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54 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Reviews

Previously travelled on a similar journey on this ship under P&O Pacific Eden and was happy with service and entertainment Under CMV there was no comparison, lack of organization with dining rooms, long queues, entertainment ... Read More
Previously travelled on a similar journey on this ship under P&O Pacific Eden and was happy with service and entertainment Under CMV there was no comparison, lack of organization with dining rooms, long queues, entertainment options limited and those limited by overcrowding. Staff were sometimes rude or disinterested with providing service. Food I can only describe as under quality served in a mining camp, very overcooked, and some was tasteless and unappealing............Main attraction of watching onshore fireworks did not go to plan, ship pointing in wrong direction... oops. Stated it was a New Years indulgence cruise...........not. I spoke to a lot of people on board with similar complaints, especially when we were told to wait in a bar that was not open instead of waiting in line only to find out an hour later that the maitre de forgot to get us so we then had to line up with the extra crowd that had formed in that hour extending another hour on top before we sat for dinner, sore feet and annoyed on what should have been a special night Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked cruise as it was priced at two for one. Thought it would be something different for New Year's. This was my 9th cruise and have cruised with several different cruise lines. We left from Adelaide and sailed to nowhere which ... Read More
Booked cruise as it was priced at two for one. Thought it would be something different for New Year's. This was my 9th cruise and have cruised with several different cruise lines. We left from Adelaide and sailed to nowhere which suited us. We were on board as a group of 19. The ship was overcrowded 1250 passangers, food and bar services could not handle volume in public areas. In saying this they also did not open all available bar areas or fill all tables, they seemed under staffed or staff didn't have training or didn't care. The worst mistake they made was on embarkation only having ONE bar open!!! With 2 bar staff and 3 waitresses for over 1200 passangers. Simple things like asking drink waiter for a drink (as they passed picking up glasses) to be told "yes, in 10 mins"! Can they not multi task, take drink order as they pickup glasses on the way back to bar! Food in Waterfront restaurant was good, especially on new year's eve free wine with dinner always a bonus for Aussies. We decided to eat there for all our meals. Entertainment was good, not all performers were great, but they did give it a red hot try. Cabins we were on Main deck (level 5 and superior cabin) our cabin was fine, better than I was expecting given the price. Would I travel on the Vasco da Gama again, NOT IN YOUR LIFE, they would need to do a complete refurbishment and employ trained staff who can think outside what they've been told as no-one was overseeing what was happening. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I sailed on the 31/12/19 on the New Years cruise. The ship condition was ok certainly not up to bigger lines standards. The service on the ship (other than cabin staff) was terrible. Order drinks after getting on the ship and it took 40 ... Read More
I sailed on the 31/12/19 on the New Years cruise. The ship condition was ok certainly not up to bigger lines standards. The service on the ship (other than cabin staff) was terrible. Order drinks after getting on the ship and it took 40 mins to get this was normal for the rest of the cruise so this seems to be their standard. The staff simply appeared to either be untrained or understaffed probably both. Drink prices seemed good to me and wine was reasonable for the price. There are simply insufficient seating around the pool and lack of shade was obvious. The food quality in the buffet was disgraceful (been on 35 cruises and this ties for the worse) variety and quality simply rubbish. The real issues started with the New Years dinner, with the announcements telling people that the busiest period was before 7pm and so not to come to the any time dinning until after 7.30pm. Arrive to have dinner at 7.30 to be meet by a massive queue, couldn't resister a room and get paged when a table was ready so had to wait in line. Got into the restaurant at about 8.40pm taken to a table that had not glassware or cutlery and simply ignored for another 25mins (no water drinks etc). Got dinner after 9pm and it was good both hot and good quality. On the second night (wont go into details) same ridiculous line up waited 90 mins for poor quality Asian food. The biggest issue for me was the moronic captain who decided that the ships bow should face the Glenelg fireworks that meant the only people who could see the fireworks were the Bridge, crew on the roped off areas and people in the Dome club area (holds about 150 people) the other 1000 people simply couldn't see. If the Captain hadn't turned the ship at the last minute the whole port side would have had great views allowing all passengers a view. Don't bother with CMV Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had previously been on this ship Year before on New Year cruise it was called Pacific Eden with P&O ,we had a great time,then it was sold to CMV and changed it's name to Vasco Da Gama as we live in Adelaide we thought great we ... Read More
We had previously been on this ship Year before on New Year cruise it was called Pacific Eden with P&O ,we had a great time,then it was sold to CMV and changed it's name to Vasco Da Gama as we live in Adelaide we thought great we don't gave to fly interstate to have a cruise for Xmas. The staff at the port were great,the staff/crew onboard were Miserable from the start,the cabin crew always friendly your hospitality no smiles,ignore your wave for attention even caught waitress rolling her eyes with impatience at guests.You have a lot to live up to compared to P&O You're Russian hospitzlity staff are the worst except for 1 older lady she worked hard was always happy and obliging and we told her that she run rings around the other lazy lot.I think it might be more worth going interstate to sail with P&O even though Adelaide is more convenient. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Booked the Xmas cruise a long time ago but were horrified to read the reviews of the ship after its recent acquisition by CMV. Looking at the reviews, it was clear that some writers thought they were with another cruise line & many ... Read More
Booked the Xmas cruise a long time ago but were horrified to read the reviews of the ship after its recent acquisition by CMV. Looking at the reviews, it was clear that some writers thought they were with another cruise line & many clearly misunderstood that it was new to CMV, not NEW. The ship is 28 years old which has both good & bad points. We were relieved after our first day or two to realise that either a) there are a lot of whingers about or b) CMV had responded well to the criticisms. Good Points Being older, there was plenty of space & little waiting for lifts.Public spaces were beautifully decorated & indoor & outdoor furniture were superior to many ships. Overall the staff were friendly & helpful Bar prices were no more than normal Adelaide pub prices & carried no service surchage. Food in the main restaurant was varied & well cooked. We have been on cruises with more varied & more exotic options but we usually ended up hoping that something we hadn't chosen came up again. It never did. In addition there are both Asian & Mediterranean restaurants, included at no extra charge. Because of my wife's inability to eat either spicy or tomato-laden foods we didn't go in but the menus looked pretty good. Breakfast in the restaurant was good but strangely offered no simple cereal option. Waiters there were only too happy to customise meals wherever possible or replace courses that the diner decided against on presentation. Wine prices were also quite reasonable (Take note Princess) The Lido buffet offered a more limited choice than most cruises we have been on but still offered a reasonable choice. Inevitably, in a buffet, the food is sitting and consequently, to us, never quite as good as in a restaurant. Perversely, the breakfast menu offered a slightly greater choice. We only ate there at breakfast & lunch so cannot comment on dinner. There is also another inclusive burger bar on the deck plus a "pay extra" grill. Our cabin was very conentional & uninspiring but clean. Being an old ship, unfortunately the shower is over the bath; tricky for the aged & infirm or for use in rough seas. There was plenty of storage & hanging space with lots of hangers provided. One of the real highlights was the quality of the shows in the Hollywood Lounge (theatre). No guest artists, all of the shows which differed every night were performed by the ship's resident 5 singers & 6 dancers. The singers were always in tune, the dancers were magnificent & the productions & costumes were truly professional. The only downside of this was the need to get in early to get seats. Other entertainments in the lounges were adequate, depending on your taste. No outdoor cinema on the pool deck blasting out action movies all afternoon, which was good for us, looking for a relaxing cruise, but there is a cinema showing fairly current movies. The entertainments staff did provide water aerobics, dance classes, fun entertainments & singers for half an hour or so at a time on deck. We thought Xmas Day was exceptional. Good entertainment on deck throughout the day, a marvellous 5-course dinner with free wine & regular refills as well as all the usual party goodies, a wonderful show & presents waiting for us in our cabin ( Fru-Chocs & a pen set). Apart from the gifts, this was repeated on NYE (but see below ) Having planned a relaxing cruise around southern Australia, we didn't bother going on any excursions so cannot comment on them. The first ten days were certainly relaxing, most of the passengers being of advanced years, disturbed only by the occasional kids jumping (banned) in the pool or a waiter asking if you wanted another drink. This changed dramatically for the last two days which were a separate cruise over New Year. Gratuities were $12 per day, charged to your account, but there was no problem in varying or removing them. Bad Points Which stop us giving 5 stars) Like other cruise lines, CMV seem to have cut down on staff, making them work harder. This creates two problems. Long waits for service at busy times & unhappy staff who show their resentment. Most of the time our dining room waiters gave good service but had little time to talk with the guests which we like to do. New Year's Eve however pushed the system over the limit. We heard many guests complaining that many of the bars were closed & the open ones couldn't cope. In fairness, we had a deluge of party animals hit the ship on NYE. Apparently there were also very long queues for later sittings in the dining rooms and the free wine offered ran out preventing any refills. Again, waiting staff fell into two camps. The dining room was run mainly by Asian staff who were always cheerful. The buffet & pool deck waiters, however, were mainly Eastern European, spoke poor English & seldom smiled, some even appearing surly. That was a real shame for what was otherwise a really friendly boat & we hope CMV pay some attention to this. Most, but not all, of the reception staff also appeared unfriendly & at times unhelpful. In summary, this was a really good cruise on a pretty well run ship but could be improved by increasing & training the staff & by deciding either not to run party cruises or learning how to do it properly Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My family and I spent 10 days on the ship and had a great time. If you want a value for money short cruise on a small ship that has excellent food and nightly entertainment then this is the ship for you. The ships public areas have ... Read More
My family and I spent 10 days on the ship and had a great time. If you want a value for money short cruise on a small ship that has excellent food and nightly entertainment then this is the ship for you. The ships public areas have been refurbished to a tasteful very comfortable standard, we agree cabins are in need of a freshen up, but they are spacious and very clean. We had cabins 10023 and 10078 on Level 10, which I can recommend as everything was in working order. We did have an issue with a blocked toilet and this was fixed in minutes and a follow up call from reception to ensure that work has been carried out to our satisfaction. The food and beverage in all restaurants was excellent and of a very high standard, service was excellent and our requests were met with politeness and curtesy from all staff on board. There were no language issues, you just have to be patient and show respect to people where english is not their first language. The food in the Bistro was a bit hit and miss at times, but was plentiful and always hot and tasted good. However as there are 4 excellent restaurants which are also included in the price the choices for a short cruise are excellent. The public bars and restaurants were tastefully decorated and very comfortably furnished in a contemporary style. Hollywoods show lounge was cosy and relaxed and always attended with waiting staff throughout the performances. Entertainment was limited, but again it is a small ship and information about the ship is clearly listed before you decide to book. We throughly enjoyed the nightly entertainment in Hollywoods lounge, provided by a lively enthusiastic group of young talented singers and dancers and a great live band. Singers and musicians in all the bars and public areas were also of a high standard. Cleanliness was of a high priority and the ship was exceptionally clean with hand sanitisers in all areas, entrance to restaurants and washrooms. Public washrooms, staircase rails and door handles were being cleaned regularly. Our cabins were cleaned twice a day; linen and towels changed as you would expect. Embarkation was disorganised and this does need to be improved, probably better to board at a later time. However debarkation was very organised and we were impressed. We highly recommend this ship if you want a value for money comfortable short cruise with excellent food and service. I would not recommend this ship if you have an expectation of glitzy interiors, high end extravaganza shows and lots of activities for children. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our 3rd Christmas cruise, first with Holland America and the second with Princess. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary as we have done Fiji and the islands before, It was a cruise spoilt by terrible food and poor ... Read More
This was our 3rd Christmas cruise, first with Holland America and the second with Princess. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary as we have done Fiji and the islands before, It was a cruise spoilt by terrible food and poor service. We were deck 5 cabin 3083 that is typical of all HAL cabins. Although this is a ship that is 26 years old the cabins were clean and tidy but definitely showing signs of age. The windows were rusty and the glass so crazed and dirty difficult to see much out of it, My main complaint was the food in every part of the ship. Buffet/Lido - breakfast - the juice was from a machine that was watered down it was unrecognisable as juice. The one pastry I tried was empty of any filling. The main complaint was the food was all luke warm to cold. The bacon was swimming in grease and the toast was like eating a brick, The entire breakfast buffet was not very good at all. The lunch was not much better it consisted of lots of stew like dishes that were most unappetising, the fruit was bitter, the fish was cooked in enormous quantities of batter more batter than fish, The desserts were so ordinary and not very nicely presented or very tasty, The service in this area was OK apart from the girl who was cooking the toast. She was surly and nearly everytime you ordered toast it was almost thrown at you. The toast was in a basket and when asking for a plate as you need a plate to butter the toast on you would have thought you were asking for a gold nugget. I don't wish to take up their time with idle chitchat but pleasantly asking for toast every day for 10 days greeted with a grunt and attitude. Waterfront restaurant was dreadful, not variety, no taste to any meal and again it was almost cold everytime we got our meal which is a worry as to was we going to get sick. Christmas dinner, 2 miserable prawns in a prawn cocktail, dreadful main meal which was stringy meat and veg - again cold. Christmas pudding was hard as a bullet so disappointing. Mediterranean restaurant, food was again cold and no variety at all. Last meal of stuffed eggplant was not edible the pasta was swimming in oil. The worse was the Eurasion restaurant. Soup was OK but cold Toothpick sizes of burnt greasy pork Samosas that had NO filling Fried cauliflower that could not be cut it was so hard Fish curry, tiny tiny pieces of cold grey fish in some slop Butter chicken 2 pieces in a sloppy sauce that was nothing like butter chicken Mango pudding was just OK That night I hardly ate the meal it was so bad and again cold. I am not expecting Michellin star restaurants, and after 15 cruises this is the first time I have every written a negative comment. But we were a party of 8 who was sincerely hoping we didn't get sick with this food. The wait staff that are European do not seem to have a grasp of the English language, we lost count of how many times we got the wrong drink orders. They are surly, rude and appear not to know what they are doing as far as serving drinks is concerned. There is one bar tender doing the drinks so the service is very very slow. It is suffice to say that this cruise line is the worse ever we have been on and we will not travel with them again and recommend them to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I picked the cruise for the itinerary and have learned the hard way the ship is much more important than where you're going. This is my 7th cruise with 6 cruise lines, so I have a basis for comparison The ship is 27 years old and ... Read More
I picked the cruise for the itinerary and have learned the hard way the ship is much more important than where you're going. This is my 7th cruise with 6 cruise lines, so I have a basis for comparison The ship is 27 years old and feels like it. The crew spoke limited English and many seemed to hate their jobs. There is no heat in the cabins, and although I traveled in the summer it got down to 10 degrees at night. I asked what they do in cold climates and was told "we don't travel to cold climates". The food is horrible and there is no buffet. Very few vegetarian options and, incredibly, all the food is so bland that most of it tastes the same, regardless of what it is. The Internet is expensive and runs out quickly. This is almost a parody of a cruise. There is NOTHING to do on board the ship (other than a well equipped fitness facility). The "activities" are things like sewing classes, and the demographic is definitely senior citizens. The "shows" were trite and cringe-worthy. The performers weren't very good, but they appeared to be trying their best Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation was handled well - took us less than half an hour from arriving at the terminal to get on board. Our first cabin (10047) had issues - these were obvious as soon as we arrived. It smelled mouldy and musty, the carpet in the ... Read More
Embarkation was handled well - took us less than half an hour from arriving at the terminal to get on board. Our first cabin (10047) had issues - these were obvious as soon as we arrived. It smelled mouldy and musty, the carpet in the dressing room was wet and the smoke detector kept beeping every couple of minutes. We reported the issues and waited for CMV to fix them - they didn't bother. We did not seek a cabin reassignment because there was a note at reception saying the ship was fully booked so no cabin changes would be possible. We did not sleep that first night because of the wretched smoke detector. At 4 am we gave up and removed the battery - that allowed us to get some sleep. The next afternoon the bathroom flooded (when not in use) which explained the wet carpet and the odour. A plumber was called and CMV then decided they should move us. We got a cabin in the same class with no smell and no issues (10030). Not sure why they were able to do this given the message at reception but we are grateful they did. 10030 was comfortable enough. Needs updating and the shower over the bath is a little dangerous but it was OK, quiet and in a good position. I cant speak highly enough of our cabin attendants (10030) - they were lovely. Always had a smile and a cheerful word. We liked the boat and the public rooms. Getting drinks was sometimes tricky due to not enough staff being available. Serving staff were always very nice to us though. The food quality during the whole trip was disgraceful. If you are looking for a gourmet experience do not choose CMV. We ate at the speciality restaurant (The Grill) twice. The food there was not great either but it was edible. Christmas dinner was a farce - we waited 45 minutes for a table and were then expected to eat slimy prawns so covered in dill they were green, cold turkey with half cooked and cold veg followed by a Xmas pudding without any fruit - yuck! Without a doubt the worst Christmas Day ever and the hungriest I have ever been on an Xmas evening. On the plus side I lost weight on this cruise. The itinerary changed and we missed two evenings in Port and that meant we had to cancel dinner plans we had on shore. Overall - very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Itinerary sounded wonderful until you board then fed a lot of rubbish as to why they didn’t dock at Wallaroo SA for a low tide??? Why we didn’t go to another port is baffling and had to spend a night at port Lincoln, where coz we were ... Read More
Itinerary sounded wonderful until you board then fed a lot of rubbish as to why they didn’t dock at Wallaroo SA for a low tide??? Why we didn’t go to another port is baffling and had to spend a night at port Lincoln, where coz we were at port no shops or casino opened, and pool was still closed at 9.00, There was no entertainment onboard during the day for passengers unable to go on shore excursions. The bistro food was awful and was the same every day, and matched the staff serving you, especially the lady in the afternoon tea section serving. The reception staff were unhelpful and had no idea of anything. The airconditioning did not work in cabins. The ship needs to be repaired very old and rusted and don’t know the last time windows were cleaned. The only positive was the waterfront restaurant but got sick to death of being asked to share a table. When there were many tables available. I have been on many cruises especially with royal Caribbean and princess cruise lines and they know how to do a cruise properly. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My main reason for choosing this cruise was to try out the Vasco da Gama on which I have formerly cruised as the P&O Pacific Eden and the Holland America Statendam. My suite was lovely and functioned very well. The cabin attendants ... Read More
My main reason for choosing this cruise was to try out the Vasco da Gama on which I have formerly cruised as the P&O Pacific Eden and the Holland America Statendam. My suite was lovely and functioned very well. The cabin attendants Nicolai, Somo and Nyoman were very efficient in servicing the suite every day leaving it in immaculate condition. The suite is large, airy and pleasant with a beautiful deep wide balcony that have both a table and chairs for 4 people and 2 chaise lounges. The bed is very comfortable and has an assortment of different pillows on it. There are white doonas as well as fluffy blankets for the bed. The television is a large screen TV and looks new but it would benefit from some further tuning as there were white lines across the screen on the movie channels - nevertheless the movies were enjoyable. There is a Nespresso coffee machine and a kettle in the cabin as well as a fridge and coffee and tea are provided. Binoculars are also in the room. There is a black leatherette sofa bed in the room and a coffee table with adjustable height. The dressing room is generously fitted with a dressing table, sink, lit magnifying mirror and hanging wardrobe space which is deep enough to hold carry on luggage. The bathroom has a shower over the bath, basin and toilet. The room's air conditioning worked well and kept us cool during the hottest night on record. One disappointment was that the port of Wallaroo was abandoned due to tidal issues and extreme heat and we spent 2 days in port at Port Lincoln with a view of the grain conveyer belt instead. We did not learn the port had been removed until after the emergency drill as we did not hear an announcement and discovered a note on the bed after the drill. The visit to Kangaroo Island was very enjoyable despite the heat and we visited a Dudley winery, the light house and 'Antichamber Bay' and Chapman River and saw wildlife such as kangaroos resting under the trees. Paul our tour guide jumped in hands on to do the tour as the day visit to Kangaroo Island was changed and we were 2 days early due to the adjusted itinerary. Paul did a wonderful job. Food on the ship was tasty and well presented by lovely smiling staff. I prefer the restaurants to the self serve buffet for a more serene meal. A couple of places on the ship had an odour of sewerage and we worked out that it was on the stairs or levels below public toilets. There were children in both pools, even the adult pool and I did not swim at all as the pools were quite busy. Embarkation was easy but it would benefit by providing more space for passengers as those taking details were sitting right next to each other behind a low table and it was very confined to say the least. Disembarkation was easy as we chose 'express checkout' and carried our own bags off as soon as the ship had clearance. The emergency drill was conducted outdoors and on deck in extreme heat. Passengers were required to take and wear their life jackets. This could be much improved by conducting the drill indoors and leaving the life jackets in the rooms as the lounges could be utilised to enhance passenger comfort. Mimi on Reception desk was particularly friendly and helpful to us and we thank her for her positive friendly attitude. The ship is vibrant and has some lovely chairs in the bars and lounges. The shopping could be improved by having less staff standing around looking like guards. The ship would benefit from placing some chairs or small sofas near the lifts like was seen on the Astor last year as often there is a wait for the lifts. Will I travel again? Yes definitely and I have already booked quite a few trips with this company for the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We had previously sailed on this ship when it was P&O Pacific Eden and had nothing but praise. We thought we would be okay cruising on the same ship but different name. Big mistake. The room was not set up for 3 people. The sofa bed ... Read More
We had previously sailed on this ship when it was P&O Pacific Eden and had nothing but praise. We thought we would be okay cruising on the same ship but different name. Big mistake. The room was not set up for 3 people. The sofa bed was broken and had to be fixed the following day after a terrible sleep.Staff had limited English and there were communication issues. The food was terrible. We dined in the Waterfront restaurant the first night. If you wanted steak too bad. It wasn't on the menu. There was surf n turf available at a price but they needed 48 hours notice. The chicken was tough, potatoes were grey in colour. The waiter told us most of the food was frozen. Here was a ship sailing in Australian waters where we have some amazing wines. The only white wine available by the glass was a Waikerie wine. Yuck! The buffet area had watered down juice and they were quick to pack it up. Too bad if you wanted something a little later. The entertainment was amateur and boring. The first night we actually walked out. Unlike P&O there was little in the way of activities and entertainment during the day. As for night time well forget it. We were docked for 2 days in Port Lincoln as we couldn't dock at Wallaroo. Was there any extra entertainment for guests??? The answer is no. The shops were not open as we were in port. We thought we would watch a dvd. DVD not connected and even when WE connected the machine it didn't work. A call to reception about this and the fact we lost sound for hours on the tv was never attended to. In a balcony suite the expectation is much better service then this ship provided. We would never sail with CMV ships again and have told friends and family and the travel agent the same. The only good thing was the gym. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my 8th cruise and what a disappointment. My sister and I took my elderly father on this cruise and it was an embarrassment. The ship must be on a huge cost cutting period, the food in all areas was 1 star. The time ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise and what a disappointment. My sister and I took my elderly father on this cruise and it was an embarrassment. The ship must be on a huge cost cutting period, the food in all areas was 1 star. The time restrictions on when food was available was laughable. Do not go on this cruise if you are looking for fine dinning. The cruise team do their best with what they have. 1st day both pools were empty, warm champagne, toilets blocked, all cocktails premixed, air conditioning not adequate. No bar fridge in the cabin, no room service apart from breakfast. 10 year old TV with terrible picture. Cabin decor old. Watch out on deck 6 where the tinted windows become see through at night. Book another ship as this is in need of a huge cabin refurbishment and money being spent on items you expect on a good ship. The entertainment areas are lovely but it ends there. No more CMV for us. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to try cruising around Tassie instead of sailing on Spirit of Tasmania. overall, we made the most of the time we had both on board and at port. Majority of the ship was above age of 60, with only 5 children under 15 on board. ... Read More
We wanted to try cruising around Tassie instead of sailing on Spirit of Tasmania. overall, we made the most of the time we had both on board and at port. Majority of the ship was above age of 60, with only 5 children under 15 on board. We didn't do shore excursions, instead utilised trams and maps with walking. PRO's The ship was easy to navigate around after the first day. I helped some of the older cruisers at times with locations. Inside cabin was easy to get around with plenty of hanging and storage space. Showers had temperature control, which is great. Cabin crew were helpful when we asked for anything. Yasmin, the children's activity organiser was wonderful! CON's Like many reviews, there has been minimal upgrades to cabins and ship. Cabin aircon was fidgety, but it seemed to work. We were disappointed with the quality of most food. Seemed at budget level. Overall we didn't go hungry and made the most of it. Making our own combinations was fun. We weren't fond of most available desserts. Personal opinion, I didn't like having my room serviced every day, we cleaned up and requested towels when we needed. Cabin crew didn't cope with that! I told them what we were wanting for day to day maintenance, but they either didn't understand, forgot, or insisted. We found most of the crew had a hard time understanding and speaking English. Particularly while ordering meals. We won't sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Took my elderly mum as this type of cruise was all she could manage. She really enjoyed it as it was more friendly than the big ships and you got lost less. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze - took 10 mins each time. Cabin was ... Read More
Took my elderly mum as this type of cruise was all she could manage. She really enjoyed it as it was more friendly than the big ships and you got lost less. Embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze - took 10 mins each time. Cabin was ok, clean and worked fine. Window showed its age with a lot of silastic. Tele was useless, but we didn’t need it. Cabin staff were lovely as usual. Food was excellent and our deal included free drinks and gratuities which made it easy. Tried a few exotic cocktails - all good, but stay off the rusty nails they give you a head ache! Service was efficient but could have been a little more friendly in some cases. Nightly entertainment in the theatre was the best I have experienced on any cruise. Bryan in the lounge bar was brilliant. Really enjoyable cruise all round, but articulately suited to an older crowd. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I choose this cruise as it was the first time a cruise ship would visit our home town of Wallaroo, South Australia. There were some concerns as we drove to board as we were being bombarded by radio reports that the ship has ... Read More
My wife and I choose this cruise as it was the first time a cruise ship would visit our home town of Wallaroo, South Australia. There were some concerns as we drove to board as we were being bombarded by radio reports that the ship has lost engine power and was unlikely to reach port or sail on time. When we did reach our embarkation port of Outer Harbour, South Australia, the ship was waiting at the wharf and we were assured that all was ok and that there would only be a short delay to the proposed sailing time. We were happy to accept the explanation provided by the cruise line for the problems the ship had experienced and lined up to board. Embarkation was quick and we were soon in our cabin. As it was only a short cruise and to celebrate the occasion we had booked a deluxe suite on deck 10. The suite was spacious, comfortable and throughout our cruise everything worked as it should. The cabin staff were efficient and did what was required in a friendly manner. The public areas of the ship were very well presented and we had no problems finding things to do or getting drink service when it was required. Some of the staff had language problems and it was at times difficult making yourself understood but this isn't the first time we have experienced this on a cruise. The food was below the standard that we had experienced on any of our past 5 cruises. The variety was poor and choices offered didn't change from day to day. We ate at three of the restaurants and at the buffet/bistro area. The best food available at the bistro was definitely the breakfast where if you requested eggs/omelettes they were at least served fresh and hot. However this wasn't an expensive cruise and we considered the standard of the food served reflected the fare we had paid. We didn't go hungry and we didn't get sick. We were surprised to see people in the bar areas openly drinking spirits out of water bottles. People would order soft drinks and then openly mix their own drinks with "water" at their tables. The bar staff didn't seem to care about this even when the people they were only serving soft drinks seemed to be the most inebriated people in the bar area. If it was obvious to us and other passengers it should have been obvious to the staff. A friend who works at a alcohol outlet at Wallaroo told me later that they had record sales of bottles of vodka and gin when the ship visited Wallaroo. Throughout our cruise and despite very warm weather only one of the ships pools had water in it. Enquiries to crew members as to why this was resulted in a wide variety of reasons why. Only having one pool open often resulted in too many people in the pool. There were no attendants at the pool and many of the people using the pool constantly 'bombed' others which became dangerous with elderly people and children trying to cool off. Bar staff watched what was occurring but showed no interest. We found the entertainment and activities provided to be ok for such a short cruise. We were surprised to see children wandering around the pokie machines and casino gaming tables of an evening. We visited Wallaroo and Port Lincoln and were very happy with the markets, shopping and activities provided. Wallaroo having a cruise ship visit visit for the first time had gone to a lot of trouble to cater for the visitors and we were very proud to hear our fellow travellers speak in high praise of what was offered. Overall the cruise was what we expected for what we paid. It was good without being great and the welcome we received at the ports we visited helped us enjoy our short break on Vasco Da Gama. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I chose the four night East Coast Discovery cruise to welcome CMV's Vasco Da Gama to Australia. I was not disappointed. Long a fan of Astor and Columbus for the last couple of years Vasco Da Gama was a test. Sadly the weather ... Read More
I chose the four night East Coast Discovery cruise to welcome CMV's Vasco Da Gama to Australia. I was not disappointed. Long a fan of Astor and Columbus for the last couple of years Vasco Da Gama was a test. Sadly the weather turned nasty on Bass Strait and our planned stop at Burnie was cancelled. We stopped for most of the 2nd day at sea at Eden instead. The Capt. had advised of big seas and very strong winds on Bass Strait. No complaints from anyone. Day 3 was however a heavy sea day as we sailed towards Melbourne. The ships stabilizers were working full force and life indoors continued as planned, dining rooms were full of seasoned mariners breakfast lunch & dinner and the food for the whole trip was surprisingly good (compared to what P&O used to dish out on the same ship). Circumstances (back at home) changed for me however and sadly I had to leave the ship in Melbourne to fly home. I was not on the ship for the controlled power black-out off the coast at Port Adelaide on Friday 6th Dec.. Media beat ups of this so-called "disaster" were sad to read. For CMV safety comes first obviously The ship is 26 yrs old and as such obviously will have occasional issues. I could not fault CMV or the Vasco Da Gama for the time I was onboard and look forward to a longer trip in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I chose this cruise as it coincided with our 25th wedding anniversary. There where 3 stops Burnie, Melbourne & Adelaide. Burnie was canceled due to weather so we stopped at Eden NSW instead This was in no way the ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise as it coincided with our 25th wedding anniversary. There where 3 stops Burnie, Melbourne & Adelaide. Burnie was canceled due to weather so we stopped at Eden NSW instead This was in no way the ‘fault’ of the cruise line and we appreciated their efforts in finding another port. On our arrival to Melbourne we were one hour late. The ship then broke down coming in to Adelaide. At approximately 5.30am the engines stopped & all power went off. No air conditioning, no water, no lights & no flushing toilets. Contrary to what the ship’s Captain has informed the media, there was no communication with the passengers until 7.45 to 8.00am. At that time we were informed that the ship was stopped due to a warning light for one of the engines. Breakfast was still available although nothing hot but plenty of cereal, pastries & fruit. Of concern, no one was offered any water. This included a lady seeking out water for her elderly husband that was at risk of choking. After 3 hours we were finally underway. This ship & cruise line in my opinion is budget so you get what you pay for. There are little things that could be done to make the cruise a lot better experience such as hot chocolate & tissues for the bathroom. This is my first CMV cruise & there was no atmosphere, even departing Sydney at 9.00pm travelling under the Harbour Bridge & through the harbour, One positive is the gym, it’s great for a cruise ship gym, also there is access to what I would call the Turkish baths. This is a spa, steam room & heated lounges included in the cruise price. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional ... Read More
Fact Finders review Vasco da Gama Half World Cruise Tilbury to Sydney 9 October – 2 December 2019 The facilities, services, design and layout of the ship presented very well, despite its age of 27 years, in the pre-cruise promotional material. The itinerary crossing two magnificent oceans and the Panama Canal was just perfect for us. However, our cruise experience was devastated by the lack of appropriate maintenance or upgrade of Vasco da Gama’s essential services and utilities. It became apparent shortly into the cruise that these were in dire need of refurbishment and should been addressed during the ship’s time in dry dock. The associated problems of this neglect plagued passengers throughout their entire cruise experience. It became obvious to us that the purchase of a second or third-hand ship with a patchy maintenance record and renaming it after limited refurbishment (only the engines?) and remodelling of some public areas was a high-risk strategy. CMV should have carried out a comprehensive audit of the ship’s utilities and essential services and undertaken a thorough overhaul of them rendering this critique unnecessary! Our cruise experience was also greatly diminished by unprofessional executive management and incompetent management of guests’ needs, reminiscent of Fawlty Towers. We could not understand what all the “white uniforms with epaulettes” were doing as they stalked their way around ship, including the dining rooms. We were told that it was to ensure that staff were doing their job properly. Unfortunately, there was a gestapo-like quality about their supervision which did not contribute to a relaxed and genial atmosphere. Certainly interaction of executive and some senior managers with passengers, as we have experienced on other cruise lines, was not a priority for them. The following is a list of issues drawn from our and other passengers’ experiences on the ship over 53 days of cruising that we believe CMV must rectify to ensure that passengers do not have to endure them in the future. 1. Inadequate and ineffectual air conditioning system - temperature and air flow could not be properly regulated in cabins and public areas of the ship; 2. Defective plumbing and faulty waterproofing - resulted in sewage spills, flooding and water penetration requiring fans all around the ship to dry out carpets and dispel unpleasant odours; 3. Incomplete coverage of the public announcement system across public areas of the ship which prevented passengers from hearing ship announcements. This represented a major safety issue as passengers in these areas were unable to hear important or emergency announcements; 4. Primitive and unsafe gangways to tenders - gangways to tenders were uneven and too narrow for ease of movement and were totally unsuitable for passengers with mobility problems. When there were no planned land excursions, at a limited number of ports, disembarkation of passengers became a free-for-all rabble because there was no organisation by management of passengers. It was irresponsible and negligent of management not to coordinate disembarkation in a safe and efficient manner. Hundreds of passengers were forced to queue up and down stairs and along passageways on the disembarkation deck for up to an hour before getting off. This created considerable discomfort and a major health and safety problem for passengers, particularly older passengers, because of overcrowding and heating from so many bodies. It represented a major safety issue because there was no emergency exit plan provided by management as to how passengers could quickly and safely exit from these areas. Areas around lifts were so overcrowded that people exiting them had extremely limited egress and when they were unable to take their place at the end of the queue they were forced to push in front of other passengers who became upset at the intrusion. Passengers who were not disembarking had to fight their way back to their cabins if they resided on that deck. 5. Untrained and/or inexperienced hospitality staff - CMV appear to have recruited a large cohort of employees to work in the ship’s hospitality service areas who had very limited English and lacked even the most basic restaurant and bar service skills; 6. Uncooperative and ineffective guest service at reception - staff provided little or no action on guest concerns. Just in case passengers expected any form of “concierge services” on Vasco da Gama, provided by most other cruise lines admittedly more highly rated than CMV, the opposite was true with reception stonewalling most enquiries; 7. Unprofessional performance by executive managers and some, but not all senior managers - guest concerns and suggestions for improving their cruise experience were generally ignored despite the ship's stated policy of effectively communicating with guests. As a result, legitimate management problems identified by passengers during the cruise persisted until final disembarkation; 8. Communication - CMV claims that it seeks to establish a good level of communication with passengers, but we found out from bitter experience, that doesn’t happen. CMV avoid addressing negative issues with passengers that might reflect poorly on the company and its reputation, but which directly impact passengers. Take, for example, the complete absence of public announcements to forewarn and forearm passengers about serious outbreaks of respiratory infection, gastric infection and norovirus. The symptoms of which plagued many (hundreds?) passengers throughout their entire cruise, all of which had potentially life-threatening implications, particularly for older and more susceptible passengers. Passengers estimated the average age of this cruise around 75 years, with a substantial number in their 80’s! This age grouping made the risk of health complications from infection a reality and represented a dereliction of duty by management for passenger care. Another example of bad communication was CMV's explanation of the power failure on Vasco da Gama in Spencers Gulf outside Adelaide (see 2GB link on stranded ship) which was described as a “controlled precautionary blackout’, not a power failure. 9. Inordinately expensive Wi-Fi and lack of "duty of care" by IT at reception - to ensure that passengers did not lose their data allowance by failing to disable all relevant apps and updates, including automatic receipt of unwanted emails that used large amounts of data. The general advice provided by reception on these technicalities, especially for older passengers unfamiliar with them was totally inadequate. This resulted in the loss of much of their paid for data through unwanted data usage. 10. Loss of opportunity to enjoy our onboard cruise experience and to disembark on land excursions in countries we have never visited because of our ship-related illnesses. We believe that widely varying temperatures in the ship, because of the faulty air conditioning where air flow in some areas and thermostat control more generally was almost non-existent exposed us to respiratory infection as a result of moving from the hot and sweaty conditions in our cabins to uncomfortably cold conditions in public areas, particularly in the Hollywood Theatre, where we spent 2-3 hours a day. We are also of the opinion that sewage spills in passageways and cabins and associated sewage aerosols were directly related to our gastric infection which resulted in us being restricted to our cabin for 7 days with diarrhoea and vomiting and isolation for 2 days. During the weeks we endured the symptoms of these respiratory and gastric infections we were unable to function normally, unable to participate in on-board activities, unable to attend restaurants and to missed land excursions of 3 ports at the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) and Tahiti (Papeete and Bora Bora), which were high on our bucket list. The positives of the cruise - the redeeming feature of this cruise, however, was the great layout and decor of the ship and the excellent range and standard of musical entertainment provided by the very talented musicians and entertainment team. Decks 8 and 11, the Hollywood Lounge, the Study, Blue Room, Captains Bar, Ocean Bar, Jade Spa, sauna, steam and relaxation rooms, including the gym were outstanding in design and décor and were great venues for on board activities. The standard of the stage shows, singers, dancers, costumes, choreography and stage production whilst not as big as on larger ships were outstanding. The standard of the comedians brought on board, however, were second rate and should have been left on the club circuit. Some of the guest lectures were a bit hokey and off-topics that could have been more relevant to the destinations of the cruise, rather than obscure myths and legends and overly detailed stories of so-called celebrities that many passengers had no idea about or were really interested in. Some were most enjoyable and informative. The standard of food and service in the main and 2 specialty restaurants was average to good, but not as outstanding as promoted by CMV, however. Whilst the menus changed daily in the main restaurant, the same menu ran for 7 days in the 2 specialty restaurants. As a result, passengers ran out of choices after a few days, especially those with dietary restrictions. The menu in the main restaurant ultimately become very repetitive and boring. After three quarters of our way through the voyage, we could have written the menu ourselves. How many variations can you have on grilled fish? The bottom line - if passengers were able to suspend their frustration, annoyance and disappointment with the failings of essential services and the unprofessional management of the ship, including some of the wait-staff who didn't seem to want to be on board, and focus on the positives of the cruise experience, the maintenance problems of the ship were inescapable. This was the prime reason for me rating the cruise as “terrible”. Fix these up and the rating would sky- rocket. But CMV didn't, despite it being aware of the faulty or potentially faulty condition of the ship's utilities and associated maintenance problems! Our personal cruise experience - we quickly discovered that there was something critically wrong with CMV restaurant and bar staff recruitment. Bar staff throughout the ship had limited English and did not understand beverage or cocktail orders. In Club Bistro, staff had very poor English and could not understand a simple request for a food order. Staff tasked with cooking breakfast and food service were incompetent, disorganised and clearly untrained, or poorly trained. Wait staff clearing and resetting tables were slow and inefficient. Overall, Club Bistro wait-staff appeared disconnected and disinterested in serving guests. Eating in Club Bistro was equivalent to having a meal in a second-rate boarding house. Breakfast service was a shambles. It created considerable irritation and annoyance amongst guest who could not get their orders understood or served in a timely manner. Despite massive feedback from guests nothing seemed to change. On the last day guests were left stunned that Club Bistro staff still could not get their orders right. I submitted my concerns and suggestions for improvement to the guest services manager who duly ignored them, responding by saying that the ship had an "ongoing staff training and development program". The problem was that the staff training program was at the expense of guests. Why are passengers paying the "price" for on-board training of inexperienced and untrained staff so that CMV can minimise costs? We believe that this policy warrants investigation in relation to whether CMV is compliant with hospitality industry standards, including employment of unqualified staff and their level of remuneration? Over the entire Oct-Dec 2019 cruise, senior managers were detached and impervious to guests and their concerns. They stalked around the ship like gestapo with no little or no passenger interaction. Passengers were clearly not a priory for them, as no action appeared to be taken on our feedback, both personal and as the result of a mid-cruise questionnaire. We could only wonder what their duty statements required! Staff at reception were the same. They essentially ignored our concerns. They fobbed guests off by saying they didn’t have the authority to act and that they would pass any complaints on to the manager responsible. And that was the last we heard of it. As a result, there were many unhappy, frustrated and upset passengers due to the lack of action and lack of responsibility of senior management. On the very last day of the cruise the public toilets on the ship malfunctioned. Now we know the ship lost all power and services en route to Adelaide. This was not to be unexpected given the history of the ship. It is 27 years old without a major upgrade of the facilities concerned. It is ironic that the ship’s power supply failed, since it was one of the few ship upgrades that occurred. Systemic problems with the air conditioning caused cabins and public areas to be either freezing cold or unbearably hot. Such drastic changes in temperature throughout the ship exposed passengers to respiratory infections early in the cruise. These took several weeks to recover from and seriously detracted from the enjoyment of the cruise. Some passengers were exposed to potentially life-threatening complications, including pneumonia, particularly amongst older and more susceptible passengers. All the so-called communications received by passengers from management about on-board health issues were general in nature, that is, limited to hygiene and the need to sanitise regularly. There were no warnings from the ship's management that the ship was experiencing a major outbreak of the above health problems. It was as if it didn’t happen! Guests coined the phrase “hospital ship” and “Oh you’ve got the Vasco cough, too”. Some were turning up to the Hollywood Theatre wearing beach towels to ward off the cold. One guest speaker made repeated jokes about it, at our expense, as well as the poor standard of food and service in Club Bistro, which was so disorganized, as explained above, that guests were arguing as to who was to be served next. This was great for moral! Passengers with respiratory infections were then put on buses with 20 and 30 guests where they coughed their way their way around various tours of up to 6 hours duration! Hello further transmission of respiratory infection! What was management to do! As if respiratory infections throughout the ship weren’t enough. They were followed mid-cruise by acute gastric infections and an outbreak of norovirus. The symptoms of these infections lasted up to a fortnight to three weeks before full recovery with many passengers experiencing lingering debilitating symptoms for additional weeks. Passengers who advised ship's management of their symptoms were compulsorily isolated in their cabins and put on a clear soup and bread diet for 48 – 72 hours, depending on the severity of the diarrhoea and vomiting, the odour of which permeated the passageways. Don’t even attempt to imagine the smell, which got worse when there were sewage spills on several decks. Passengers were advised that the ship’s captain had the power to remove passengers from the ship if they didn’t comply. Their cabin card was deregistered until they were medically cleared. What a shame that afflicted passengers couldn’t leave their cabins to take their scheduled paid-for land excursions at various ports-of-call. We missed all of Tahiti – Papeete and Bora Bora. Vasco da Gama’s unserviceable and unmaintained plumbing system resulted in blocked and broken sewage pipes or seals spilling sewage into bathrooms, bathtubs and passageways on many decks throughout the entire voyage. Imagine the smell on top of the vomit? No don’t! Toilets regularly flooded into bathrooms and cabins, saturating carpets and personal belongings. One couple who had to move out of their cabin twice because of flooding during the cruise, experienced another flood the night before disembarking Sydney. We felt sorry for the engineers and support staff who bore the brunt of the mismanagement of the ship’s service facilities. They had to work virtually 24 hours dealing with the numerous crises throughout the ship. It was only due to most of the passengers’ goodwill and resignation that they were on a cheap cruise and could do little about the ship’s systemic maintenance problems that there wasn’t a mutiny. However, the issue of over servicing and over charging by the subcontracted medical centre of passengers’ medical conditions – including those referred to above - was an issue that did result in over 100 passengers convening meetings, including with the captain, to seek redress for the exorbitant cost of medical treatment. Reference to this and other problems encountered by passengers on the ship may be found in postings on the Trip Adviser Forum. Could CMV be accused of knowingly disregarding passengers’ level of comfort and overall cruise experience without upgrading essential service utilities in order to keep the ship at sea to maintain revenue? Could it be that the CMV "business plan" is to buy second and third hand ships without proper upgrades to provide cheap affordable cruising taking the risk that their highly competitive price point would attract enough new customers to keep the company afloat despite driving away return customers? Fact Checkers believe that an independent audit of compliance of the ship’s essential services and utilities be carried out by cruise ship regulators with the aim of enforcing systems upgrades previously disregarded by CMV to prevent a repeat of the fiasco on Vasco da Gama. Also, an independent review of the standard of guest services and competence of senior management on Vasco da Gama should be carried out, in particular targeting the performance of the guest services manager and hotel director specifically in relation to what action they took or didn’t take and why on the myriad of passenger complaints and the two formal feedback questionnaires on improving passenger cruise experience on Vasco da Gama. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with CMV, cruising from Tilbury to Sydney. It was also many passengers first CMV cruise. Most of us were attracted by the terrific package from several agents which included airfares and 2 nights stay in London. We knew the ship was advertised as 3 star and was an old ship from Holland America/P&O. We were pleasantly surprised at the beautifully redecorating of the ship, the amazingly friendly staff, the fantastic food, better than many ships we have been on (we have done over 40 cruises), the extremely talented ship's dancers and singers and the general layout of the ship. There were technical issues that are still causing problems..some people had flooding cabins, the air conditioning system took quite a while to sort out, but the engineering staff were working as quickly as possible to correct these. There were also many people very upset with the cost of attending the medical service with bills between $7000 and $12000 ...these were sent to guests' insurance companies however and eventually sorted out, but meetings were held by guests as to how a service can charge such exorbitant rates for chest infections and gastric complaints. We vowed never to go there and quite a few people sort medical treatment at ports if they needed help. While we rarely buy anything in the ships' shops, the shops had little to offer and staff were standing round all day with little to do, this could have been much more interesting for guests wanting to shop there. The ship has a fantastic gym and a free to use thermal centre that most ships charge for. In general we loved the cruise and would definitely go on this ship again and with CMV and are looking at the return journey from Freemantle to Tilbury to re experience this great ship and her fantastic staff. CMV generally charge less than most cruise lines and we must say this was certainly a value for money cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The itinerary was just what we wanted, and by booking early we got excellent value for money. We've travelled with most of the big cruise lines over many years but this was our first really long trip. We had done a couple of very ... Read More
The itinerary was just what we wanted, and by booking early we got excellent value for money. We've travelled with most of the big cruise lines over many years but this was our first really long trip. We had done a couple of very short cruises with CMV before and liked their smaller, older ships and friendly crew. We weren't sure if this formula would work on a long voyage crossing two oceans, but it did. The cruise far exceeded our expectations and (nearly) everything was very good indeed: Crew, food, entertainment, cabin and public areas all superb. Air conditioning a bit fierce at times, but they quickly fixed it in our cabin, which was otherwise very comfortable (Deck 6 midships, quiet and so smooth we didn't know we were on a ship for most of the voyage). Fortunately we didn't have to use the medical services on board, which a number of people found incredibly expensive, but they often are on ships. Shore excursions were a bit pricey for what they were, but we did our own trips in about half the ports and generally saw everything we wanted to. Guest lecturers were informative and entertaining, shows quite spectacular, arts and crafts and music classes very good, always plenty to do even on sea days. The crew went out of their way to make everything as good as it could be, reception staff very helpful (though this wasn't appreciated by a few passengers who seemed to blame them personally when things went wrong, not fair) catering and cabin staff very friendly and obliging, most gave us the impression that they wanted us to have a wonderful time - and we did! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
First southbound cruise of 7 weeks for this ship with CMV . People on board mostly retired Australians, New Zealanders and Brits. Mostly very seasoned cruisers. Ship was not completely full so no queues or crowding anywhere. Probably ... Read More
First southbound cruise of 7 weeks for this ship with CMV . People on board mostly retired Australians, New Zealanders and Brits. Mostly very seasoned cruisers. Ship was not completely full so no queues or crowding anywhere. Probably the most spacious cruise I have been on. Always a deck chair available at deck 10 pool if not on deck 11. Ship is more than 20 years old belonging first to two other cruise companies. Public areas have been updated stylishly under previous owners, cabins less so. However it is kept very clean and meticulous measures were in place to prevent any infectious outbreaks. ( only a minority succumbered to chest infections and D and V .) High cost of medical attention quite a shock but travel insurance companies may want to follow that up. There were plumbing issues as well ..... a negative for some cabins which were quickly attended to and passengers often moved to other cabins. Aircons required attention in several cabins. Those were the only negatives. The positives far outweighed the negatives. The entertainment first class. Usually two shows in the comfortable Hollywood 2 tiered theatre a night . The music, choreography, lighting, sound as well as the dancers and singers outstanding. Comedians a required taste. Also a movie was shown each night in the auditorium ( aircon at level 7 chilly so warm clothes required) Guest lecturers, 3 on board all quite different in subject matter and presentations very good. Unhosted card and other games organised for passengers in the many areas on decks 7 or 8 . Trivia, bingo and other games throughout the day, too. Plenty of physical activities, Aquarobics, Pilates and Zumba. And except for Bingo all this was included in the price . Other entertainment organised extremely well for specific days plus a passenger master chef completion on the long stretch of sea days. Classes in creative writing, ukulele lessons, a choir , watercolours etc made the sea days interesting and new skills learnt. Food . As stated, most passengers seasoned cruisers and vast majority more than satisfied with choices, presentation and flavour. Occasional whingers but that is normal on a cruise. Four nicely decorated areas for dining without extra charges. Two for extra charges. Drinks package good value if you like three or more drinks a day. Plenty of bars on board and a good variety of drinks. .Good quaffable wine ( mostly Greek and Spanish on this cruise) could be purchased by the bottle from AU$30 upwards a bottle. Gratuities were AU$12 a day ( you were allowed to opt out) and gratuities included in the drinks package. Shore excursions organised by the ship not overly expensive at all when compared with private tours. I did a a variety of ships, private and local transport and I had no complaints with the ship tours except in hot Acupulco where some of the minivans had trouble with their aircon . With fourteen ports of call plus the Panama Canal ( an expert commentary during the daylight trip through) I was not disappointed. The reason I chose this cruise was for its many ports of call and I was so pleased with each day’s activities on land. It is best to have a pile of small denomination US dollars if you want to purchase goods or use cafes for (very unreliable in the Pacific Islands) wifi. Staff / crew were struggling a bit ( mostly all new from the start in Amsterdam) to start with but became excellent. Always obliging and only rarely not smiling. Wifi. Satellite connection not reliable on board or in port on Pacific Islands. Overcrowding of wifi in cruise terminals meant connections not always possible. Sea was surprisingly smooth all along . A few mornings only where you felt the swell. All the tenders got to port where the ship could not tied up. In Nuku Hiva it was a bit of a struggle for two tenders but we made it. Overall very happy with cruise. As I travelled solo there were a few functions organised early to meet up with other fellow solos and I enjoyed their company. As a solo I was always asked if I would like to share a dining table ( except of course in the Buffet) so kept meeting new and sometimes the same diners with great and sometimes not so great conversations. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Reception Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem ... Read More
Reception Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem with them. Cabin We had a balcony on deck 9, almost midships. Plumbing , storage space all good. Beds comfy. Aircon kept the room very cool, good for me but maybe to cold for many. Adjustment seemed to work OK, but whatever setting we had, always cold air coming in thru the vent. Main problem for me was the loud noise from the aircon unit in the bathroom. It was attended to twice in the first week, made no difference. But for some reason it quietened later on. The Bistro This can loosely be termed 'Buffet' which was not actually a buffet as staff served the food from behind the counter, maybe a 'health and safety' issue. Very good selection of dishes every day, always served hot. Sometimes it was annoying having to queue at the counters, but no real problem. Staff dished up reasonable size portions, you could always ask for more or less. of whatever you wanted. Doing it this way stopped some from piling their plate up excessively, the much going to waste. Desserts looked great, many being flavoured creamy things. We like the hot desserts with custard. The tea-time offerings were incredible, savoury or sweet, I loved the lattice jam tarts ! , Many of the staff had very little English, but were picking it up as the trip progressed. All staff we found very pleasant, but the 'supervisors' dressed in white strutted around like Gestapo officers, seemingly unwilling or unable to get their hands dirty. Guess this was their brief from on high. Restaurants (the 3 Waterfronts) Service generally very good and friendly. Good choice on menus, food was hot, especially the soups. All good and tasty. We were especially pleased to get a table for two whenever we wanted it, but we tried to avoid peak times like 6.30pm. Swimming Pools One day they were heated, so hope they would always do that if needed. For our trip the temp was fine, kept clean every day. I often swam 1st thing in morning, both pools opened between 5.45 and 6am . The covered pool area is amazing, comfortable chairs abound, and good mattresses on the loungers. The wonderful opening roof is a sight to behold. Just like Wimbledon tennis ! Public Rooms Very comfortable seating everywhere, in all the bars and restaurants. And with the mattresses on deck and round the covered pool, I have to say it's the most comfortable ship in that respect I have ever sailed on. Evening Entertainment Accomplished group of dancers and singers. Best singer was the DJ 'Aurel' who didn't normally perform, but a wonderful operatic voice. Alex and Freya were the main performers. The evening shows were fairly good , say 8/10. Great costumes. Guest speakers a mixture. Panama Canal expert Andrew Roberts was superb. Our 'bird-man' made unnecessary references to what he perceived as faults throughout the ship. Daytime Entertainment Appalling ! The ship had no QUOITS courts. !st ship I've been on without one. Two SHUFFLEBOARD courts, but in 47 days only THREE scheduled tournaments, 2 of which were utter failures. Come on Cruise Director, ! DARTS games were fairly regular, and well run by YASMIN who worked hard with all her allocations. She also ran indoor 'noddy' games every morning 10-12 in the Ocean Lounge, where an amazing number of guests congregated despite the lovely weather outside. Mainly Australians (3/4 of all the passengers) who have so much sun at home and are more aware of the dangers of sun damage, but they sure like QUIZZES which were run maybe 3 times a day. Clearly there was a big demand for morning games inside the ship. Now here is a big PROBLEM. The sets of question were fine, though they were angled towards Europeans, not so easy for the Australian quiz fanatics. The PROBLEM is that you did NOT exchange answer sheets, and some teams wrote down multiple answers, giving them a point if ANY answer was right. So stupid. Come on CMV, get teams to swop answer sheets like any other cruise line, or even like Marco Polo did. Sometimes staff were allocated to run a 'game' maybe table-tennis without knowing what they had to do which was pathetic, two even arriving without pen and paper.. Or a non-English speaker reading quiz questions, needing help from a cruiser. So all in all, to my mind a big failure on behalf of the Cruise Director. The absence of deck sports certainly marred my cruise experience, ...but the wonderful; food served up in Bistro and restaurants, coupled with the good pools and superbly comfortable seating areas around the ship explains my 'very good' 4/5 rating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited ... Read More
It was visiting some of the places I’d never been. The first day we were given our key and we went to our room and it smelled mouldy. Over the first 15 days we were moved from cabin to cabin 6 times. We finally had enough and visited the Hotel director. After making it clear that we had had enough of the moving around the ship, and forcefully requesting an upgrade, we were given a balcony cabin with no more issues. The ships aircon didn’t work, the plumbing was leaking in the rooms and spilling sewerage on the floors. People were being moved around to different cabins because of these issues and we were too. One lady was charged $1000 for an upgrade to get out of the room she was in due to problems with it. Although most of the food is cooked ok, it is always the same and no variety. The staff on the lower rungs of the ladder, although young and inexperienced a lot of them, are very good and a credit to the company. This is the ONLY upside of this cruise. The higher up managers don’t care. AND A WORD OF WARNING, DONT GET SICK ON THE SHIP. Bring lots of medication for flu like symptoms and vomiting and diarrhoea. The doctor charges what he wants and doesn’t answer to anyone. Most people had ECG’s even for diarrhoea?? Lots of bills are up to and over $10,000 and they need to be paid before they get off the ship, even though the Dr has all their insurance info. Never seen so many people on a ship with cannula in their arms It seemed to be the order of the day. He has lied on reports about their symptoms so it looks like it has nothing to do with the cleanliness and the hygiene on the ship. One lady went and complained about her bill and he discounted it by 50%. If you have to go on, take all the precautions you can. Everything on the ship is expensive, there are no toiletries available for sale on the ship. The staff in the Mediterranean restaurant are superb. The menus are changed every 10 days, so there is no variety in the specialty restaurants either. Children’s club not open. Entertainment was mostly done by the crew although very good, there were not a lot of guest entertainers. I think we had about about 3 for then whole cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The promotion by Imagine Cruising (who were fantastic and very helpful) made this voyage sound like the "trip of a lifetime", so we took it to satisfy an important anniversary in our life. - VASCO da GAMA Cruise – London to ... Read More
The promotion by Imagine Cruising (who were fantastic and very helpful) made this voyage sound like the "trip of a lifetime", so we took it to satisfy an important anniversary in our life. - VASCO da GAMA Cruise – London to Sydney 56 days. Oct to Dec 2019 It had not been my intention to publish this critique of the Voyage, as I had hoped to receive some credible and constructive response to various communications directed to the Australian Managing Director of CMV ( Mr.Dean Crozier). However, none of my communications were acknowledged or replied to. I guess therein lies the type of Customer Service provided by CMV. Having taken many cruises over the past 35 years, we were really enthusiastic about this cruise on the Vasco da Gama and were excited to be onboard a ship which had "... undergone a multimillion dollar refurbishment..."…. as per published promotional material. Additionally, the route and the itinerary destinations (ports of call), were most interesting and we eagerly looked forward to the many exciting on-shore excursions available. Throughout this 56 day voyage from London to Sydney However, following the initial voyage of the renamed “Vasco da Gama”, from Singapore to London in mid 2019, we became aware and a little concerned with some of the negative on-line reviews citing issues of significance including water, air-conditioning, sewerage, public hygiene, etc. These sorts of issues have a direct impact on the suitability of the ship as being "fit for purpose", and also impact on compliance with basic and accepted requirements for fundamental "health and safety". Naturally we assumed (wrongly) that CMV would take note of these obvious critical issues affecting the ship (and the amenity of the passengers) on this initial line voyage and they would be completely rectified prior to the V001 Southbound voyage commencing Oct 9th from Tilbury London. Once onboard we were confronted with wet carpet in our designated cabin. The enthusiastic Cabin Stewards applied blowers to dry the affected areas, but no attempt was made to find the source of the leak. The same wet carpet reappeared the next day with same treatment applied by the Cabin Stewards. A quick look around the vessel quickly revealed an aesthetically attractive décor within a very tired old ship, worn out infrastructure and with appallingly dirty (contaminated) windows. (Pics available) As we got underway, more and more "issues" became apparent, with the following matters affecting my wife and I directly and personally. These include a hopelessly antiquated TV / DVD system, inadequate onboard sound system meaning many announcements were either inaudible or simply not heard in certain locations, this being a serious issue particularly in the communication of an emergency situation. Of concern to everyone was the ridiculously expensive and poor quality of the Internet service provided aboard “Vasco da Gama”. These facilities fall far short of what is expected in this day and age, and what is provided by other Cruise Lines (We are aware of additional related issues affecting a great number of other passengers). Most of our serious concerns fall into the category of the ship not being "Fit for Purpose", and with those issues having a significant impact on HEALTH and SAFETY for the passengers. Air-conditioning. During the second week of the voyage, our cabin became an overheated "sauna" to the extent that it completely deprived my wife of any sleep. Our initially expressed concerns resulted in a "technician" attending for a few minutes, but with no better outcome. However a subsequent meeting with the ship's Chief Engineer did produce immediate results. (Thank you). But this exercise did highlight the fact that customer (passenger) comfort is a little or no major concern to CMV. The designated Guest Services Manager was a glaring example of how not to deal with people and their concerns.... just obfuscate and ignore. To him, the ship's passengers were clearly just an annoyance. Later in the voyage, the Air-Conditioning malfunctioned in the Club Bistro on Deck 11, creating excessive condensation on the ceiling throughout. The condensation, which lasted for many days, caused water to drop onto food, plates, people , food surfaces, cutlery, crockery and the floor. Everyone was disgusted. This naturally presents a HUGE health and safety risk for all concerned. The Staff and Crew response was to "mop" the ceilings with floor mops draped with a towel....!!!! Hardly a safe or healthy response to such a potential health risk to all those onboard. (Pics available) Windows. Almost all the ships windows were disgraceful ...… unclean, and with moss, fungus, mould and mildew evident between the laminates of the double glazing. Additionally the windows in our cabin (and many adjacent cabins) were continuously wet between the laminates clearly indicating that they were not sealed and all contamination was freely airborne throughout the ship. Other windows including in the Club Bistro on Deck 11 were visible cracked and broken, again providing free flow or airborne contamination. (Pics available) Swimming Pools - Cleanliness and Maintenance. The pools on Decks 10 and 11 were not maintained in accordance with CMV's stated (published) policy, with the pool on Deck 11 being emptied and cleaned on 4 occasions only throughout the voyage. On one occasion a staff member had to specifically request the pool to be cleaned due to the obvious and visible presence of "contamination". During another period where the pool, on Deck 11 was emptied for cleaning, one of the now exposed underwater light fittings was clearly full of "green contaminated" water, yet the pool was re-filled without that underwater light fitting being emptied, cleaned and sanitized. Likewise the pool on Deck 10 became clearly contaminated and turned bright yellow…!!! The potential health and safety implications are obvious to anyone. These matters were subsequently drawn to the attention of the Captain, who was "most concerned" and took a copy of the pictures of the offending light fitting (Pool on Deck 11). However, it was another 5 days before the pool was emptied and the affected light fitting, properly emptied of the contaminated water, and thoroughly cleaned. (Just prior to arriving in Sydney)!!! This is clearly in breach of CMV's own published pool cleaning policy, and flies in the face of common sense and basic healthy practises. (Pics available) Defective Ship Hygiene. From the outset, my wife and I were concerned with aspects of the absence of basic compliance with required ship hygiene as evidenced above with considerable leaks of both "potable" and "grey" water on all Decks, including crew levels (according to staff). All attempts to ascertain if CMV (“Vasco da Gama”) complied with the World Health Organisation- “Guide to Ship Sanitation” as adopted by Bahamas Maritime Safety Authority, (embracing all Bahamas registered vessels) proved fruitless. As with many of the matters raised with ship crew / staff, they were met with obfuscation or simply ignored. Sewerage Leaks. One of our greatest concerns was the frequent and repeated sewerage leaks occurring at various points on board, particularly above the walkway on Deck 6, at approximately midship on the Port side. These leaks were attended to daily by ship crew who themselves were regularly coated in the brown muck each day, only to have the temporary taping of the leak fail the next day. This issue was a particular concern as Deck 6 was used for exercise, walking, etc , by many onboard. The problem continued for a long period and was only really seriously addressed on the day prior to arriving in Sydney. (pics available). On-board illness. Prior to midway through the voyage my wife became severely ill (as did many other passengers and a similar number of crew), requiring medical attention at the onboard Medical Centre (diagnosis, was as with most similarly affected passengers, - suspected diverticulitis,,,!!! when none had ever had such a previous diagnosis). It was about this time that a regulated regime of hand sanitation was introduced at all appropriate points (meals areas, theatres, toilets, embarkation, etc). However, in such an environment, surely the regimented hand sanitation should have been in place from the commencement of the voyage. We understand from the Doctor that there was 83 passenger illness cases requiring his attention (along with a “similar number” of ship crew and staff). Approximately half of the passenger patients were confined to their cabins (along with their cabin partners) for periods 24 - 72 hours, as were affected staff and crew. Clearly an indication of a very seriously deficient Health and Safety program. Needless to say, our "trip of a lifetime" effectively ended mid voyage, with my wife's illness. From that point we sacrificed much of the pleasures to be had because of her lingering unwell feeling. We no longer took shore excursions and limited many opportunities to participate in activities for fear of further contamination. Upon returning home and visiting her Doctor, she was diagnosed with Salmonella ..!! (which we now understand is a "reportable" sickness). It is not surprising that a number of other “sick” passengers have contacted us to advise that their own Doctor diagnosed Salmonella on their return…!!! One could be excused for asking if the ship was trying to "protected itself from closer scrutiny"?? Given that most of these issues were drawn to the attention of CMV after the Singapore to London voyage, it is therefore beyond belief that these issues were not properly rectified prior to the commencement of the Southbound voyage in Oct, 2019. The above matters were of such serious concern to us and many other affected passengers that an on-board meeting of over 150 people resolved for a deputation to meet with the Captain to draw these matters to the attention of CMV "officially". Interestingly, their personal interventions produced remedial action and significant works were subsequently undertaken on the key issues including Pool cleaning, Sewerage leaks and Air-conditioning. But obviously it was at the end of the voyage...... too little, too late for us, and others who were severely impacted negatively by significant health and safety issues that could well have been avoided if the serious matters detailed above had been addressed and rectified prior to the voyage. Needless to say that by the end of the cruise the Vasco da Gama had been renamed “Fiasco Disaster”……. And for good reason. MORAL : Take a CMV Cruise at your peril….. particularly onboard the “Fiasco Disaster”. Submitted by : Cyclopseas. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.0
Entertainment 3.0 2.9
Public Rooms 4.0 3.5
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 2.0 3.5
Shore Excursions 3.5 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.5 N/A
Service 4.0 3.0
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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