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

Originally, the ship was going to Komodo Island, but this was cancelled and Lombok was one of the destinations instead. However, we were told before we took the cruise. We had travelled on the ship before in 2006 when it was Holland ... Read More
Originally, the ship was going to Komodo Island, but this was cancelled and Lombok was one of the destinations instead. However, we were told before we took the cruise. We had travelled on the ship before in 2006 when it was Holland America's 'Statendam' but we only found out after we had booked. The ship looks totally different and the most outstanding feature for us were the three restaurants with different food and ambience and we could go to any one of these without additional cost. The food was very good and alcohol prices were reasonable compared with other cruise lines. Our cabin was kept very clean. Plumbing is a problem on this ship. We encountered it on the ship in 2006 and it is still an issue today. However, when our toilet blocked as it did all those years ago, it was promptly fixed, The air conditioning couldn't be adjusted in the cabin and at times it was too hot at 26 degrees, but again , the crew worked on it promptly. Our cabin attendants were very friendly and helpful. We had access to movies in our cabin but as they couldn't be wound back to the beginning, we didn't watch any. Also, we didn't go to shows, preferring our own company and our books. Shore excursions were enjoyable and there was little delay in getting off the ship and onto the buses. Shopping was rather woeful as the merchandise was generally unappealing for a bunch of older women.Nothing to buy for children, grandchildren or friends back home. The clothes offered for sale were not what larger , older women would wear either. However, we would be happy to sail on Vasco da Gama again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The advantage of this cruise for Perth is it leaves and returns to Fremantle (with a free shuttle to get you to the train station, if you, like us are taking the train to your home). Each day there would be an announcement of where ... Read More
The advantage of this cruise for Perth is it leaves and returns to Fremantle (with a free shuttle to get you to the train station, if you, like us are taking the train to your home). Each day there would be an announcement of where we were (by latitude and longitude)-I think it would have been good to say something like "If we were on land now, we would be in Busselton", or something similar. The service was very friendly by the large crew (684 of varying nationalities-but no Aussies). I only had one hiccup, and that was in the Club Bistro buffet when I pointed at and asked for dried apricots with my cereal-and was given Rice Bubbles! Perhaps the food service staff need "recognition lessons", especially with the different English accents on board? This does not include the room staff, who were happy and courteous throughout (we actually had our gratuities removed at the Reception Desk, so we could give the money directly to the room staff). One night we ate at the Waterfront restaurant, and the menu is posted out front in the afternoon if you want to go down and make your choices (3 each course) then. There is also a Eurasian and Mediterranean version to be enjoyed. The ship was full of nooks and crannies that you could sit in to have a quiet drink, chat to others or just read and relax. (You will have to get your Jacobs coffee/tea from the machines in the Club Bistro if you want a free one to enjoy, though-otherwise you pay for it), The main pool deck is another matter. Forget going in the 2 spas, unless you are prepared to keep company with heaps of kids. The main pool was always cold, and contrary to what it said on the CMV information given to us in advance, were kept filled both port days. I didn't go in the "adults only" pool at the rear of the ship; but did sit on the lounges in the sun there several times. Our 2 berth cabin was roomy enough-the bathroom has an "Over bath shower" with US fittings-the shower is operated by a pull up button on the bath tap). The TV had 3 movies running just about 24hrs, but no cable. Our 2 port stops couldn't have been more different. First Esperance, where although the day started out cloudy, it got to 24, and humid. The bus tours were quite similar, but we got let off in town, and it was only a short walk to the tender boats taking us back to the main ship. If you are looking forward to Pink Lake-it's no longer pink, due to overharvesting of the salt. Albany started out drizzling, continuing to a full on downpour. Take the shuttle bus to York St (if you hear on the morning message that its for those of "Low Mobility", disregard it). Once the bus drops you in York Street, there are docents (Volunteers) all over the place in bright aqua parkas to help you find your way. If, however, you get a bad day; I recommend the souvenir shop "Wombat Lodge" for all your purchases, with the excellent "York St Cafe" right next door (coffee&cake, $11).Make your umbrella a sturdy one-its always windy! The nightly shows were entertaining, and the twice-daily quizzes fun (but get there early!) The bingo was left till the last sail day, and talk about pricey-ONE game on ONE page cost $10.....not the whole page, or 2 games (we didn't play, but it was a "one line, two lines, full house game, $300,$600, $1000 prizes). Two ladies we sat with a lot were disappointed with their drinks package, saying the Diet Coke was watered down, and had ice as well, the other said her cocktail had crushed ice at the bottom. We had to assemble at various points on the ship prior to disembarkation-and there was express disembarkation (you take your luggage off the ship yourself). We were given a time to disembark; however once the express disembarkation was finished, we went straight down-no crowds! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
CMV offers short cruises in Australian waters at a good price. Embarkation was well organised, simple & quick Food & service were generally good with a buffet and 3 regular restaurant options with a 3 course menu. Our ... Read More
CMV offers short cruises in Australian waters at a good price. Embarkation was well organised, simple & quick Food & service were generally good with a buffet and 3 regular restaurant options with a 3 course menu. Our balcony cabin on deck 9 was very quiet, clean & comfortable. Shore leave to Esperance & Busselton were by tender over long distances and it took a couple of hours to get off for some not on arranged shore excursions, which the passengers should have been pre-warned about. However it didn't bother us as the towns are easily walked around in an hour or two. The entertainment ensemble in the main theatre included singers, dancers and a small band. They put on a different show each night over 7nights which was very professionally done. Savannah, a soprano, had a beautiful voice. The shows reflected the music of the mean age of the passengers ie. 70ish. Other singers & musicians performed in various bars throughout the day and were of a high standard. The enrichment lectures were interesting but poorly presented. There were lots of quizzes and games to play throught the day. The ship was kept scrupulously clean at all times. Disembarkation was as efficient as embarkation. As always there were whingers on board who complained about the food & service (well, everything really. Someone told me the cauliflower wasn't crispy enough !) but CMV are not a luxury cruise line and we believe they offer excellent value for money Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Had an Awesome experience on the ship. Very friendly service, Good food, loved the restaurants. quiet lounges everywhere - Port stops were great, loved Wallaroo the best! The beds were so comfortable and if it got rough at the front or ... Read More
Had an Awesome experience on the ship. Very friendly service, Good food, loved the restaurants. quiet lounges everywhere - Port stops were great, loved Wallaroo the best! The beds were so comfortable and if it got rough at the front or back of the ship, going to the middle of the ship you hardly felt a thing. Variety of entertainment on board - we were a group of 9 girls on a reunion and we were accommodated everywhere we went. The small casino area was fun. We could not go onshore at Kangaroo Island because of the fires so the staff jumped in and put on extra entertainment to fill the void. The ship stood on standby to take on people who may have required evacuation (which did not happen) and they also raised over $10,000 for the Kangaroo Island fire. Getting on and off the ship was a dream. Only whinge was the windows were dirty - I think for a cruise on the ocean it would have been nice to have a view of it lolol. I think some of the other comments on this site were too harsh - we read them before we left and were worried about our trip - no need to worry as I think some of the reviews were not warranted - everything was working, clean and very pleasant. Enjoy yourselves and understand they are servicing 1200 people at a time. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
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
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
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
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
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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