32 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We wanted to celebrate a birthday and this cruise was at the right time and destination was new to us. We have travelled with CMV on a number of occasions and the value for money has impressed. Embarking was a bit chaotic with long ... Read More
We wanted to celebrate a birthday and this cruise was at the right time and destination was new to us. We have travelled with CMV on a number of occasions and the value for money has impressed. Embarking was a bit chaotic with long queues and a fair wait for boarding passes. Our cabin was spacious and reasonably well appointed. The shower was good, hot and strong at all times. But the loos were not good and on more than one occasion it would not flush. Our neighbours had repeated problems with the lack of vacuum and the plumber became a close friend. More seriously a number of cabins on our deck got flooded and dryers were a constant on the trip! Our first breakfast in the Waterfront restaurant was not a good experience with most staff new and still finding their way around the boat. Nothing was hot and service slow. Thereafter we ate breakfast and lunch in the self service plantation buffet where the food was hot. Food in the Waterfront improved as the trip went on and was to a good standard by the time we returned to Tilbury. The shore trips were fine and we certainly enjoyed the views from the boat and from either coach or train. The small villages were very pretty and Bergen was an interesting destination with fabulous views from the head of the funicular railway. There was a wide variety of entertainment on board. Our favourite was Rico who played familiar favourites in his own style on guitar and harmonica. We saw all the shows in the Palladium show lounge and they improved as the week went on. The comedian was an excellent turn. Overall I was pleased with the boat as value for money but the plumbing issue needs to be addressed very quickly and thoroughly as a number of guests all suffered the same problem. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
embarkation and disembarkation very good, but other than that not impressed with CMV I'm afraid. It was advertised as their flagship and we were on the maiden voyage but there were no bells and whistles on this journey. Cabins were ... Read More
embarkation and disembarkation very good, but other than that not impressed with CMV I'm afraid. It was advertised as their flagship and we were on the maiden voyage but there were no bells and whistles on this journey. Cabins were advertised as having hairdryers and tea and coffee making facilities but there were none in the cabins. I asked for a hairdryer and got given an old one with an adaptor plug attached to it, it was well used and the PA test was dated 2010, very bad! Toilets were constantly not flushing and the bed linen was old and 'bobbley'. No wifi on board and when I asked they said they cannot get it. Entertainment was poor and we always love the atrium on ships for atmosphere but there was none on here even on Gala nights. Good points were the restaurant which had been updated and the food was lovely, but the Plantation buffet was too small for the amount of passengers....it was a free for all scrum so we avoided it. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
I have sailed on the Marco Polo several times always at a bargain price and booked and sailed on CMV Colombus on their 2nd trip out to the Fjords this time, again at a very good price so l never compare CMV with the other American ships l ... Read More
I have sailed on the Marco Polo several times always at a bargain price and booked and sailed on CMV Colombus on their 2nd trip out to the Fjords this time, again at a very good price so l never compare CMV with the other American ships l also cruise on but l do expect a functioning toilet and anh problems to be rectified efficiently and professionally ! As it was only Colombus 2nd cruise we were prepared for the hiccups, untrained and new staff, language and communication problems, slow service as l always view its part of the cruising experience. As the ship is quite old our standard cabin was clean , spacious with alot of wardrobe space. Bathroom was dated but very clean. The bed and bedding clean and comfortable. Continental breakfast room service was on time and of a good standard. I found all meals in both the waterfront restaraunt and the self service option again of a good standard for the price l paid for the cruise. The served food was always hot and the afternoon tea selection was worth queuing for. The £17pp per day drinks package is a bargain compared to the RCI cruises and the service was efficient and friendly. The entertainment , day time activities and evening shows were 'average but 'spirited ' but the nightclub singer and the classical duo in one of the bars were exceptionally good enjoyable. The guest speaker was also worth listening to. We booked and went on 2 of CMV excursions and were lucky that the rainy weather didn't affect the wonderful views. Disembarkation for excursions was well organised without having to queue up for 30mins in the stairwell before getting off the ship. From embarkation to half way through the cruise we had no working toilet in the cabin. We went to guest relations on day one and instead of being told it would be fixed we were informed to use the nearest public toilet which was near the casino ! Staff have obvious never heard of the novo virus ! A nightmare as l have mobility problems and it was difficult for me to walk to the toilet by the casino during the night, After 11visits to guest relations and request to see their complaints policy at last resulted in a plumber. Great we thought but no ! The plumber made things worse as the first time we flushed the toilet it over flowed and flooded out the bathroom so now we had no shower, After some strong words at reception they agreed to move us to another cabin despite the usual notice Full so no cabin changes etc are available. The guest relations manager requsted to see us and was embarrassed and apologetic that his staff initial response was to leave the cabin and walk to use another toilet when l obviously have a disability. Currently in communication with CMV for a 50% refund as half the cruise was ruined and the £200 being offerred doesnt reflect the disappointment and hastle we had. Shame as this experience is deterring me from CMV again even at their bargain prices. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Decided to try CMV and Columbus as now I am single they seem to offer favourable deals. A taster cruise seemed to hit the mark. This was Columbus inaugural cruise for CMV and whilst I think it has great potential it was a little ... Read More
Decided to try CMV and Columbus as now I am single they seem to offer favourable deals. A taster cruise seemed to hit the mark. This was Columbus inaugural cruise for CMV and whilst I think it has great potential it was a little disappointing. So whilst the rest of this review maybe a little critical if they sort out issues it could be good. I found the ship similar to P&O Oceana in layout (travelled on this in April), where all the essential elements are available on the Promenade deck including show lounge, pub, lounge, shops, restaurant The good points Ships was clean and furnished in a more modern style On Board SPA and Service was excellent Staff were friendly and very approachable Embarkation was timed (11:30) for and was smooth with cabin ready when I got on board Car Parking procedures fine Cabin and Cabin Stewards as good as any Drinks prices were reasonable £4ish for a cocktail The less Good Biggest issue for me was Tepid food in main restaurant for dinners and breakfast, this improved slightly over 3 days. Things not complete, pools, hot tubs, sauna Wine service in dinning room first day appalling, wine arrive with desert No daytime itinerary to speak of (this was not advertised as cruise light) Shows OK but first production show was a little dated Sound on upper level of theatre made it difficult to discern singers words, music too loud for performers. Optional Grill restaurant not open for this cruise or the Chefs table Lack of Cold water pressure on desk 10 No enrichment program Many of my fellow guest suffered from card account registration issues so could get into room but could not buy anything, this led to very long queues in reception most of the time. I Also note that the list of passengers cards not correctly swiping on exit of ship went into 2 pages at both stations. Worthy of a little more explanation In General there needs to be a settling down of procedures, process and staff effectiveness. I imagine that as this is CMV largest and newest ship they had a challenge getting a crew together without stealing too much experience from the other ships. This really showed in the dinning room where things were not going to plan (they did improve over the 3 days). Lack of wine waiters meant the assistant waiter/waitress had to perform that function and their inexperience showed plus the card-swipe mayhem. I did try the fusion Indian restaurant the last evening and whilst the ambience and food were good, service was poor. It simply lacked leadership, staff doing things in the right order. What role each had. When I was there there were only 16 other dinners whom were at least into 2nd course, but I watched my starter being brought from the tandoori oven just on the deck, bought into the restaurant, placed on a preparation (not warmed) area whilst the staff were confused about whom could deliver it to customer. That took 4 mins so was not pipping hot. This was a lack of management but my impression was that the restaurant manager was also inexperienced. If not he would have observed and directed more effectively and with a relatively low number of covers sorted things. So have been on many cruises and many cruise lines (Celebrity, Azamara, P&O, Princess, Fred Olsen, Holland America, NCL, RCCL, Thomson) and had no pretensions about what market position CMV were targeting. Expected a Fred/P&O type experience but this was not achieved. However i will monitor review as I like the ship in general more than I expected and some of CMV intermarries look favourable. I wont rush to book another, but neither will I rule them out. Read Less
22 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
This was our fourth cruise with Cruise and Maritime and we have another booked on Astoria (a lovely old ship). We booked this short break as a taster of their newly refurbished flagship and had this been our first cruise with the Company I ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise with Cruise and Maritime and we have another booked on Astoria (a lovely old ship). We booked this short break as a taster of their newly refurbished flagship and had this been our first cruise with the Company I don't think we would have booked another. A first trip we expected some hiccups and the first one was a computer problem which meant some people couldn't get into their cabins was probably to be expected annoying though it is (I had three cruise cards none of which worked properly). Our main grievance was the food. I have responded to several reviews about the company's catering pointing out that it is always well cooked and with six course dinners etc. how much do you want to eat!! On this occasion the catering was nowhere need the standard of the other ships. In both the restaurant and the buffet they seemed to find keeping food hot too much of a challenge. The service in the restaurant (we only used it once was appalling. The first sitting was at 5.45 and we were there on time and ordered promptly We left at 8.20 having had to return two meals because they were cold. we understand from other passengers that there was little improvement. At the first breakfast we complained that all the so called hot food was cold. Even the plates from the hot plate stands were cold. I think we acted as salesmen for the Company in telling dissatisfied first voyagers that none of this was typical. We have sailed on Marco Polo, Magellan and Astoria and always had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on ... Read More
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on board entertainment, with good shows and smaller singing groups etc. The food in the restaurant is generally good to very good. The breakfast delivered to the cabin was not as good as the previous year as there was very little choice. We didn't eat in the buffet very often as it is very busy and difficult for my husband who has poor mobility. There are a wide range of excursions which include ones with reduced walking. Lovely public areas, attractive bars and seating. Staff all did their best when the ship had to end early. The compensation was generous. We are looking forward to another Norwegian cruise on Columbus next year. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant at peak times. The entertainers were young and personable and the shows were colouful with good dancing routines and songs. There were several knowledgeable speakers who were interesting to listen to during our many sea days. There was a range of daily physical activities and quizzes. There is a small spa area on deck 2 with heated tiled loungers and a steam room. It was too chilly to use the pool but people used the open decked loungers whenever they saw some sun. There were even some open air bbqs on deck. The itinerary was good but disrupted by the cancellation of Gibraltar ( propeller damage from a German pilot on the previous cruise) and the rough seas when at anchor in Funchal. It was disappointing to have to leave Amsterdam at 3 .30 just when the Xmas lights were beginning to shine especially as we had 5 sea days following that port. There were lots tours to select from and some presentations given beforehand. In order to keep costs down we were independent travellers in Funchal, and Lisbon. There was an excellent walking tour with a local guide in Amsterdam. My main issue was the daily Captain’s lunchtime info giving was very difficult to understand because of the language accent and the real lack of communication and leadership when 650 cruise passengers were stranded on the quay at Lisbon when the ship tenders could not attach themselves to the ship in rough seas. People spent hours in the wet, cold and dark either standing on the quayside or huddled in the bouncing tenders really anxious about how they could returnto the ship. The crew were excellent in catching the passengers thrown individually from their tenders but there was a real danger of sickness and injury. Some passengers did not manage to return til very late and the crew had the tricky task of reattaching tenders after midnight in strong winds. A real damper on what was a formal dinner and midnight fireworks in the bay. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem ... Read More
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem with the ship we sailed from Dover and missed Gibraltar as the ship had to go to Tenerife for repairs to one of its propellers. We were given £25 each as compensation for missing Gibraltar. The Ship The Columbus is a mid sized ship and although a bit old was in good condition. As the weather was not good, except in the Canaries, there was no going on deck due to high winds and it was quite cold. That put pressure on the seating situation so at times it was very hard to get somewhere to sit. Inside some of the public places could have been warmer. Most of the passengers were very friendly and we had many a good conversation during our cruise. Apart from Christmas the music played in the public areas was more for teenagers that the older crowd on board. The Cabin We were in cabin 10156 and it was bigger than most ships with two upper bunks protruding from the wall, which could get in the way. The lighting wasn’t bright enough. There was a big double bed, well two singles pushed together, but there was two single duvet covers on there as the double duvets they have are too small, or so our cabin steward told us. I went to reception regarding this and was asked to write a note to the Head Housekeeper and within a few hours we had a double duvet. There was only a bedside light on one side with the one on the other side at the other end of a dressing table so couldn’t be reached from the bed. There was a kettle with Whittards tea and Douwe Egberts coffee. Because I pre paid the gratuities there was a bottle of Red Merlot on the table. There was a small armchair and a desk chair. There was ample space for hanging our clothes and drawers for other items. There was a fridge and a safe. There was a small flat screen television but it was placed left of the bed so it was hard to watch it from the bed. There was only one socket, which had the kettle plugged into it, and that had to be used for all our charging. Luckily we brought the extension. The bathroom was small but the shower was big and again the lighting was inadequate. There was plenty of storage in the bathroom. The shower head was fixed and the larger shower cubicle helped. There was a soap dispenser in the shower and two small bars of soap on the washbasin and that was it. Luckily we brought some of our own. During sailing the cabin walls creaked quite a bit and others said the same thing. Our cabin steward was called Ashveer and he was very good. He is from Mauritius and we had some good laughs with him. The food We eat in the MDR a few times, the service in there was good, but as we are fond of spicy food we kept mainly to the buffet as they had a much better selection. The food was well cooked and hot. The afternoon tea was especially good with various rolls and lots of delicious cakes and those very nice scones that people keep writing about. Getting a table in the buffet could be difficult at times, especially at breakfast, but we managed. The friendliness of the other passengers made that a bit easier. They put on a good show for Christmas but we missed the New Years dinner due to a problem with getting back to the ship by Tender in Funchal. The sea became very rough after we got on land so we were delayed for many hours before we could get back and even that was quite hazardous. We were back for the midnight fireworks and that was spectacular. Entertainment The theatre is very badly laid out with seating being mainly on the flat and with some of the back seats lower than the ones at the front. There is a balcony but there is a metal bar running all round it and that gets in the way and the glass panel reflects a lot. There are also several large columns which get in the way. The Cruise Director Ian Bagshaw put on a magic show as he was at one time a professional in that form of entertainment. He was around the ship all day and stopped for a chat on occasions. There were two visiting comedians, Christopher Gee, who is an impressionist and very funny and Les Bryan, once of the Marauders in the early sixties and the Comedians on television. The resident show team put on a variety of shows, even a Pantomime, and in the main were quite good. One problem was that the noise of the music drowned out the singers. That is something that could easily have been remedied. Their final show was a tour around the worlds music culminating in music from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England. They brought the house down. The shows were at 1915 and 2100 each evening. There were various music shows in some of the bars throughout the day and evening. There was a game show in the Dome nightclub most evenings but not until 2215. Much too late. There was a disco up there after that. We didn't take any ships shore excursions as we had been to all the places visited except Lanzarote. The crew were magnificent, always smiling and helpful. There are 27 different nationalities working on board. As I write this review a letter has arrived from CMV with a cheque for £100, £50 each, and a 20% future cruise discount if booked by March 31st. This was in relation to our problem with the Tenders in Funchal. That was a surprise. We would not take this cruise again due to the cold weather. It spoiled the cruise as we had to spend most of our time indoors. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not ... Read More
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not Tilbury due to a ‘minor technical issue’. This didn’t affect me too much as the transfer from Victoria Coach Station would now go direct to Dover, rather than Tilbury. Dover is actually a much nicer Cruise Terminal than Tilbury. Changes to embarkation were notified to me in a timely and informative manner by text and phone and the coach transfer to Dover and embarkation was smooth and efficient The ‘minor technical issue’ was later revealed to be related to the starboard propellers and repairs were due to be carried out in Dover prior to sailing, but we were later to find out this was not possible due to the poor sea conditions and bad weather. Columbus set sail for Amsterdam later that evening, arriving early the next day. Amsterdam was lovely; vast arrays of Christmas lights; huge Christmas market and a very comprehensive and informative city tour by coach and canal boat. The Shore Excursion Team’s organisation landside was efficient Once we had set sail from Amsterdam, we were advised that due to the fact that the repairs could not be carried out in Dover, Columbus would not be calling at Gibraltar and would go directly to Tenerife where she would stay for 24 hours whilst the repairs were undertaken. That meant 5 days at sea! Many passengers were upset over the missing out of Gibraltar but I wasn’t too concerned. We received compensation for the ‘missed port’ and Columbus proceeded fairly slowly with a very noticeable judder which I assume was due to the imbalance of the propellers. This was most noticeable in bed (as it rocked us to sleep!) and in the Waterfront Restaurant. MV Columbus was suitably and imaginatively decorated for a Christmas Cruise and gifts in the cabin on Christmas Eve were a nice touch. The staff and crew were proactive in wishing guests a ‘Merry Christmas’ and the public areas of the ship were always kept spotless, especially the toilet areas where a member of staff seemed constantly to be in attendance During the 5 sea days there were a full range of activities, lectures, quiz and game shows organised, but probably no more or less than would have been offered anyway. A film was shown in the Palladium Lounge most afternoons, as it was too cold to use the deck screen. The Cruise Director, Iain Bagshaw, gave a run-down of the daily programme twice a day and held a 15 minute ‘Chat with Iain’ each afternoon. He was friendly enough but one got the feeling that ‘it was just a job’ and he didn’t really show any genuine enthusiasm. The lucky and observant ones saw both whales and dolphins. The weather remained cold and wet and most of the time the open decks were closed due to high winds. Cruising through the Bay of Biscay wasn’t too rough, but certainly not a millpond. Even with her damaged propellers, Columbus managed to remain fairly stable in the rough weather. There was nightly and sometimes afternoon entertainment presented by the Columbus Singers and Dancers or the ‘Guest Act’ which for the first half of the cruise was the comedian / impersonator Christopher Gee, who was actually quite good. Entertainment was very mixed. The team were pleasant to talk to and enthusiastic, but seemed to lack professional training. Angelina stood out and boosted the credence of the vocalists. The ‘Abba’ and ‘Round the World’ shows were probably the most notable. The dance team’s coordination was generally quite good; the 2nd Guest Act (who transferred from Marco Polo in Lanzarote), the comedian Les Bryan was embarrassing to watch. The food and service in both the Waterfront Restaurant and Plantation Bistro was of a continually high standard. Christmas Eve Dinner was excellent. My Cabin Steward always had a smile and time for a chat whilst providing a faultless standard of service. The inside cabin on Deck 10 was spacious and perfectly adequate. The vast majority of bar staff were pleasant and attentive, although some needed some additional training in their job and demonstrated poor customer service skills. We arrived in Tenerife at about 20:00 it was very nice to be able to get off for a few hours and have a drink in a local café. Columbus berthed at the improved cruise terminal which is now a good 20 minutes walk from the town centre. Coach transfers were provided for those with walking difficulties on the next day, although I walked in and out on each occasion. Immediately after we berthed, a specialist team and local divers arrived and started to work on the propellers. They completed their work about an hour before we departed the next day and we have to assume that they were successful, although no mention of the success or otherwise was made by anyone on the ship. The weather was partly sunny and temperatures in the low 20’s. I did not take an organised excursion, but took the local bus to Puerto de la Cruz for an enjoyable day of exploration costing €8, whereas the same cruise excursion transfer was priced at £22. Local knowledge comes in handy! We proceeded to both Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and then Arrecife in Lanzarote on the following days, for about 6 hours in each port. Transfers were arranged in Arrecife, but not needed in Las Palmas, as we berthed close to the entrance. Whilst walking along the coastline in Arrecife, Marco Polo could be seen approaching the port – she looked surprisingly impressive! The now familiar judder was gone, so whatever had been done to the propellers in Tenerife must have been successful. Arrival and departure in both ports was as per the itinerary. The weather was disappointing with mostly cloudy skies, quite a strong win and only a few short periods of sunshine. This was certainly not what I had expected or what I had been used to in Tenerife over the last 25+ years at this time of year. Columbus was joined by Marco Polo in all the Canary Island ports and was dwarfed by Columbus when berthed alongside. We also had two huge TUI ships and a German ship with us in Tenerife and Lanzarote. The penultimate port was Madeira which turned out to be the most memorable, but not for the reasons we had expected. We anchored early in the morning to the right of the terminal quite near the Queen Victoria. Again it was overcast, light winds and a small swell. However there was a forecast of rain in the late afternoon. The Tender Service stared at 09:00 and passengers with mobility issues were advised to observe the procedure before deciding if they were capable of transferring to the tender with minimal assistance. I found it surprising that many with ‘walkers’ and ‘Zimmer frames’ were allowed to use the service. I transferred at about 11:30 and by that time the swell was increasing and getting onto the tender was quite tricky. Many people in other tenders were sick on the 10-15 minute transfer to the dock. Within the dock area, the swell presented a few tricky moments when trying to get off onto land. The two TUI, the German (Avia?) and a Fred Olsen ships were berthed, although the Fred Olsen ship left early evening to view the fireworks from the bay. I spent a couple of hours exploring the Christmas Forest and Market, checking out the restaurants and viewing (but not taking) the cable car, as the clouds were obscuring the mountain from about half way up. They certainly take Christmas seriously and put together a fantastic display – really capturing the Christmas Spirit. I then decided that as it was getting quite cold and windy and the clouds were gathering quickly, I’d make my way back to the dockside to catch the tender back to Columbus. It was New Year’s Eve, so being on board early would allow sufficient time to prepare for the New Year’s Eve Dinner at 17:45. On arrival at the dockside, I was met with a queue of about 150 people who were also waiting to return. It transpired that the Tender Service and all afternoon excursions had been cancelled by the ship at noon, as the weather had deteriorated making tendering not a particularly safe or viable option. There were about 600 passengers on Madeira with no idea of how they were to get back on board, or even if that was going to be possible. Columbus was observed steaming up and down the coast trying to find a more sheltered location to re-commence the Tender Service. Those that were not aware what was happening could have been quite traumatised by seeing this, thinking that the ship had left! We understand that there were frantic conversations between the ship and the Harbour Authorities trying to find a solution to get the passengers back safely and the result was that the only option was to commence the tendering service, with the assistance of a tug to try to keep Columbus in a stable position. My utmost praise and admiration must go to the crew on the Tenders in Madeira who, despite a huge swell, successfully managed to get passengers back on board in atrocious conditions. Once back on board (some 7 hours after I had intended), cold and wet with dampened spirits, it was too late to attend the New Year’s Eve Dinner, which was to have been one of the cruise highlights. Many passengers suffered sea-sickness, cuts, bruises and emotional trauma. One tender made three unsuccessful attempts to set passengers onto the platform, totalling nearly 2 hours of bobbing about in the huge swell. One 93 year old, complete with ‘walker’ suffered bruising to one arm and cuts and a sprain to the other during the re-boarding. He was certainly a character and said that it was the best adrenalin rush he had experienced in years! A few were shouting, verbally abusing the Madeiran dockside staff, ship’s representative and other passengers and demanding to be flown home and their money back. The vast majority of the Brits just quietly queued in the freezing cold rain and waited patiently until a solution had been devised. The New Year’s Eve firework display on Madeira was indeed impressive and helped to brighten the spirits of those who had been stranded on Madeira. There was free champagne and although it was still quite windy with light rain, it was definitely worth seeing. Columbus then cruised on to cold and misty Lisbon for half a day and to our surprise duty free goods in the new terminal building here were much cheaper than they had been on the Canaries. The mist lifted as we left and Columbus left bound for another 2+ days at sea through a very a very stormy and rough Bay of Biscay. It is just as well that I quite enjoy the days at sea, as we had 10, but I prefer them when the weather is warmer. A Christmas cruise has always been something to look forward to, something special and memorable. Unfortunately this cruise will probably be remembered by some with more negative than positive thoughts although they should probably remember that the weather and sea conditions are unpredictable and that CMV cannot be held responsible for these. Despite the weather, missing Gibraltar and the difficulties in Madeira, the cruise was enjoyable and value for money. The Columbus made a magnificent effort to capture the Spirit of Christmas with decorations, carols, displays and themed events. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on ... Read More
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on throughout the day , cocktails go down very well on the cruise also plenty of waiters serving drinks throughout the day and evening to save us getting up to get a drink at the bar,I am not sure where CMV get so many friendly staff but the staff really did make the cruise such a pleasure , nothing was to much trouble also looking at a closer issue the ship was spotlessly clean , on a couple of down sides we missed Gibraltar due to an issue with the propeller which got sorted in the Canaries the other was Maderia which had choppy waters for the tender boats going to shore , this made some not to well but maybe they should of stayed on the ship , i really wanted to see Maderia and as i don`t get sea sick it wasn`t a problem , the only main problem was docking the tenders coming back the swell was up a bit more and did cause an issue trying to get back but saying that I think all got back onboard to watch the fireworks which were fantastic , would i do this cruise again at Christmas , `Of Course ` , it is a great ship with great staff . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with ... Read More
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with plenty of choices. The staff were friendly and nothing was to much trouble. Getting on and off ship was very organised. The only down side was the entertainment was a little hit and miss, Christmas show was very poor but other shows very good. The venues got very busy and we failed sometimes to get a seat. I would choose the ship again purely on the lovely dining experience. After sailing on Costa ship last May which was a really bad experience in every way I promised myself I would never ever cruise again, this one was already booked which I did not want to do but has restored my faith in cruising. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. ... Read More
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. Entertainment - no idea (we didn't bother). A few words of advice / recommendation for potential travellers: (1) Expect long delays at dinner in the main restaurant. And if you order drinks at the table they are likely to arrive well into the meal. (2) If the time of arrival in a port of call is quite late, don't think you can have a lie-in and go for a late breakfast close to closing time in either the restaurant or the self-service buffet. If you opt for the former, the service will be very slow and the food likely to be dried-up. If you go for the latter, you are very unlikely to be able to get a seat. Go early is the top-tip. (3) There's no pressure from the onboard photographic team, but on our short trip the shore-photographs at Antwerp were frankly hopeless (totally washed-out). Don't be tempted to buy (at unjustifiably high prices) just for the sake of it. (4) Think carefully about the 'onboard gratuity added daily to your account for your convenience'. We chose to remove this because there were aspects of the trip which we felt made it unwarranted. Of course it's a marketing ploy on the part of all cruise lines to make the base-price seem as attractively-low as possible. Better to reward individuals separately (as we chose to do) whom you feel may have gone above and beyond. Sorry about the 'invisible' members of crew who then receive a share of nothing - but that's life! (4) Don't be put off from considering CMV (with whom we have now cruised three times, out of twenty cruises overall) or the Columbus. Recognise that for what you pay, you will get really good value for money. How or where else can you get transported to two different European cities and enjoy a full-board experience (the beds are very comfortable incidentally) for £75 a day? On this trip, it was even possible to secure late-availability inside cabins for £129 - that's just £43 a day, which by anyone's standards is amazing value. Choose wisely and you will be well-satisfied. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first time on this ship.It was very good. Embarkation was very. Quick and smooth. Our cabin boy was lovely. The service in the bars was very slow at times,they need more staff. The entertament was great the boys ... Read More
This was our first time on this ship.It was very good. Embarkation was very. Quick and smooth. Our cabin boy was lovely. The service in the bars was very slow at times,they need more staff. The entertament was great the boys and girls never stopped working,they made our trip Really great, hope the same troop will be on. there when we go again. The food was very Good on some nights and not on others,depends on what you order.. Our cabin was nice and big,the sink in the bathroom needed to be up dated though .Shower was nice and big too. The drinks price was the same as in a pub here.coffee machine was very nice and on all day.I liked the door of the ship and how it was laid out. On disembarkation they need to have the sign that says this side for the bus to car park and the other for taxis in the HALL where the baggage is. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and ... Read More
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and walked on board without much queuing. The waiting area had plenty of seating, a small coffee bar and was nice and warm. Our cabin was a nice size (I already knew this from OV) but the wooden furniture was the original and so was the bathroom. This was OK though and the shower is really large. The air con worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our cabin was on deck 5 at the front (5120) and had a lot of movement on rough days. I was seasick and would recommend a higher level and central if you suffer from this. There seemed to be a lot of crowding in the Bistro buffet on level 12. We had to find a seat (not easy) then take turns to get our food. I had never experienced this on OV so I can only assume that it was the time of year and no-one was eating outside. The food here was average. Breakfast was very good, lunch didn't have much choice of hot food and it didn't look that appetising. The desserts were moussy!! and the hot choice seemed mainly to be a sloppy variation of bread and butter pudding. The thing that put us off the most though was that it was very cold in there. On the second day we decided to use the Waterfront restaurant (waiter service). We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of food compared to the Bistro so we continued to use it.... and it was lovely and warm. The afternoon tea was nice with delicious biscuits and scones with fresh cream and jam.... yummy. The entertainment was quite poor and there wasn't a huge amount going on, especially during our day at sea. I liked the comedian though.... very old jokes but he pulled it off because he was likeable. The decor in the public areas was nice and looked refurbished. There is quite a lot of seating around the ship and it didn't feel crowded (except the Bistro) even though the ship was full. I'll finish on a positive as we really enjoyed our cruise. The staff were excellent. They worked hard and were always helpful and friendly. Also our fellow passengers were so friendly which made all the difference. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because it was visiting places I am ashamed to say we had not yet visited - although virtually on our doorstep! We have cruised a lot - once or sometimes twice a year for the last 40 years with various shipping ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was visiting places I am ashamed to say we had not yet visited - although virtually on our doorstep! We have cruised a lot - once or sometimes twice a year for the last 40 years with various shipping companies. On this cruise leaving from Tilbury we were to visit Kirkwall in the Orkneys, the Isle of Skye then onto Ireland and finally France. Generally the ship is nice but not sumptuous by any means. Checking in was trouble free. Our window cabin was smaller than most and definitely very tired. The Pink plastic sink had seen much better times, part of the ceiling was not fitted properly, the chair had numerous stains, the soap dispenser in the shower was empty, the air conditioning was noisy, but the worst crime was NYLON sheets (I did not know they still made them)etc. however we had no intention of spending our holiday in the cabin so we accepted it. On complaining about the sheets we were given cotton mix ones. We do not do self service so we ate in the waterfront restaurant for breakfast and dinner. This was like two different experiences! Breakfast was hurried, bacon dry and hard, sausages like cardboard but worse the tea was always cold - the coffee looked better. In the evening the service was much more civilized, food hot and tasty with plenty of choice and no rush - we were second sitting. Evening entertainment passed the hour before dinner with a drink in hand but I would not go to see any of them off the ship although the violinist and pianist were excelllent. The singers were shouting most of the time even though they had mikes, the comedian and magician were OK. Certainly not the best on board entertainment and during the day very little "events", mainly a quiz or two, a lecture and a lot of private functions. Excursions were very expensive, average £45 per person for half a day. To sum up - you get what you pay for. We got this cruise on a second person half price deal, which talking to others was the deal most people went on. Do not expect a high dining experience, do not expect chocolates on your pillow or towels made into animals, do not expect free toiletries (we got a mini bar of soap and shower gel that was pretty unpleasant), Do expect to pay £2.80 for a bottle of water (yes!!), do expect to be treated like cattle for breakfast and lunch and do expect to vacate your cabin by 7am on the last day but not be allowed off the ship for another 2 to 3 hours. Would I go again? At the right price I would but I do think that for maybe no more than £10-20 a head they could include some little extras that make the holiday a bit more memorable - and please get rid of the nylon sheets! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This was our third time with CMV and the first time on Columbus. Previously we had been to Iceland on Marco Polo and Scandinavia on Magellan. We have also cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Tilbury is convenient for us to drive ... Read More
This was our third time with CMV and the first time on Columbus. Previously we had been to Iceland on Marco Polo and Scandinavia on Magellan. We have also cruised with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Tilbury is convenient for us to drive and park. We chose the British Isles cruise because we liked the idea of seeing lots of places that we might not otherwise visit. Embarkation: fast and efficient. We were in our cabin with most of our luggage within 35 minutes of parking the car, most of that time being spent waiting for the car park shuttle bus to fill up. Cabin: we had a large junior suite cabin. Masses of storage space. Fridge, safe, tea and coffee making stuff, very comfortable bed, sofa, armchair and balcony. Powerful shower in bathroom. A small TV but we only turned it on once. There were five or six movies showing each day but we never watched any. The cabin was kept very clean, as was the rest of the ship. Perks with the junior suite: daily plate of fruit and canapes, free laundry (wash only, not ironing), and priority tender tickets – these were very useful, see below. Food: Waterside restaurant was very good. We had breakfast and dinner there every day except two mornings. We had second sitting for dinner at a table for eight. Excellent choice over five courses every evening, quality was often excellent and never less than delicious. Only niggle was that staff were over-zealous in clearing the table before everyone had finished eating. We never felt the need to try the speciality restaurants. The Plantation Bistro was always very busy. We had one lunch and two breakfasts there. Plenty of choice, reasonable quality, just very busy. Never had time to try the afternoon tea. Drinks: we did not buy a drinks package. Prices for a glass of house wine or a cocktail seemed reasonable to us. Quality of the drinks was ok, nothing stunning, though they did do a decent Margarita. Service in the bars was usually prompt and cheerful. Hemmingway’s did reasonable coffee. Entertainment: live entertainment is not one of CMV’s strong points, but it is not a high priority for us. We made one trip to the evening show in the Palladium, for an ABBA tribute which was done well, but there was nothing else on that merited attendance, though our dinner companions went most evenings and seemed to enjoy it. The classical guitar in Taverners bar, and the piano/violin in the Atrium were good. The duo in Connexions had more enthusiasm than singing talent. Activities: there were various things going on during the day, but as we were usually in port we did not participate. We did make good use of the card room for the little spare time we did have, because there was usually someone else there who wanted a game of bridge. Other people were using it for chess and jigsaw puzzles. I also used the gym a few times. It was well-equipped with cardio machines, weight machines and free weights, and kept very clean. Rest of ship: there are three sets of lifts and three easy-to-climb stairwells, so quick and easy to get around. The pool deck was heavily used on sunny days, but we sat on our balcony rather than on deck. Deck 14 was nice to walk around in the evenings. We did not visit the shops or the casino. Crew: everyone was very polite and friendly, and said hello. After reading other reviews, I suspect they have all had intensive training since last year. The standard of English in some areas was lower than our experience on the other CMV ships, but there were no serious communication problems. Itinerary: the ship called at all the expected places. Overall we were very happy with every port visit. The main factor that upset a lot of people was the time spent tendering at five of the ten destinations. At tendered ports priority in the mornings was given to people on excursions. If you were not on an excursion you had to collect a ticket and wait for your ticket group to see be called. Some people waited two hours or more to get on a tender. This did not affect us because we had priority tender tickets that allowed us to get on any time. Once on a tender there were often delays getting ashore due to limited space at dockside. We went round in circles in a tender for half an hour at one place before eventually being able to get ashore. Some of the delays were due to sea and tide conditions, which were unavoidable. On top of the also unavoidable slowness of single file exit from the tenders at each end, it proved a time consuming process. However, we were impressed with the diligent assistance given by the tender crews to ensure everyone, including those with some mobility restrictions, got ashore and back again safely. And once ashore, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. So our advice is to be aware of the implications of tendering and be patient. Excursions: we booked excursion as the first four stops, and did our own thing at the others. We'd been to Kirkwall before so we took the trip to Skara Brae this time, but we would recommend walking round Kirkwall on a first visit. We went to Inverness from Invergordon, which was nice in the sunshine (not sure how good it would have been in the rain), Invergordon itself has a good local museum. We did walking tours in Portree and Tobermory, both worthwhile. Tobermory has an excellent little local museum. Generally it was cheaper, and more enjoyable, to use the free shuttle buses and/or public transport and/or hop-on-hop-off buses where available. There were free shuttle buses in Belfast, Dublin and Ringaskiddy (Cork). Hop-on-hop-off buses in Belfast and Dublin were good for seeing the main sites. St Mary's had an old red bus tour for ten pounds per person. Guernsey has a great public bus network, one pound per trip - easy to get to main tourist sites, or just to get a look at the countryside. Disembarkation: we had to leave our cabins at 7.30am. They have to get the ship ready to sail again the same day. It was, as always, crowded in the waiting areas while we waited for our group to be called. They could have provided extra seating to avoid some having to sit on the floor. In the end we got off the ship 20 minutes early and getting back to the car park and on the road to home was very smooth. We were very happy with our cruise because we saw the places we wanted to see, our cabin was excellent, the food very good, and the overall experience was good value for us. Whilst on board we booked up for the Baltic cities and St Petersburg cruise next year. CMV may not be for everyone, but it suits us (though we will avoid the multi-generational cruises!). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones. We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been. Tilbury ... Read More
The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones. We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been. Tilbury was great, easy to find and park, shuttle was quick and efficient. The embarkation process was very smooth, we were on the ship with a glass of bubbly before our embarkation time. The suitcases were outside out cabin by 2pm. The ship was clean, tidy and well presented. The service was fantastic, the staff were pleasant and friendly and always made conversation. We enjoyed Hemmingway's coffee bar, yummy cappuccino, would have been nice if the cakes etc in the cabinet were complimentary with the coffee but they were not expensive so if you really wanted one it wouldn't break the budget! The hot chocolate was divine (especially with a shot of creme de menthe!) Connexions was a bar we used often, from the quizzes and games to to the duet that sang every evening - very entertaining. The entertainment team were good fun, Ian the Cruise Director seemed to have unending energy and was very hands on. We went to one show which was the big band night, very good but the Palladium was freezing. The evening meals were always very good, the staff were great, even remembering our drink requirements after the first night. There was never an evening where we did not like at least 2 options on the menu. 5.45pm was a little early for dinner but I felt that the later sitting would be too late - people were still in there at 10pm. Eating so early meant that we were sometimes peckish later but there was nowhere to eat as the buffet closed at 9pm. The buffet was like a bun fight - there never seemed to be a day when it was not heaving and people are so rude! Pushing and shoving like they had not eaten in days! The scones and shortbread in the afternoon tea were divine. It was nice to be able to take a scone and sit in a nice bar and eat it in a civilised setting! The cabin was fine, though the cabin stewardess was hardly ever around and really did do the bare minimum. It was not well placed being right at the front of the ship - we had chosen deck 5 but unfortunately were 'upgraded' to deck 6. Being so close to the front was very noisy all night which meant we did not always sleep well. I was very impressed overall with the staff - they work tirelessly from early morning until late into the evening - always with a smile. They certainly earn their tips! We chose a VIP package which was great as we did not have to worry what we had. We did not do any organised excursions but did disembark each day, my criticism with this was the 2 tender ports. We had to get tickets - again I think this is more the mentality of the people and the obsession with being first in line... This could be better organised. The shops on board were not great, not a lot of choice and none of the make up/perfume etc was duty free so no different to buying in England. I did however get a massive bargain on my Bombay Sapphire! Overall the cruise was great, the one thing that spoiled it was hearing people complaining! Not enough choice of wine - they were masses to choose from, moaning about having to wait a few minutes to be served! etc... that is not the fault of CMV though I would travel again with CMV if the right itinerary was there and the price was right, I would choose a mid ship cabin and request that no upgrade was given though. Disembarkation was smooth, we were off the ship a good half hour before the allotted time, our luggage was in the hall, there were plenty of porters to assist and the buses were all outside ready to take us back to the car park. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be ... Read More
This review is probably appropriate for ‘first timers’ as it was our first ever cruise, We didn’t want the cruise to involve flying to a foreign airport before getting on the boat. Waiting at airports and cancelled flights to be avoided. We decided to get the best accommodation on a small ship with an adults only policy. If we didn’t enjoy the experience under these conditions – we never would! Cruise and Maritime (CMV) seemed to fit the bill and we chose an eight day cruise to the Norwegian fjords. Our junior suite with balcony was the top of the range for cabins. Leaving from Tilbury, it took us 36 hours to reach our destination. Fortunately the North Sea was pretty calm. Columbus is a comparatively small ship for cruising, at 63,000 tons. Built in 1986 it has had various owners and re-fits until CMV acquired it in 2017. It has a capacity for 1,600 travellers and a crew of 638. On our journey there were 1,400 on board, but it didn’t seem to be particularly crowded. The staff all spoke good English and, without exception, were helpful and friendly. The suite was large (350 sq.ft). Excellent shower. King size bed. Three seater sofa. Flat screen TV (small). Plenty of space to hang clothes and a dressing area as well. A good start. Outside there were two smallish swimming pools and plenty of leisure areas for relaxing and sunbathing (late August in Norway? Unlikely!) We wanted a leisurely experience, without the formality of ‘dressing for dinner with the captain’. With a choice of places to eat we managed to achieve that, although there was such an evening for which the majority appeared prepared and had packed their glad rags and DJs. This was hosted in the Waterfront Restaurant with its usual full waiter service, but there was always the self-service Plantation Bistro as an acceptable substitute. In either eatery the food was good, if a little repetitive in the Bistro. A daily news-sheet detailed all of the activities happening on board for that day, which were wide and varied. They helped to pass the time whilst sailing from one place to another. A variety of live bands gave excellent performances in either the Palladium Show Lounge or the Dome Nightclub and overall the variety of entertainments was good. We enjoyed our first taste of cruising but – if we take another one – will probably sail to somewhere warmer! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Sailed on this ship when it was Ocean Village and it was like going home.Embarkation was so easy, hardly any queueing and plenty of desks open. The cabin was ready and was a nice surprise for my travelling companion who expected it to be ... Read More
Sailed on this ship when it was Ocean Village and it was like going home.Embarkation was so easy, hardly any queueing and plenty of desks open. The cabin was ready and was a nice surprise for my travelling companion who expected it to be half the size! There were plenty of clothes hangers and storage space. The crew were very friendly and polite, dinner was a bit slow the first night, perhaps to be expected but subsequent nights were fine ending with the March of the Baked Alaska! The food was served hot and well cooked with plenty of choice. There was a multitude of excursions to choose from catering for all types especially if you were unable to walk far there were plenty of tours. We found all the guides very good with excellent English and knowledge. The entertainment was a little disappointing, there was no variation of acts in Connexions and Taverners, the same people every night. Personally I found the shows a bit amateurish although they did improve a little in the second week. Top marks for the chocolate and magnificent buffets! Overall an enjoyable experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The ship sailed from Tilbury, which attracted us because we wouldn't need to fly, albeit we live in Cumbria so it was quite a trip. Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside ... Read More
The ship sailed from Tilbury, which attracted us because we wouldn't need to fly, albeit we live in Cumbria so it was quite a trip. Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside and were embarked within a few minutes. Very smooth. Disembarkation was a little fraught, we had to be out of the cabin by 09.00 and we had to wait a couple of hours in crowded public areas before we could disembark. But once we docked, we were off the ship and in our car within half an hour. Excellent. The cleanliness of the ship was exceptional. We did object to guests taking glasses and plates to weather deck areas and leaving them for others to pick up. What's wrong with people returning these objects. We were, though, chastised (in a nice way) by a steward when we tried to clear our table and return the plates. The cabin was first class, an outside cabin with window. The cabin was kept pristine by a hard working and very friendly cabin steward. We had taken the option for the company to allocate the cabin and were very happy with it. We had self service breakfast and lunch and used the Waterside restaurant in the evening. The food was exceptional for the price we paid, the caterers work miracles. Food on cruises has suffered since the heyday of cruising, but prices have been kept down and you cannot expect Michelin star food on McDonald's prices. But we were very well fed. Entertainment and activities I would rate as poor. The entertainment staff seemed to do little except put on a couple of shows a week. On other cruises, the entertainment staff have run daytime activities but on this cruise. most activities were advertised as unhosted. I got the impression the entertainment staff were along for the cruise and not really to work, Evening entertainment in the various bars was poor. There were a couple of guitarists who appeared to have just finished the beginners guide to the guitar. Not impressed When we booked the cruise, it was advertised as adults only but when we joined the ship, we found families with children. I've nothing against children, but they did tend to be noisy and there wasn't a lot for them to do. We chiefly took the cruise to visit St Petersburgh and this did not disappoint. The only sour note was that prior to arriving there, all passengers were given a briefing note which suggested that the residents of St Petersburgh lived in the dark ages, transport would be sub standard ad if we talked to anyone, their accent would be impenetrable. All nonsense, the Russian people were very friendly, the transport and guides were excellent and most people spoke at least some English, without an accent. We would holiday with Cruise and Maritime again. The Columbus is a nice ship. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Fjords and the Columbus sailed from Tilbury, which was convenient. We were a little anxious about the ship, having read some previous negative reviews and never having cruised before. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted to visit the Fjords and the Columbus sailed from Tilbury, which was convenient. We were a little anxious about the ship, having read some previous negative reviews and never having cruised before. We needn't have worried. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and well organised, happening ahead of time. The ship was clean and the staff friendly and well organised. The public areas were smart. The cabins and corridors were a little tired, with dubious art work but the beds were comfy, the shower decent and the picture window had a window sill wide enough to sit in to take in the view. The food was excellent, albeit breakfast was repetitive. You could have waiter served breakfast, lunch and dinner, or opt for the buffet style restaurant. Choose the "Japanese" end for a less canteen style atmosphere and the further away from the food you go the quieter you'll find it. The Waterfront restaurant served well presented and tasty food, with the fish highly recommended. The early sitting is a bit early at 5.45 and we chose to miss the Captains cocktails preceding it as we didn't want to miss the scenery by going in to change. The entertainment was a bit hit and miss but quite frankly we were there to enjoy the views and would take blankets and sit on the rear deck until night fall. We did 2 shore excursions which were competitively priced when compared to organising independently. These were sea kayaking in Eidford and the Loen lake trip: both well worth doing. The weather was kind in Skjolden, so we were happy walking. We did not enjoy Bergen as there were 2 other ships in and it was very busy: but that is not the fault of the Columbus! We would use Columbus again, if it was going to the places we wanted to see. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
This is our first cruise with CMV and didnt know what to expect. Prior to the holiday we were really worried after reading all the reviews. However, the cruise way exceeded our expectation. Seamless organisation throughout, polite staff. ... Read More
This is our first cruise with CMV and didnt know what to expect. Prior to the holiday we were really worried after reading all the reviews. However, the cruise way exceeded our expectation. Seamless organisation throughout, polite staff. Good food and plenty of choices. No lobsters if that is the league of food you are thinking, but we do have different roasts, veg, pasta, very fresh fish, salad, fruit, etc, all properly prepared, Desserts and breakfast sweet rolls are excellent. I only went to 3 night entertainment, a westEnd song show, a dance show featuring culture around the world and a magic show. The westEnd is a bit cringy but to be fair, you need very good singer to tackle those songs. The other two were excellent, as good as what people expect to pay to see in London. Overall, we were very happy, excellent value for money. As a family of 4 we pay similar if not less compared to going to center parc for a week. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Good value for money. Great VIP drinks package. Fusion Indian restaurant was out of this world! My only issue was that as this was a Multigenerational cruise, the entertainment was still aimed more at the older end. And the acts were ... Read More
Good value for money. Great VIP drinks package. Fusion Indian restaurant was out of this world! My only issue was that as this was a Multigenerational cruise, the entertainment was still aimed more at the older end. And the acts were exactly the same all week especially in Taverners Bar. And the quiz questions were for people of 70 years plus. Even the kids questions were hard. The 2 best entertain part was the farewell party which I really enjoyed and Ian's Magic Show which my 5 year old really enjoyed. And as an entertainer Ian was spot on. We had an issue with a prebooked wine package that had been discontinued on that brand so we were unable to get our 5 free bottles, but with some emails between our agent and the ship, Elvis the bar manager sorted this out which meant I've brought my 5 bottles home with no charge. Would I book with CMV again? Maybe, but the entertainment needs updating for multigenerational cruises. I do understand it's normally an adult only cruise line but I feel they need to adapt for the school holidays. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have booked for the round South America voyage on the Marco Polo in January 2019 so when we saw a good deal on CMV Columbus we thought why not give it a try. We have cruised with P&O, Azamara, Princess and Viking but don't ... Read More
We have booked for the round South America voyage on the Marco Polo in January 2019 so when we saw a good deal on CMV Columbus we thought why not give it a try. We have cruised with P&O, Azamara, Princess and Viking but don't live on ships like some people. We are newly retired and enjoy touring holidays worldwide and skiing so we ain't just cruise bores! After booking an inside cabin 6179 we found out that CMV had within a few hours reduced the price by £200 per person ouch! one phone call later we had the money back as on board credit Thanks CMV. Embarkation was easy at the Tilbury Cruise Terminal. We had booked long term parking which turned out to be in a Cemex compound about a mile away the shuttle bus got us back to the terminal where we joined the ship. Cabin was a good size and could sleep 4 with 2 pull down bunks, lots of storage space and cleanish. Cabin was a bit tired but everything worked OK. TV was a bit small and the channels limited especially when at sea but hey who needs TV? This was a 'Multigenerational Cruise' that meant children on board ARGHHHHHH but seriously most of the time the kids we met were well behaved and well mannered. Some cruisers had bad experiences with kids in the pools and so called adults only stern bars. CMV need to get the rules in place before the cruise starts so crew and staff know what is expected. Food was OK we used the Grill twice steaks were very nice and the Fusion Indian restaurant was fine but a bit strange the usual poppadoms and pickles followed by starters then naan bread and mains mixed up a bit. Service was fine in all the venues we were on second sitting in the Waterfront and our waiters were excellent. The entertainment was on the whole good some bad singing but the entertainers did at least 2 shows a day and worked very hard (Princess entertainers did only about 4 shows in a similar 14/15 day cruise) So well done the show team. Cruise director was rubbish worst jokes ever!!! Ports and shore excursions were as expected but it would have been nice to spend more than half a day in Lisbon, prices reasonable compared to other cruise lines. The good: Great value for money The Bad: Once waiters found you had bought the VIP drinks package they tended to ignore you. Some rude and surly waiters Nico you know what I mean. No policing of the sunbeds some people left their towels for 2 hours + how rude! you know who you are. Not enough sunbeds Having paid for a 'Package' that included tips we were a bit disappointed that our cabin steward gave us bad looks on the last day, we had already paid his tip. Other cruise lines (Azamara etc) state no tips required or expected...... Conclusions CMV provide a great value for money service and we are happy to cruise with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise as it was on offer on front page of a local free paper, and sailing from our local port only 20 mins away. As a first break together after several years of health problems expectations were high. The ship itself ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was on offer on front page of a local free paper, and sailing from our local port only 20 mins away. As a first break together after several years of health problems expectations were high. The ship itself externally and internal décor looked somewhat 'tired' in places. Food overall was good, although fish dishes were sometimes dry. Cabin was a twin, not double as expected and seemed smaller than pictured, but loads of storage space, safe and a fridge were pleasant surprise. Cleaning of wash basin was poor, and pop-up waste faulty (after 2nd or 3rd time my husband fixed it himself). Once ran out of toilet rolls and my husband had to go and find some - a real issue at the time! Bar staff and waiting staff were terrific, for the most part, very attentive and cheerful. Entertainment (the 3/4 shows I saw) was ok, but of variable quality. However the musicians (guitar duo and piano/violin duo) were very good indeed. Rules in and around pool areas were not enforced initially, allowing sunbeds to be hogged and children to monopolise pools with inflatables etc. This was addressed quite quickly on the hot tub deck, and three quarters of the way through the cruise on the pool deck, but only after people complained, we understand. The one excursion (Gibraltar Rock Tour) we went on was good but overpriced. Despite these criticisms we enjoyed ourselves. However I would like to know how passengers who booked last minute and paid much less were allocated a cabin with a balcony? Do you not allocate the best cabins first to those who paid more? 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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