! WRONG! First of all, the INTERNET that cost me 50 British pounds barely worked, most of the time cannot connect. A simple task of checking e-mails was a constant struggle. When it crashed nobody informed us, they just waited everybody to complain. A replacement was given that had the same problem. Columbus should have gotten a better & knowledgeable IT or programmer. Next is ORGANIZATION, seemed people at all level did not know what they were doing! The first two captains of the ship were Ok, introduced themselves to us right away but it took the third one (Illas, I think is the name-go figure why I can't remember his name), two days before we left the ship he showed up to meet us I know other guests met him by paying to have dinner with him!(UNBELIEVABLE!)What did he think of us, third class citizens? He should realize we spent a big whopping $17,000 on this stinking ship! The restaurant manager only spoke, and had concerns toward the Germans. WASHING & DRYING, had to add water in order to really wash the clothes, the dryer did not even had the ability to dry the clothes. One load cost 5 pounds, and if you want to dry your clothes you have to buy tokens for the dryer costing 3 pounds! Don't let me started on the FOOD, how to describe it: AWFUL, HORRIBLE, TERRIBLE! always tasted like Indian food, some might like Indian food but not everybody. All the meat (steak, pork or chicken) were either hard, tough (can't even cut with a knife), salty, or bland! The fish was most of the time half cooked , salty and not fresh at all. Bacon was hard. mexican food Carnitas was cooked with cummin and curry they did not have sour cream. Desserts too sweet.WHY CAN'T COLUMBUS GET A BETTER CHEF? SHORE EXCURSION people disorganized, escorts did their own thing left guess get lost. My cousin and I were given a run around when we requested for a priority disembarkation since we had to catch our flight that same day. Edie(Shore excursion Mgr) was reluctant granting our request.It should be standard practice to let people flying the same day to be let go first! You ask me what I think of my Columbus experience? GO FIGURE. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise because it covered the Christmas and New Year period. We have never cruised at this time of the year before, so we were looking forward to a new and interesting experience. The vessel has had something of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it covered the Christmas and New Year period. We have never cruised at this time of the year before, so we were looking forward to a new and interesting experience. The vessel has had something of a 'makeover', but some of the areas looked and felt very dated. Seating in some lounge areas was so dated and so low, that guests with any kind of mobility issues had problems descending and ascending into and out of them. At the first evening meal, soup was served cold and had to be returned. On other occasions, wrong dishes were served, sometimes with items that, for dietary reasons, had been requested NOT to be served - eg. Lemon slices for a 'non-acidic' guest - and frequently, 30 minutes+ between courses. The entertainment left much to be desired. Whilst the singers, dancers and musicians were quite good, other performers were of a very poor standard. Seating in the theatre is badly designed, with some lower seats behind higher ones! The rear doors are frequently left open, allowing other guests to enter at any time, standing in aisles, passages and, crucially, doorways, blocking exits. Daytime entertainment was very limited, and seemed to lack any organisation. The card room lacked complete sets of both cards and other games. Our final account statements were left in the door handles to our rooms, for everyone to see. No envelope! Nothing marked 'Private'. Visits to the reception desk almost always meant waiting for a line of other complaining passengers to be dealt with. Disembarkation was equally, or even more disorganised, with passengers appearing to be boarding the ship before we had left it! Definitely something we would never choose to do again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise as a treat to get us in the mood for Christmas. The cabin and ship were of a good standard. Food very good. The ship its self was COLD, very cold cabin,problem which was not solved the entire cruise, even worse the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a treat to get us in the mood for Christmas. The cabin and ship were of a good standard. Food very good. The ship its self was COLD, very cold cabin,problem which was not solved the entire cruise, even worse the outside doors were open, obviously to let passengers on and off when in port however there was no extra heating, no hot air blowers and the bars were COLD, the dining areas were COLD you could only eat either end of dining areas with a coat and gloves on, would not book again in the winter. The staff were all friendly and the service was good, such a shame the heating was not improved on because the trip was spoilt. Embarkation was efficient and the two excursions we booked were also good. My husband and I would have booked to cruise again on the Columbus because the ship in general is lovely but this experience has really put us off. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was our 9th Cruise and our second with CMV, the first being on the Marco Polo to Iceland Greenland & Canada and we still rate this as our best ever cruise. The food, service and entertainment were all superb so we were very much ... Read More
This was our 9th Cruise and our second with CMV, the first being on the Marco Polo to Iceland Greenland & Canada and we still rate this as our best ever cruise. The food, service and entertainment were all superb so we were very much looking foward to 46 nights on CMV's new flagship. Regretably, apart from the itinerary this was almost certainly our least enjoyable cruise. The food was poor, there were issues withe service in the MDR and the entertaiment overall was not good. Lot's of passengers complained to the head chef regarding food which no some nights was almost inedible and he blamed it on a restricted budget which did not allow him to purchase the best ingredients. I had read reviews rearding issues with service and assumed that by November these would have been resolved but sadly this was not the case. We often had the feeling that our waiters just wanted us in and out asap. Plates were cleared before everyone had finished, cutlery for one course was put out while the previous course was still being eaten and on one night an attempt was made to serve coffee immediatly after our main course despite the fact we had ordered a sweet and cheese course.Generally there was also something of language issue with some staff from the Indian Subcontinent. The entertainment was also an issue. Overall it was not bad with a very hardworking showteam putting on lot's of shows, but there was a distinct lack of guest entertainers- just two in all for a 46 night cruise and when i challenged the Cruise Director regarding this he confirmed what the chef had said, i.e. that was all his budget would allow him to do, and the two we did have, one was second rate and the other appaling Having had a major re-fit there were some areas which appeared to have been forgotten. The showtheatre in paricular where some of the seating was very shabby and worst of all there were rows of bench seats which are lower that the chairs in front so anyone sitting in these had a very restricted view. I could go on particularly regarding the way in which dining during some very rough weather was handled a bemusing layout in the plantation buffet, what appeared to have been recycled carpet outside "the dome". I was always taught that when launching a new product it is essential to get it right first time as you may not get a second chance and CMV will have to work very hard to persuade me to book another cruise. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
chose this on offer - buy one get one free. Poor start - not the cruise company fault - weather in Thames estuary prevented ship from docking until after we were supposed to leave. Ship and cabin very clean - cabin steward did an ... Read More
chose this on offer - buy one get one free. Poor start - not the cruise company fault - weather in Thames estuary prevented ship from docking until after we were supposed to leave. Ship and cabin very clean - cabin steward did an excellent job. Menu - poor. Curry every night. Vegetarian omlette cooked in the same pan as a ham one - could do better. Choice of eating places no where as good as a Thomson ship. NO ICE CREAM Made a comment about the content of a ship based shore excursion and was called a liar in as many words, till her colleague corrected her. Refused to give me a copy of the remarks she said she would forward to head office. Entertainment. Two nights will no show - an ancient comedien instead., and two other nights a magician instead of a show. Not good enough. Cruise director only seen now and again, and the 'talent' of the singers poor and lacking. Dancer however and the violinist were superb. Gratuities were added to your account but we opted out - my husband worked it out - 1500 passengers over two weeks would have netted the company 100,000 pounds. Ten trips would have netted the a million pounds - no way were the crew being paid that amount in tips, so we opted out and rewarded who we thought deserved to be tipped WILL NEVER CRUISE WITH THEM AGAIN Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Wheelchair assistance was requested but only one person was giving assistance so after a VERY long wait I had to walk on board with assistance from my husband. ONE PERSON WAITED FOR OVER 2 HOURS. The cabins are large and comfortable ... Read More
Wheelchair assistance was requested but only one person was giving assistance so after a VERY long wait I had to walk on board with assistance from my husband. ONE PERSON WAITED FOR OVER 2 HOURS. The cabins are large and comfortable with a large TV on which only one channel ever worked. When asked about this reception explained that all the cabins have different channels, most of which were foreign or have no signal. This is an old but rather lovely ship. The staff are friendly and polite but have no idea what is happening or even where things are on the ship. Many of the crew are very new and have difficulty with English. There were over 300 children on board and the ship has no special provision for them so many just ran wild, jumping in pools and breaking things. As there was no nursery provision they stayed up until very late, cried a lot and became very cross. The crew refused to help claiming it was the parent's responsibility and nothing to do with them. The extra numbers on board meant that seating in bars and lounges or on deck was difficult to find. The ship was noisy and crowded. Many elderly people had been told this was a child free ship when they booked. Quiz sessions were a farce as everyone marked their own papers so that four youths who did not even bother to write answers down,regularly claimed victory and won drinks in the evening. The entertainers claimed this is a "friend ship" but this is not enough, a degree of organisation and efficiency is vital. This was the first cruise that they had allowed children on board and it was a disaster. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
As a cruise I have no real complaints and it's not the reason I'm giving the poor overall review. I've been on many Cruises over the years and started off with the now extinct Airtours followed by Thompson Cruises and ... Read More
As a cruise I have no real complaints and it's not the reason I'm giving the poor overall review. I've been on many Cruises over the years and started off with the now extinct Airtours followed by Thompson Cruises and then moved on to P & O and Princess Cruises. It seems Cruise and Maritime have bitten off a little more than they can chew with the Columbus, but I think given time they will improve and be able to offer an amazing Cruising Experience. The refit that the ship underwent seems a little rushed with most of the focus being on the main atrium, Waterfront Restaurant and the Casino, all of which are lovely. My cabin was terrible though if I'm to be perfectly honest and I have added photos and a full review in that section. My waiter was really miserable. I'm not a difficult person by any stretch of the imagination before you think this is the case. He barely cracked a smile the entire trip. The rest of the staff were wonderful, the food was very good and the Captain, despite being a little hard to understand at times (which I'm not going to fault him for, he is Greek after all and English is not his first language) is very competent and friendly. The were a few service issues on some of the evenings The entertainments crew whilst very good are standard issue and nothing sets them apart from any other crew I've seen. But I think Tony Parkins, the Cruise Director is by far the best Cruise Director I've seen as he really gets 'stuck in' with entertaining the passengers and his Spanish lessons were helpful and fun! The daily schedule seemed a bit lacklustre on certain days, with many of the daily activities being un-hosted and little more than suggestions. I'm not cure if CMV blew their entire budget on the refit but the main big screen on deck was used only twice for evening films and both of the films were low budget British made movies. At first I thought perhaps I have been spoiled in the past with P & O and Princess, but then I remembered the 2nd time I was on the MS Carousel with Airtours, they would put a movie on in the show lounge late at night and they wouldn't be low budget movies either. The Palladium Show lounge is beautiful, albeit a terrible, terrible design (yes two 'terribles'). Forget about seeing anything worthwhile from anywhere on the upper floor and any one who posts a review or comment saying otherwise is either 3ft tall and could see under the railing or 8ft tall and sat in the back row, because I'm 6ft and my view was at least partially obscured at the best of times. My advice, get in quick and go downstairs for this to not be an issue. Last but not least, there seemed to be a lot of snagging left to do, which is worrying considering the Ship was launched 10 weeks ago. The most amusing thing I saw was an Exit sign fixed in place the wrong way round on deck 10. This was however fixed before the end of my Cruise. I could go on forever about all the good and bad points, but alas I have a Cabin review to write. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I liked the itinerary. Never tried CMV. Columbus was only a month since an "extensive refit" but you'd never know it: there were so many faults. Access panel missing, doors not closing, electrical fittings hanging off the ... Read More
I liked the itinerary. Never tried CMV. Columbus was only a month since an "extensive refit" but you'd never know it: there were so many faults. Access panel missing, doors not closing, electrical fittings hanging off the wall exposing bare wires, windows almost opaque with paint and dirt. faults in the open air sound system, towels along the bottom of some windows (to mop up leaks?). and lots more. Despite requesting a 6 pm sitting for dinner 8 months before sailing, it was ignored so we ate in the buffet. Not normally a big disadvantage on a cruise ship. The buffet was dire. 60% of it never changed throughout the trip and what was offered was nearer to college canteen than cruise ship buffet. Examples: the only hot vegetables ever offered were a bowl of mixed cauliflower, carrot and cabbage, etc - never a pea in sight and no opportunity to choose, three kinds of Dutch bland cheese (never blue or cream cheese like Brie) and one type of biscuit made up the cheese board, several times the meat offered defied the supplied cutlery, the desserts were all of a similar consistency,laden with sugar tasting of not much else, never ice cream. I could go on but you get the picture. The entertainment failed my "if it was TV would I change channels" test, so mediocre that it was nothing but a channel changer throughout. The front line crew seemed to be mostly Slavs who don't smile easily and have no native grasp of English unlike the Philippinos common on other ships. We were disappointed that two calls in Mull and Skye were abandoned because of predicted sea conditions preventing tendering. Can't blame the weather on the cruise company but I question how practical it is to schedule tendered stops in the North West of Scotland where the weather and sea conditions are frequently poor. Plus points: cheapest cabin was 50% roomier than equivalent Olsen, there were plenty of public spaces so it never appeared crowded even on bad weather days and reasonably priced specialty coffees was available throughout the ship. If you've tried a range of cruise lines, you won't be very happy with this one and it's not even cheap enough to forgive its shortcomings. I sent this review in more detail to Newmarket Travel (CMV) and offered them the chance to comment but they couldn't be bothered to reply. 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing ... Read More
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing for about 2 hours, the cabin steward found it in the end. Not the best cabin that we have had, needs the bathroom updating. 2 comfortable chairs was a bit of a bonus but they were under the TV. There were a few problems with the cabin as detailed in the cabin review section. Evening dinning, good table shared by us and 4 other very nice people right at the back of the ship, so when sailing out of port we had a super view through the windows. Stewards were very good and the service (although very slow on the first night) improved though the cruise. We only saw a little of the entertainment which in the main was good, the young people in the shows worked very hard. The stewards in the public areas were also very hard working and pleasant. We were lucky enough to have a brilliant team with our group and our excursions were pre-planned before we left the UK so we only used the ship's excursions on a couple of days. The best of these was a trip to Sark. A very long day which saw us return to the ship too late for our regular dinner sitting, and as this was a formal night we decided to see if they could find us a table at the second sitting. Previously we had been told that we would have to dine in the Buffet if we were late returning from an excursion, but 4 of us just walked Into the main dinning area and were found a table. Great night glad we did not miss it as it was probably the best dinning night of the whole cruise. For the most the ports along the way were most interesting. The ones where the ship could dock alongside were very good to disembark from, the problems were where a tender was used. What a shambles, and not all the fault of the weather. It was obvious that there were serious tensions between the ship and in one place the outside tender operators, a situation that became very unpleasant at one point. In other ports where the ships own tenders were used, getting on and off was quite a challenge, at one point a member of the crew went overboard in quite a rough swell. I know that this ship had in the previous 4 months sailed around the world so the ship's company had experienced a long time away from home, but the senior members of the crew were probably the most miserable bunch of individuals that I have come across in a very long time. I don't think that I heard the Captain come over the Tannoy once during the whole cruise and at one of the evening events he exuded no enthusiasm at all looking as if he wished he was somewhere else entirely. Some of the staff were most belligerent, when you asked for information they were most dismissive and you were made to feel that you were interrupting them and that they could not be bothered with someone like you. As I have previously said we were very fortunate to be part of a bigger group, and as such we were able to share our views with others in the group. We were able to enjoy the company of like minded travellers. Had we have been on our own I think that cruise would have been quite an unpleasant experience. In conclusion my view is that we put this cruise down as one that will not be repeated with this particular ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table ... Read More
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table of 6 must have sent well over 30 meals back or not eaten in just 70 days.) Not forgetting that when avocado or anchovy appears on the menu! All you get is something from a tube or powdered anchovy??(Dont try and find it on the plate or in the flavour). Secondly the service many of the drinks waiters/waitresses are offhand and rude as were the shore crew. The dining staff are very friendly but lack support to help solve problems when they arise (Fusion restaurant being an exception and very good), the cabin staff are a shining light (along with the little contact you may get with engineering type staff. For the rest the cruise is comfortable with reasonable sized cabins and comfortable beds, not lush, but comfortable. The entertainment team are very good and put on a wide variety of shows that are choreographed on board. Lee Cooper, Holly and the team take a bow. I guess the frustrating thing about this cruise is that it easily could be better, without becoming an expensive overkill. The boat is as big as you need, just fix the food! It’s the only issue that holds me back from booking again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been on many cruises on different lines and this is our first with CMV. We were attracted to this as Columbus was previously Ocean Village which was our first cruise many moons ago and the fact they had a buy one get one free deal. ... Read More
We have been on many cruises on different lines and this is our first with CMV. We were attracted to this as Columbus was previously Ocean Village which was our first cruise many moons ago and the fact they had a buy one get one free deal. Added to this that the day in Amsterdam fell on my birthday, it seemed ideal. To me, it was a cruise of two halves. Night 2 was much better than night 1. EMBARKATION AND FIRST NIGHT We stayed the night before in the Premier Inn Thurrock East which was only a 15-minute drive from the port and a 20-minute walk from Lakeside Shopping Centre. We got to the terminal to park our car at about 12:15pm as we had to leave the hotel by 12pm. We paid for CMV parking but there needs to be more signage to help you get to the car park once you get in the port. We parked the car, got on the bus and got the transfer to the terminal. Even though our check in time was 2:20pm we were able to check in straight away (note: take a pen to complete the health form!) and we were on board by 1pm. We were shown to our cabin (nice touch) and our cabin steward Imade introduced himself. We dropped off our bags and went to lunch in the buffet. The food here was nice and tasty and it was easy to get a table. When we asked for wine, they came in plastic glasses so we had to ask the waitress to change them for glass, which she did eventually. One thing I did notice on CMV that the staff were really friendly and all seemed to enjoy their job. We explored the ship. The lifts are quite old and often buzzed to say there were too many people in them even though there was room which was annoying but being on Reception deck meant that we were close to most things except the buffet. We really liked Raffles bar and the waiter in here was always happy and eager to please but was on his own so took a while to get drinks for everyone. The décor was really nice but they ran out of Baileys within 5 minutes of departure which a few people were not happy about. Drinks prices were really reasonable and strong(!) with a bottle of wine costing between £15-£18 and even when we had a bottle of Chablis in the restaurant this was only £29. The life boat drill took place on the lifeboat deck so wear something warm! They took this very seriously which was good to see. The show was Abba which was a little bit amateur. The singers and dancers were ok but I thought this was a little bit weak. It also took a while to get a drink here. After the show we went to dinner. The restaurant is really nicely decorated and our waiter was very friendly and efficient. We had a table for 6 and the conversation flowed easily. The food on the first night was instantly forgettable and was a bit strange at times (pate without toast, for example) and I hoped it would get better on the next night. We went to the Dome after dinner. It is a nice place to be but the DJ request system was a bit strange with people monopolising the screen. We then went to bed but were woken up a couple of times in the night by, which we late found out, the locks. Nothing CMV could do about this of course. SECOND DAY AND NIGHT Breakfast in the restaurant was mediocre, not very hot, understaffed and with cheap, fatty bacon. I think we probably would have been better going to the buffet. A few people were complaining about cold, stewed tea and cold toast. However, from after this point, it was MUCH better. We were docked pretty much in the centre of Amsterdam and it was an easy walk into town. We had a nice wander around the city, had a leisurely lunch then got back on for afternoon tea in the buffet. They had lovely scones and again we had no problem finding a table but the custard tasted a bit powdery with the dessert. We went to Raffles again (Connexions and the Pub were very busy) and this time they had Baileys and the same waiter was in there being his normal friendly and happy self. The service was much quicker this time as they had more staff in there (perhaps they had feedback from passengers?). We were told there would be one formal night by CMV head office but both were informal which was a bit annoying as we wouldn’t have brought our tuxedos with us had we known. The entertainment the second night was excellent, music of the musicals and this is where the entertainment team came into their own. The singing and dancing just seemed to much better. We learnt from the slow drinks service the first night and brought in our drinks from the bar. The restaurant meal on the second night was also much better. The food was tasty, service excellent and the baked Alaska parade was really entertaining. As it was my birthday, they sang happy birthday to me and gave us all cake which was a nice touch. DISEMBARKATION We arrived in Tilbury 2 hours late which suited us as it meant we would miss rush hour. We also had an announcement in the cabin at 6am to say we could stay in our cabin for an extra 2 hours so we had a nice lie in! We had express disembarkation which was quick and painless, we went straight to the car park bus and were on the road within 45 minutes of arrival. VERDICT Would I go on this ship, or CMV, again? Possibly, depending on the price. Had we had the food and entertainment experience of the second night on both nights I would say a definite yes. I can’t stress enough that the staff and service were excellent and they genuinely looked like they loved working for CMV. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our past memories of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Boarding was very good, fast and efficient. Cabin good. We chose mid ship and it was a very quiet cabin. Lifeboat drill was ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our past memories of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Boarding was very good, fast and efficient. Cabin good. We chose mid ship and it was a very quiet cabin. Lifeboat drill was chaotic to say the least. We were all called to the theatre, checked off and then sent out to the muster point on deck. There chaos ruled. Checking people off again and then proceeded to demonstrate the life jacket ( why couldn’t this have been done in the theatre). We were on 2nd sitting so went to the restaurant after the show. We had to queue initially to wait for the first sitting to clear and then directed to our table. However some very drunk idiot decided to make a spectacle of himself and complain about the wait. Generally the meals were lukewarm which was extremely disappointing. They would have been nice if hot. Our restaurant servers were very nice and efficient but the bars were understaffed and took too many orders on at once. However one bar steward shone in the raffles bar working very hard and friendly. Entertainment was excellent especially Angelina and Lee. As a group the singers weren’t great but when the sang solo they were very good. The dancers were top class also. The solo violinist was excellent also. We enjoyed the excursions apart from the coach on return from Brussels which dropped us quite a bit away from the terminal. Getting on and off the ship for excursions were smooth on the whole. Found the ship to be rather small for our liking so probably wouldn’t go again. Read Less
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0

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