422 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo Cruise Reviews

I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress ... Read More
I chose to travel to Canada and the Cruise and Maritime Marco Polo was available for the cruise. The ship is small and old. Built many years ago. It tilts and sways alot. It is suitable for retired and elderly people. I experienced stress because of a elderly woman who talked non-stop. The male supervisor who works in the buffet area, stares at you in a hateful way. He behaves as if he resents passengers helping themselves to food that they paid for! The buffet cooks behind the counter also stare in a nasty unpleasant manner. The tall, male security guard with dark hair, enjoys stalking women in a creepy manner. He follows women like a creepy shadow. WiFi is not available, so I could not access online banking. Some of the tours were suitable. For example, Montreal, Quebec and Sydney. The Marco Polo cruise was for 30 days to Canada. My dining experience in the buffet found a variety of cooked food. Chicken, fish, and vegetarian. Also salads. The Waldorf restaurant provides a daily set menu to choose from. Two or three starters, main meals, and desserts. Alcohol has to be paid for as extra expenses. Activities such as, comedy drama and singing was pleasant entertainment. There was a daily £5 charge for art classes, for this reason I only attended once. The service by staff in general was basic. The Scotts bar, had 1 good bartender who served nice cocktails. The cabin i stayed in was a standard room. Two single beds, a cabinet with drawers, a double wardrobe and one chair. A small shower room. With basic soap and shampoo with a unpleasant smell. Towels were changed by request. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times ... Read More
Our last time on the Marco Polo was in 2011, our second cruise, after our first on NCL with a butler and a concierge and lots of fancy extras. We’ve done lots of cruises since, but the Marco Polo has stayed VERY special and both times have been equally enjoyable. It’s a shame this is the last time the Marco Polo will visit Canada, so I’ll concentrate on the ship, rather than the ports. If it were to return to Canada, I’d suggest calling it “Canada with a fall”, as a lot of people took the title “fall” rather too literally and actually fell, which kept the doctor fairly busy (although he always seemed to have time for a cigarette – and the occasional brandy - out on deck!)! On arrival, the new parking facilities at Tilbury made things much easier. As we went towards check in, we were greeted by Sheena, a member of staff who recognised us from 2011 – she was also there to wish us a safe journey home when we got back! Check in took no time, and within minutes, we were in our cabin. We really like CMV, and yes, there are things they could do better – information about the ports could have maps, there could be more mugs available and a couple of the waiting staff might be a little more courteous at times (that said, our waiter, Pritish, was fantastic). Sometimes, perhaps a little more attention could be paid to detail. Getting the time zone wrong was a good example, but it does add to the quirkiness of CMV and probably why we rate it so highly. It’s a small ship experience with a very friendly and very helpful crew (mostly) and very friendly passengers (mostly), with no casino, no art auctions, very few queues, no huge upselling – and no kids (although most passengers are very young at heart). Calling it a “small ship” is correct, but as the cruise progresses, it takes longer and longer to get anywhere as you keep nattering to people on the way! We’ve racked our brains as to what facilities a larger ship has that we’d use and can’t think of anything that really makes a huge difference to our overall enjoyment. We booked a “guaranteed” cabin and were allocated 655, an accessible cabin on deck 9. It was very big and exceedingly well situated. It had more than ample storage facilities with a large dressing table and three wardrobes. And very usefully, lots of wall hooks for coats and dressing gowns that we brought with. One of the dressing gowns came in particularly useful to block out the light from under the door. Most of the time the noise from Scott’s Bar didn’t bother us, however we did have to make sure the big doors were closed before we went to bed, and were annoyed by the selfish people who opened them once or twice late at night despite the signs. Our cabin door rattled - we managed to remedy it by using a sock - the cabin attendant did say he’d inform the carpenter, but that didn’t seem to happen, however he did keep the cabin absolutely spotless and never seemed to stop working. The hold rails in the bathroom came in very useful when we were taking a shower in rough seas. However, as for true accessibility, the ship isn’t modern and one day a lady was in tears after climbing the gang way back up to the ship which was very steep due to tidal conditions – she didn’t leave the ship again until disembarkation. However, others (including yours truly) managed to dance in Scott’s Bar in rather rough seas until the small hours. With so many sea days, we were delighted with the daytime activities, especially the creative writing classes by Chrissie – and the drama classes with Harry and Emma. Doing these meant that there were clashes with some of the lectures but the ones we saw (especially Steve’s maritime history ones) were great. Sue was always on deck saying we’d just missed a whale (seriously, she was fabulous at explaining the natural world around us) – and Lucy was a real trooper although a lot of what she said about photography rather went over our untechnical heads – we just want to point and click to get a photo! Given that our previous Marco Polo Cruise Director was the amazing Richard Sykes, Josh had a lot to live upto and he was a really great Cruise Director – a very talented showman with a great future. The standout moment for us was when he unexpectedly appeared during our drama class in his costume for the cocktail competition. At that moment, it confirmed we were in great hands! The nightly entertainment was mainly very good, although we thought the comedians were rather past their best before date. At nearly 60, I really struggled with some subjects, such as putting sixpences and aspirins in stocking suspenders that broke in the wash. Thankfully some other passengers explained it to us. One thing we would change about the “Round the World” would be the English bit. Surely Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn and some outdated jingoistic claptrap about how we’re going to widen our “Empire” could perhaps be replaced by something more in keeping with the modern world, perhaps a couple of Beatles songs, like “With A Little Help From Our Friends” and “Imagine”. Or even Scooch’s Eurovision entry, “Flying the Flag”. Or something less innocuous like “My Old Man”. It was nice to see a smattering of same sex couples, perhaps we should have asked for an LGBT meet up to be put in the programme as we didn’t get to know one couple until the last few days. Being gay obviously wasn’t a problem, but we were rather more cautious about talking about politics and very carefully “came out” as pro-EU – and were delighted to find so many likeminded people – and were over the moon that EU flags sometimes adorned our cocktails! Unlike some other lines, CMV isn’t “totally” British, we very much enjoyed having a smattering of Dutch and Australian etc passengers onboard. The food was very much to our taste, I’m not sure I ordered anything I didn’t like, and there was a very good variety with very few repetitions during the 30 days, although my pescatarian husband had a couple of veggie dishes he wasn’t keen on, but they were changed very quickly to something he did like. Our waiter, Pritish, was absolutely brilliant and dealt with our dietary requirements superbly. Portions were huge and our only complaint was that the food was too nice so we ate too much! Of course, it wouldn’t be CMV without a few quirks – vinegar springs to mind where at first it came in a gravy boat, then the waiters just brought the plastic bottle! Shame I can’t be as enthusiastic about the house wine. My husband refused to drink the house white after a while and we ended up buying bottles – even at £12 after the discount, it mounts up and is rather annoying when you’ve already spent around £1200 on two drinks packages. For our next cruise, we’ve decided to take the VIP package, reluctantly, in the hope that the wine is better. To cut down on eating, many times, we had the free “breakfast in bed” – toast, a croissant, a pastry, orange juice and tea/coffee was enough – inside cabins don’t have a kettle, so this was a way round getting a hot drink in the morning. A cooked version for a tenner was also available, although I’m not sure how you’d actually eat it comfortably in most cabins which don’t have a table. We only missed one port, St Johns, due to a hurricane, the rest of the time, we got to our destinations, although the tender process was a little chaotic at times, and our last Canadian port, Sydney was only until 1pm, meaning a very short stop for some – thankfully we pre-booked an excursion meaning we were off the ship quite early, but didn’t get a chance for a walk round the town afterwards. The excursions we went on were well priced and well organised and most of the time, free shuttles to the city centre were laid on by the port authorities, but that’s down to the port authority, rather than the cruise company. There’s no denying that CMV is truly unique and not for everyone. There’s simply no point in comparing it to other lines, it does things differently, it will suit some people more than others, and I’m sure there will be reviews about the “rust bucket” and “rude staff” etc. It certainly isn’t a rust bucket and 99% of the staff are friendly and helpful. Towards the end of the cruise, we had no hesitation in booking another with CMV where we got a 5% discount – plus free parking from cruise.co.uk! We’ve now got three CMV cruises to look forward to, none on the Marco Polo, which is a shame as it’s a fantastic ship, but I hope we’ll put that right soon enough. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have travelled on many cruise lines...Oceana, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Star Clipper etc and so are seasoned cruisers. We tried CMV as we were considering a world cruise. And we are very pleased we did The price does not ... Read More
We have travelled on many cruise lines...Oceana, HAL, Princess, Celebrity, Star Clipper etc and so are seasoned cruisers. We tried CMV as we were considering a world cruise. And we are very pleased we did The price does not reflect the quality of food or cabin on board. We had better meals in the restaurant than we had on HAL or Celebrity. You do dress for dinner which we were very happy with. The cabins are dated but larger than the average because the ship is old. The bathrooms are considerably bigger than a modern cruise ship. All of the staff were excellent. And the entertainment was really good in comparison to many of the major cruise lines. Drinks on board were FAR cheaper than any other cruise line we have been on too. This is an older cruise ship but still has all the facilities we required...even a gym which I nearly used! The deck space is generous which is a reflection of a proper old fashioned ship and not the monsters of RCL So all in all, we are delighted with CVM and looking forward to our 78 day epic around Africa and Asia Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It was wife’s birthday so went for it Enjoyed cruise but I was disappointed in the timings ,the boat went up the fjords early morning (while in bed) out in evening (while at dinner ) thus missing some of the scenery A shorter ... Read More
It was wife’s birthday so went for it Enjoyed cruise but I was disappointed in the timings ,the boat went up the fjords early morning (while in bed) out in evening (while at dinner ) thus missing some of the scenery A shorter stay at the places would have cured some of that, as there was nothing much in the villages stopped at .b t w £1.75 to use loo in one place by c c ! Plus side free upgraded to ocean view but noisy ,as we were on the lower deck 5 . As it was wife’s birthday they had a cake for her and the waiters came to the table with it Ready to sing her happy birthday ,but alas they were too late as we went up to see the show. However it was put in the cabin with a card ,nice gesture!. The food was excellent six course dinners with a great variety of food from Beef wellington To salmon . Breakfast loads of cereal,fruits ,yoghurt s meats ,cheeses ,porridge ,bacon (bit hard) sausages ,beans ,hash browns and one morning black pudding which was very tasty ! Another morning pancakes ,the chef was on doing the omelette with different fillings plus fried eggs . Lunch three course ,even fish and chips with mushy peas one day ,shepherds pie another . We chose the dining room as the self service was always very busy ! Drink prices were reasonable at £3.75 pint or near enough Entertainment was good ,some good singers and dancers that would put many a t v show to shame. Different theme every night ,the guest comedian on two nights well what can I say ! There were quizzes and games laid on by the crew which were fun And got you chatting to your fellow passengers . In all a very pleasant cruise up the Norwegian Fjordland third cruise but first on a small ship And nice it started from rosyth saved trailing to south . One final point perhaps they could give the windows a clean now and again they were very dirty when looking out having a relaxing drink Took a while to disembark 2hrs after arriving at port .we were last off ! The End ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Stunning place to visit Weather was fantastic Ship, very tired needs to retire as well do some staff No regrets going. But definitely won’t cruise again on this ship Service in outside bars very slow ( we waited 3 hours ... Read More
Stunning place to visit Weather was fantastic Ship, very tired needs to retire as well do some staff No regrets going. But definitely won’t cruise again on this ship Service in outside bars very slow ( we waited 3 hours before being attended to ) we were told if not happy move to an area that has waiters, one night asked for surf and turf for dinner 24 hours in advance was told no as it was a formal night Choice of foods not great Invited to a cocktail party ! Without any cocktails. Beer ,wine ,orange juice ! We done our own thing at the ports out of the 4 Bergen I didn’t enjoy The other 3 had better scenery very quiet and piecefull Entertainment very limited but the night shows were very good the dancers and singers work very hard VIP drinks package was well worth the money We met some lovely people glad we have done the fjords Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our first and last cruise, very disappointing especially the food which aims for quantity rather than quality. Food was very repetitive, poor choice and poor quality, for example Kraft cheese slices sometimes the only cheese on offer!! ... Read More
Our first and last cruise, very disappointing especially the food which aims for quantity rather than quality. Food was very repetitive, poor choice and poor quality, for example Kraft cheese slices sometimes the only cheese on offer!! Staff not friendly, service was always slow. You've already paid your tips so I guess they don't care. In the buffet restaurant although the staff cleared the tables between diners they never wiped them so if you came late you had a dirty table. Evening entertainment was disappointing. Repetitive song and dance shows, the, best entertainment was the comedian who was actually OK. There was constant maintenance work being carried out which meant stairs up to upper decks were often closed off. They offer WiFi which doesn't actually work, so what's the point Excursions were very expensive and we heard people on the one excursion we did saying they had been to the same place 2 days running. Overall a bad experience, don't recommend it and wouldn't return Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and the weather was spectacular, the cruise experience not so much. Disappointing... The ship while kept clean is in need of a refurb. The service in the bars and for coffee is excruciating slow. We ... Read More
The Norwegian Fjords were stunning and the weather was spectacular, the cruise experience not so much. Disappointing... The ship while kept clean is in need of a refurb. The service in the bars and for coffee is excruciating slow. We waited for over and hour in the captains lounge just to get a coffee, and had to chase it 3 times before we got 2 cups...getting drinks was equally as slow all the time. Very frustrating and you had to wait for waiter service, no other option. The crew were not easy to engage with, and some were downright rude. Very happy to talk and laugh between themselves, but as the customers were felt like an inconvenience. Breakfast was a farce most mornings, and we tried different times, food had run out leading to long queues, no toast, not even mugs to get tea and coffee, just a joke, and set the day off on the wrong note every morning. Scots bar was closed one evening for a staff party! But the ship was heading to Newcastle when we came home then to tilbury with perhaps very few passengers, could the staff party have been then? Not a pleasant trip, and many of our travellers we ate with in the evening had complained on board about the service. Good food and service ok at the evening dinner. I would be very reluctant to recommend the Marco Polo or cruise Maritime after our experience, and it’s unlikely we would want to travel with them again, which is disappointing as they will be sailing from Aberdeen in 2020. The company need to review their management of the catering areas for b/fast and lunch, train the crew to be customer focused, and look to refresh the ship if they hope to get return Business. Not what we were looking forward to on the cruise. To let you understand how disappointed we were in 40 years of travel and holidays, this is the 1st time we have complained. Think twice before you book.... Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
A TA told us about overnight cruises where the ship is repositioned and you can stay and received food and entertainment at a reasonable price. We went from Newcastle to Rosyth(Edinburgh). We had an outside cabin that was small and dated. ... Read More
A TA told us about overnight cruises where the ship is repositioned and you can stay and received food and entertainment at a reasonable price. We went from Newcastle to Rosyth(Edinburgh). We had an outside cabin that was small and dated. We were told check-in was 550pm, when we got to our room we had a message to say we had to be on the 6pm dinner sitting.(If we'd been on the later sitting we could have used the health facilites and they'd have made some money!) We got there as quick as we could and then had trouble getting served (ship was full). Late on during our meal we were told 3 times to hurry up as they wanted to prepare for the next sitting! Food apart from the tenderloin was very average. Bars and staff were lovely, drink/cocktails very reasonable. Went to the cabaret which had a delayed start but we didn't know how long the delay would be and the band were sat around texting. Show was OK but short. DJ and dancing was very good. Sadly they added £7 per person to our drinks bill and if you had a drink after midnight you got charged again. You have to vacate your room by 730am and we were told we would not disembark until 930am. Ship was chaotic as people left bags everywhere and the staff didn't manage//organise the process. Breakfast was plentiful but chaotic. Disembarkation was delayed as they had no ramp and had to submit some rickety stairs! Staff did not magage expectations and were due to passengers asking for advice as how long the delay would be at what the process would be, in the end the passengers took over and just all lined up and forced embarkation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I chose a 2 night cruise to see what the Marco Polo was like as I was planning to go on a much longer cruise (78 nights) and was unsure if I would enjoy life on this rather old and small ship for that length of time. I have been on larger ... Read More
I chose a 2 night cruise to see what the Marco Polo was like as I was planning to go on a much longer cruise (78 nights) and was unsure if I would enjoy life on this rather old and small ship for that length of time. I have been on larger ships for long voyages before. Having read various reviews I was anxious to find out if they were accurate or not. On the whole I found them a good guide to the ship. Reasonably OK for a short voyage but not for any longer. The main reasons for this are that the cabins lack virtually any sound proofing. I heard every word of the phone call that my next door neighbour was making. I was in a premium ocean view cabin. I could also hear music from the entertainment lounge in the evenings. The buffet got very crowded and it was very difficult to find a seat or a table. At times it was crowded with people queuing for food, people trying to go out to the pool deck and people coming in or just passing through. Perhaps the best term would be a scrum. The public areas were mainly only on one deck so no real area for a quiet few hours, activities were also held in these areas. The gym was very small and some of the equipment was out of order. The entertainment lounge looked old and tired and it appeared that if you didnt sit in the front row you would have not seen very much. All these things would not have made an enjoyable long trip with a lot of sea days. I gave the trip a 3 star mainly because the service was good, food OK and a shuttle bus was provided for the port stop, but the ship was really not up to standard for today's cruising Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise ... Read More
Although this was our 40th cruise, it was the first on Marco Polo and the smallest ship we have been on in 25 years of cruising and at 2 nights, the shortest. This is also my first review of a cruise ship. Having booked the cruise recently I looked up the reviews just before going and was quite alarmed by the number of negative reviews. I was not therefore expecting much. However, having enjoyed a very pleasant couple of days I thought that I should review it. I can only think that those negative reviews have come from people that only generally sail on the big modern ships with over 6000 guests and the staff to perform West End style shows. Whilst the exterior and steel around windows etc shows the signs of a 50 year old ship, the carpets and furniture and internal woodwork is kept spotless and clean. The beds are not modern but are comfortable enough and the bedding was clean. The inside cabins were larger than I expected with much more cupboard and drawer room than on many larger ships. With the exception of the lady leaving the duty free shop 4 hours before docking on the final morning who rather rudely announced that they 'were shut as we are always shut in port' when they clearly weren't, everyone else was very pleasant and friendly. I would say that it is a very happy ship.The food was as good as any of the ships we have been on and better than many. Still offering afternoon tea and late night snacks.The entertainment was not brilliant but the singers were good and did provide good entertainment. Let down a bit by the quality of the backing music but nothing to complain about. If you really want everything you get with the big ships, the Marco Polo is not for you. But for great value for money, friendly staff, good food and drinks at less than pub prices in the UK you can't beat this. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. ... Read More
The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. On board for the first time we had to find our own way to our cabin - no greeting. Lifeboat drill was a shambles - no-one on the stairs to direct us, people milling around in all directions and staff did not know where stations were other than their own. The life jackets deserve replacement; I'd hate to have an emergency on that ship. There was a chargeable bottle of water in the cabin when we arrived, but the cabin steward was happy to take it away. He was the best thing on the ship, efficient, cheerful and willing. We had booked an excursion on Narsarsuaq to see Eric the Red's settlement in the afternoon of 29th July. In the morning we were tendered ashore to see the town. We returned to catch the tender back to the ship just as one was leaving at 11.21. No worries - we were due to meet in the Discovery lounge at 12.00 for a 12.30 departure, the ferry takes less than 20 minutes so we'll be on time - so we thought. The next ferry arrived at 11.44 - a bit tight but we'll be OK. The ferry did not go straight back however, but we bobbed about in the ocean until 12.32, causing us to miss our excursion. Over 3/4 hour for a 20 min trip! There were two platforms in use on the ship, one appeared to have "our" intended excursion tender on it (I guess they were waiting for us to arrive), the other was not being used until it was eventually decided that the one we were on would tie up there. You can imagine our feelings when we tied up just as the excursion tender was leaving. When I complained at the Excursion Desk I was told that we should not have gone ashore in the morning! Then to top it all we were told at the Excursions Desk that I would still be charged £100 for the excursion although our non-arrival was due to their incompetence. I later complained to Head Office, but they merely stood by the ship decisions. The staff incompetence was further shown at another tender port which we arrived at in late morning. Their ship's paper stated that tender tickets would be given out at midday from the Tour Office (mid-ships) and would passengers please not queue before then. As anyone with half a brain would expect, by midday the queue stretched from the Office, past the shops, right through the restaurant and out onto the aft deck! Dining - food average (nothing special) but it was often only warm by the time it arrived at our table. If we ordered a starter and soup both were collected at the same time and the soup was kept at the serving area so it was cool by the time we got it. Service was slow and our table was always the last to be served. The wine waitress was efficient and cheerful, the others less so. Aerosol cream on supposed Irish coffee. Afternoon tea was very repetitive. Double cream instead of clotted cream on scones. Breakfast croissants dry and tasteless; toast cold. Very poor choice of cheeses. Rust was evident over the ship. The woodwork is in need of re-varnishing. The steps used to get to tenders have a joining bar across each step such that it moves dangerously when stepped upon. The resident entertainment team is very good; the lead male dancer was outstanding. The layout of the show lounge is poor respecting the view from most seats apart from the front row. Although English is the accepted language, most of the crew are foreign. The captain spoke his own brand of English which was very difficult to follow over the loudspeakers when there was an announcement; he was rarely seen during the cruise, even at "his" cocktail parties - which were non-events. On formal nights few men wore dinner jackets. I even saw one man in shorts in the show lounge on a formal evening. No-one seemed to care. Would we go again? You're joking! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
the brochure looked good but was well overrated to actual cruise. the Iceland shore excursion was good except there were so many other coaches at stop you could not have a proper lunch in time allowed. eric the red tour in qaqortoq was a ... Read More
the brochure looked good but was well overrated to actual cruise. the Iceland shore excursion was good except there were so many other coaches at stop you could not have a proper lunch in time allowed. eric the red tour in qaqortoq was a rip off as all you had to do was go ashore and walk 1km to see every thing they were charging for. sisimuit sightseeing tour was cut short by 1 third but sip only gave 25% off tour. we had a flightseeing tour inillulissat which was very good and run properly. we were the only ones to do flight as fog rolled in and all other flight cancelled. we were due to go sailing among the icebergs next day but that days activities was cancelled. we found out the next day if we had gone ashore the local people doing the tour still done the tours themselves and there was no need for the ship to cancel their arranged tours . our last stop in Greenland was nanortalik where it 3 hrs to disembark ship after picking up tender tickets, then sat in tender for 20min in freezing cold before the tender was unloaded.by the time we reached shore we had only 1hr before we had to return to ship . we had to wait 1.5 hrs to join tender for our return to ship the last stop was lerwick in Shetland islands (there was to be 2 stops but they cancelled one ) where the tour was good but no time allowed to visit town. you travel a long way to see sights but are not given enough time a several of ports for proper sightseeing. the food in bistro was not good at times and we were sick 3 times, the food in dining room was much better. the bistro kept on running out knives , forks and plates and dining room had same problem at breakfast. disembarkation was bad as our group had to leave ship early to meet our bus and ship would not help us remove our baggage which is very difficult for old people as far as cmv goes we would never go on one of their ships and will tell all our friends the same Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995. The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but ... Read More
I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995. The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but they then let us on ship without any security checks. From that moment everyone's security was compromised until return to Tllbury. The first tendering at Kirkwall was terrible. Ticketing started at 0900 and we received ours at 0915 but had to wait ages - until we landed ashore at 1210. They didn't have enough tenders operating and those that were, were uncoordinated. A massive list formed at return time and the harbourmaster contacted the Captain to ask for more tenders. We heard from a number of sources that the Captain refused. After a written complaint I received a letter of management speak blaming the wind??? and the harbour authorities. We had an emergency muster alarm early morning whilst most were in bed. A Faulty alarm. These things can happen but it was badly handled and we weren't given any explanation or apology until the Captain was forced to make a PA announcment mid morning. Also some staff wandered around with bouyancy aids but lacking direction. At NUUK, the Greenland Capital, coahes didn't arrive for excursions. 1st excuse - traffic, then the excursion leader admitted that the coach company had forgotten and said, "That's Greenland". Why didn't she check up the day before? The boat is poorly managed, the Bistro staff are inefficient and lack decent training.If you show them dirty cups or cracked cups, you cannot be confident that they fully understand the problem and the cups continually re-appear. Cold plates for hot meals and warm plates for salads. etc. The Bistro is not good enough to compete with transport cafes. The cupboards are like '50's kitchenettes and even poorly painted. Llttle variety of breakfast offerings. However, we dined in the main restaurant every evening and the food was excellent. terrific selection, well made, hot and well presented.A different kitchen from the Bistro, but we presume still under the head chef? The entertainment was first class every evening and the guest speakers were above par. We will not sail with CMV again. We feel they are a disgrace to the cruising industry, and clearly operate Marco Polo on a shoestring. They tsake a very poor attitude to grumbles or complaints, argueing with passengers instead of trying to solve the problem. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to go to Greenland and when the offer came up grabbed it. However wished we had paid more with another operator. Paid for a better room when booking however found on when on board some people had been upgraded to our cabin ... Read More
We wanted to go to Greenland and when the offer came up grabbed it. However wished we had paid more with another operator. Paid for a better room when booking however found on when on board some people had been upgraded to our cabin category they had paid £1,000 less than us. Ship old, no comfortable chairs inside other than the 5 in the library. Chairs in dining room dirty, chairs in Show Lounge not fixed to the ground meant anyone sitting in them restricted the view of those behind. Food average selected mozzarella and tomato as a starter processed cheese was on our plate! No lectures about Greenland or Iceland. Best of all were the staff who were all very nice. Anyone thinking of going again with C&M I advise seriously consider going with another cruise line especially if you go to Greenland - better to pay more for an expedition ship or Hurtigruten. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. The embarkation port is close to us so was brilliant at the beginning and end of our holiday. Embarkation was one of the best we have experienced, very smooth and we did not have to wait for our ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. The embarkation port is close to us so was brilliant at the beginning and end of our holiday. Embarkation was one of the best we have experienced, very smooth and we did not have to wait for our luggage. We chose priority disembarkation, where you take your own luggage off, which again was very easy and suited us. The ship is good but it was overcrowded. The cabin is very good, but a big step into the bathroom and the window was dirty, spoiling an excellent view. The highlight of the dining experience was dinner which was excellent. Breakfast, lunch and tea were average, with big queues for tea. The onboard ship's entertainment was outstanding, although visiting acts were poor. There was also a great choice of onboard activities and excellent guest lecturers. Service was excellent and usually with a smile. We found the ports of call very interesting and was one of the main reasons we chose this cruise. The visit to Narsarsuaq was cancelled, but we went to Minaatsoq instead. We also missed out on Prince Christian Sound due to it being blocked by icebergs. Shore excursions in Iceland, Faroe Islands and Orkney were good and value for money, but very poor value for money in Greenland. Our best visits in Greenland were when we explored on our own. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a ... Read More
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a new one. Not because it is better but because it is different. The eccentricities and signs of age are apparent as soon as we had embarked at Cardiff and were shown to our cabin (number 130 - chosen by the operator as we had elected to a guaranteed outside cabin rather than choosing one). The first thing one notices is that there are only two electrical sockets - a 220 volt continental point and a 110 volt US point (plus an unnamed push button whose use we didn't bother to determine). In 1965 travellers probably only needed one point - but with the plethora of electrical appliances that are the stock in trade of the modern traveller, one power point is not really adequate. The cabin lights were also rather primitive, with an array of ceiling lights none of which could be switched separately - it was all on or all off using the one switch by the cabin door - and two separate reading lights. When we arrived in the cabin the air-conditioning wasn't working although, to be fair, the engineer was on site in less than an hour and fixed the problem. This was our first contact with the staff and was characteristic of all our relationships with the staff who were invariably efficient, helpful and pleasant. So 100% for that aspect of the cruise. Having unpacked we need to find out the layout of the ship and then we discovered eccentricity number 2. The one thing that every passenger needs is a plan of the ship and this should be in every cabin - but not on the Marco Polo. Yes, plans there were a-plenty at reception - once one finds it. But why not in the cabins which is where they will be most needed? Having found a deck plan another eccentricity was evident (number 3 if you're counting). The ship's plan shows the names of all the decks: Navigator, Columbus, Amundsen, Magellan, Pacific, Atlantic, Baltic and Caribic - but the references in the daily activities guide (entitled The Explorer) gave only deck numbers (Eg. Deck 9 Aft). Of course it is not too difficult to write the deck number on the ship's plan oneself - but why on earth wasn't this done at the time of printing? Before leaving the cabin one other eccentricity was evident, although we didn't bother to mention it to the staff as nothing could have been done. Our cabin floor was as bumpy as if the carpet had been laid across a ploughed field; goodness only knows what was underneath. Finally, although we had paid extra for an outside cabin we might as well have saved our money as for 80% of the journey there were deadlights across the portholes. This is permitted under the normal terms and conditions but it is as well for prospective passengers to be aware of this possibility on the lower deck cabins of this vessel. There are two restaurants on the Marco Polo, one waiter service and one self service and the food is good in both although that in the waiter-service restaurant is more interesting. The waiter service was very good. It is a sad fact that many (maybe all?) cruise companies charge very competitive prices for their cruises and then seek to make up their profits on the extras. My own extras bill came to over £900, much of which was drinks. On board drinks will be duty-free and bought at a discount price, but any savings are not passed on to passengers. As an example, a glass of house wine was £6 and a bottle of beer £4.50 - both well over UK pub prices. A further indication of this can be seen at the water station where there is a stern notice which reads, "For Health and Hygiene reasons it is strictly prohibited to refill water bottles at the water station". Well, I suppose it is just possible that some infected person might have drunk from the neck of a water bottle and then refilled it when pressing that neck against the tap - but I doubt it's a very serious risk. More likely is it that Cruise and Maritime want to make sure that passengers buy the bottled water that they supply at a purely nominal £2,80 per bottle. Cruise lines do have a monopoly and a captive market on board and this was evident from the price and range of the items for sale in the ship's shop. Proudly advertised as duty-free it was clear from the prices that any saving of duty was offset by an increase in profit. I needed to buy a pair of swimming trunks and the modest pair they had for sale was priced at £21 - about twice what a similar pair would have cost at home. The same excessive prices prevailed for most of the items on sale and I rarely saw anyone buying anything. In part the paucity of sales could have been due to the poor stick selection, which was not appropriate for the passenger profile. My own guess is that the average age of the passengers as around 80 years and thus hardly likely to want to buy designer shopping bags or the like. But the one thing that they would all use and probably need would be a walking stick, since at least 50% of the passengers were using a walking aid of one sort or another. Walking stick can break, get lost or simply be forgotten but did the shop stock such things? No. The assistant there did tell me that sticks were frequently requested but that it wasn't an item they ever stocked. If would seem to me that the buyer needs to look harder at the passenger profiles. The entertainment was of the usual variety and standard and little more needs to be said. The shore excursions were good enough but, as is so often the case, pricey for what they were. In summary, one can understand why some people enjoy the quirkiness of the Marco Polo, but next time I will try a different line Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an ... Read More
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an extra was the best I've ever eaten, and I thought very reasonably priced @ £16 - really sweet meat and beautifully presented and all the meals were very very good indeed - compliments to the chefs, most of whom were Indian, and I always feel they are the best! And drinks were reasonably priced too. I wanted a rest and to read and did just that and availed myself of the library on board. She's a small ship but offered all I needed and you don't have to walk miles to get anywhere on board! The pianist and violinist were great, and the Duty Frees excellent value. The crew were polite and most obliging, the cabins were small but fine. The outdoor pool was at this time of year closed off and we saw snow at times - well, we were heading towards Iceland - an expensive and very cold place, the highlight of which for me was a visit to the Blue Lagoon and that day we had lovely warm sunshine. The excursions are pricey but everything is included which saves a lot of hassle and guarantees a safe return on time to the ship. We did go out into the Fjord and saw a humpback whale, so that was another tick off the 'to do/see' list. The Faroe Islands en route were rather bleak with little to really do/see but it's a place to say you've at least visited, and our tour guide Samson was both knowledgeable and polite. Tea/coffee/hot water/hot/cold milk were available from early a.m. to midnight which is important to me as there are no in cabin facilities to make a hot drink. And a child free zone - yes! A good value for money trip, and well done to all who sail on the Marco Polo! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Friends alerted us to an attractive last minute offer for a cruise around Iceland on CMV's Marco Polo. None of us had ever cruised with Cruise & Maritime Voyages before, it's not a cruise line we ever seriously looked at, but ... Read More
Friends alerted us to an attractive last minute offer for a cruise around Iceland on CMV's Marco Polo. None of us had ever cruised with Cruise & Maritime Voyages before, it's not a cruise line we ever seriously looked at, but with an interesting destination and a low price, we were interested. The date was perfect, and Iceland had been on my wish list of destinations for a long time. So my wife and I booked a Standard Plus outside cabin, and our friends a Superior. Cardiff doesn't have a cruise terminal to speak of, the marquee didn't make a great first impression, but it was handy to have the car right out in front. Getting out of the port on the ship is an experience, there's a lock, and even with a ship of this modest size it's a tight fit. The Marco Polo is over 50 years old, and we knew from the beginning that it can't be compared with modern ships. There is an upside to it, of course, because the design of the ship has a certain nostalgic charm. Add the fact that it only takes about 800 passengers, and you will understand that on this ship you won't get lost in the crowds. It's not massive, and there is no cold or minimalist modern design (except in some abstract art on walls here and there). We were somewhat disconcerted to find that there were diesel fumes on our deck - even in the cabin. Although usually my sinuses are considered to be the most sensitive in our family, my wife had more serious trouble with the air quality in the cabin. Fortunately, the problem dissipated as soon as we were on our way - but kept coming back each time we were in port. As for the ship, if you read reviews about the Marco Polo, you'll find that most people agree that a lot of the key areas on the ship look quite nice, but that Marco Polo 'looks tired' in places. I generally agree, although I would go a little further and say it looks shabby in some spots. I mean, I understand the part about it being an old ship and not being able to make it look like a new ship. Fair enough. But there is no excuse for shoddy maintenance - serious damage to carpets and wall panels, duct tape where a socket should be, etc. These are things that make a place look poor, and there is no need for it. Maintenance can and should be done properly, and with an eye for detail, whatever budget you cater for, whatever kind of cruise you're offering, however old the ship. Speaking of maintenance, during the cruise we had to report four or five problems with our cabin: a dysfunctional bathroom light (never properly fixed, it did work, but not as it should), a safe we couldn't get into when it gave us an unjustifiable error (we had followed instructions in detail), a TV which seemed to have given up the ghost (fixed the same day), a safety rail connecting the bathroom door to the wall having been ripped out in rough weather (fixed the next day, leaving dozens of dangerous metal shavings on the floor, which our steward had to clean up when we discovered it after coming back to our cabin in the evening). I do have to mention that the people at reception are very understanding when you tell them about a complaint, and they immediately report it to the relevant department. The ship has some nice lounges, a good nightclub, an atmospheric a la carte restaurant, a buffet bistro, a cosy library, a show lounge instead of a conventional theatre, and several other public spaces, all of which have been decorated quite homely but cheaply. But I wonder if the ship doesn't take too many passengers, because almost every single space feels like it has too much crammed in - with very little space between seats and tables. This is especially true for the buffet bistro, and I'll go so far as to say that it's too small to accommodate the many people who want to use it at peak times. Whether you're on outdoor person or not, often you have no choice and you just have to take your food outside. (Nice on a cruise to the Med, but not always so nice when you're circumnavigating Iceland in weather just above zero degrees Celsius.) But all of this isn't what made me think of Fawlty Towers - it was what happened at mealtimes in the Waldorf restaurant, the a la carte restaurant, and the buffet bistro. On the face of it, the Waldorf operates much like similar restaurants on the ships of other cruise lines. Until you actually experience the meals. But let me tell you more about the place first. Decorated in pleasant colours, partially with a "stained glass ceiling" (it's plastic, CMV, don't call it what it isn't!), it looks and is quite cosy. Like elsewhere, each table has a permanent waiter assigned, and there are people milling about to offer drinking water, wines, etc. We always dined with our friends, at a table for four. And after a few days, we got into the habit of having a bit of a laugh at the service we were getting. Don't get me wrong, it was usually friendly service with a smile, but it wasn't always very professional. Providing cutlery was hit and miss: sometimes we got it, sometimes we didn't, and had to ask. Sometimes we got the correct cutlery for a dish, but more often than not it was the wrong choice, or it was put in the wrong spot. Or it was taken away when we actually had to keep it (we were expected to use the same cutlery for several subsequent dishes). The waiter only remembered men's names and dietary requirements, the lady was forgotten, including the rather obvious fact that she was vegetarian (one day I had to swap soups with my wife, because even after checking with the waiter if a certain soup could be eaten by my wife, it turned out not to be vegetarian at all - fortunately mine was). Tables had two table cloths, and clearly the bottom ones didn't get washed during the cruise. Some problems I suspect weren't the waiter's fault, I had the impression that the kitchen wasn't very good in timing orders. Sometimes one person would be left out, even if everyone had ordered the same dish. And sometimes courses arrived too quickly, one day my wife had two plates waiting for her while she was finishing the food on the first. I do understand it can get a bit complicated when you offer people five (!) courses, and not everyone orders the same number of courses, but I have seen that handled a lot better elsewhere. Breakfast and lunch can be interesting as well. They're not done in sittings, so you get shown to a table. One day there was no one to point me to a seat, so having reached the restaurant before the others, I sat down where we usually sit. I was immediately told off by an Eastern European unsmiling staff member who ordered me away from that seat, with the rather interesting reason "You can't sit there, because it's open seating!" Huh??? Doesn't open seating mean you can sit anywhere? Apparently not. I was assigned a different seat, and protesting that I was waiting for my wife and two friends didn't help, this rather curt lady wanted me at a table with five other guests. Only when I protested loudly that I was part of a party of four, did one of the waiters grasp what was going on, and explained it to the lady. By the time the others arrived I was quite upset. Not only had it been handled strangely, but I had been ordered about by a curt staff member, in a dictatorial tone, which isn't what I come on a cruise for, I expect to be treated nicely, friendly and smilingly. One of our friends had a similar experience at breakfast - returning to the table with a plate full of warm omelette (at least it was still warm at that point), a lady (same one?) wouldn't allow him to sit down! When he finally could, his omelette was no longer warm. Strange, and very unprofessional. Most mistakes were just laughable, though. They were the source of lots of giggles at our table. So many reminded us of Manuel's mistakes in Fawlty Towers. It was good, though, that we didn't come across anyone who reminded us of Basil Fawlty! I get the impression that not all the staff have been professionally trained - or maybe the ship didn't get the best ones, I don't know. I'll make an exception for our cabin steward, who was one of the best we've ever had. But some other crew members we had dealings with either weren't very good at what they did, or their English wasn't good enough to understand what we were saying to them. And some Eastern European staff clearly aren't used to smiling at people, or at treating passengers friendly. Speaking of being friendly, we generally got on well with the passengers, although some weren't exactly the sort we were used to. I was shocked, for instance, when a man in front of us at a show turned around and threatened a man sitting next to us with physical violence if he didn't shut up. And he didn't sound like he was joking! About the food - as far as I can tell, only the fruit was fresh, everything else seems to have come from the freezers or from tins. We had our suspicions that not everything was made from scratch either, with a lot having been bought in, like the cheap supermarket quality pizzas, to name an example. Kitchen staff also seem to have trouble understanding certain western dishes. For example, serving a Caesar salad with a lot of gravy is really weird! Having said that, we did enjoy most of the food. Yes, some was overcooked, some was too cold or too hard, but we enjoyed the majority of the dishes, and there was certainly enough to choose from. At some point during the cruise fish dishes started to taste a bit ' suspect' though, and we stopped ordering them. And then during the Q&A session with the captain and other leading crew members it became clear that they they prefer not to buy their fish fresh, so I suppose that explains it. Upstairs, in the buffet cafetaria (Marco's Bistro), things can get worse. Overcooked duck, overcooked chips, cream chilled to such a low temperature that it's almost as if you're served frozen cream (in big lumps, with only more or less usable 'melted' bits in between), scones not defrosted in time because they're still ice cold and hard in the middle - my impression was that there's no quality control here. I suspect that once something reaches the buffet, staff are just happy that it's there, and they don't care if it's in an edible state or not. Add to that the situation with glasses, cups and plates, and milk, all of which the place tends ro run out quite quickly, and regularly, and I can only shake my head. Not very well organised. And you really do need to organise a buffet very well for it to function properly, and not to be a place where food comes to die a premature death. Another thing I should mention about food, is the live cooking stations. In itself a good idea, I'm all for it. But as soon as you cook chips in advance, and then put them on a hot plate for a while, they're hard by the time people put them on their plate. The same goes for toast - providing toasting as a service for guests is great. Just don't pre-toast any bread, because I had hard to cut bread for days, until I had the idea to ask the man to give me freshly toasted bread. Just don't make toast in advance! But the chef at the egg cooking station in the Waldorf at breakfast is good at what he does. His overeasy eggs were much better than the overcooked poached egg I had in a dish at dinner. One of our biggest problems on the ship, was noise in the night. I know that our friends and a lot of other passengers didn't have the problems we did, so it must have been the position of our cabin (the most forward outside cabin on deck 6), but when seas weren't very calm (and they weren't for most of the cruise), there was a lot of noise. There was a continual loud banging, some kind of electronic-sounding noise, and there were loud noises every time we docked. All of these noises robbed us of a lot of sleep. A great pity, because the beds were comfortable, and without those noises I would have slept like a baby. Entertainment was in the show lounge, the Marco Polo lounge. Most nights the ship's singers and dancers performed shows, and occasionally there were guest performers. We weren't impressed with the guest performers. But the singers and dancers were quite good - certainly the dancers, and most of the singers. Considering the limited means at their disposal, without backgrounds, not a lot of space, and very few props, I think they did a really good job. Most of the shows were not only entertaining, but actually quite good. Something else we liked, was using the singers elsewhere on the ship. On the rear deck at sailaway, in the nightclub. Excellent idea. One of my favourite facilities on the ship was the sauna. On cruises I like to do two things every day, several times a day: have a swim, and use the sauna. Since the pool was netted off for the whole cruise, that left the sauna. It had a good, high temperature, and was open for 12 hours a day. Perfect. Ports and excursions were well chosen. We liked most of the ports - only Belfast will never be one of our favourites. The excursions were well organised, and stops well chosen. In fact, one of the excursions, Jewels of the North, was one of the best we've ever been on. It was great to see and experience some of Iceland's geological phenomena up close, and to get them explained so well. I'm aware that most of the above may come across as quite critical. So does that mean we didn't enjoy the cruise? No, it doesn't, generally speaking we did enjoy the cruise, and in a lot of ways very much so, in fact. It's just that I think the company and the ship's crew are missing a few tricks here and there, and I think they could do better. But if a chance comes up to go another CMV cruise, we would consider it - at the right price. We don't think their full prices offer value for money, but at the right price we could be interested. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and ... Read More
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and perfect for our cruise of a week. It's not a big ship (800 passengers) and that means it doesn't feel impersonal by any means. The choice of food in both restaurants is amazing - tasty and plentiful. You won't starve on this ship. Free tea and coffee and water available at all times. Never ran out of anything. All crew were lovely, friendly and helpful. If you suffer from sea sickness then ask for a cabin on the lower floors. We were on the Navigator deck and we could feel movement , tho not unpleasant. The cruise we did was down the Seine from Bristol, stopping at Honfleur (so pretty), Rouen (ok), Guernsey (lovely) and Scilly isles. The ship doesn't go into port at the Scilly isles and the sea too rough for the tender so we couldn't do that trip sadly. Overall, I would highly recommend her. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and ... Read More
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and CMV have a lot to answer for. Our cabin 216 was small and we had 1 small porthole and had paid for an oceanview. The porthole was closed for 11 days of a 15 day cruise, whilst they do it for safety reasons there were times we were docked and still it was kept closed we had ask on several occasions to have it opened. We could have had an internal cabin for some $1000 less each.The smell of diesal and the crew smoking was there for the entire cruise. The ship was full to capacity 800 in a ship this size is just not on. Everything was full the buffett was a fight at every meal to find a seat and the quality was really bad even the 3 coffee machines were continually out of order. The dining room although a little better was way below standard. I paid for a VIP package please dont do it !! the wine list is a joke there are 2 white wines and 2 red wines from there signature drinks and 2 from the standard package to choose from i couldnt believe it. They some other wines by the bottle but they had to be paid for and you couldnt get them by the glass. With the other drinks if you wanted anything that wasnt on the drinks menu you couldnt have it !!! also the system they have is that you can only order from a waitor and cant get a drink from the bar. The entertainment was an insult except a young lady soprano who was great the biggest joke was when showtime came at night and old bloke with a banjo came out and started a singalong , i had to laugh !!! the showband seriously was that bad that the singers who did individual shows they didnt even play. I could go on. Excursions altho expensive were good and well organised. This company are treating the elderly british with contempt in my opinion . Go with this ship and company at your peril and as i said i have done nearly 50 cruises and cant believe all i wanted to do was get off . Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, ... Read More
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, continually ran out of cups and shut themselves down with fault codes which appear to be due to over-use and they run out of hot water. There was a good choice of food for the buffet breakfast but the equipment in the Bistro failed to keep it warm, I would suggest a couple of microwaves for those who like their food hot. The main restaurant was slightly better. Omelettes, fried and poached eggs were always cooked fresh in both. The main cut fruit available was melon with a bit of pineapple, apple and occasional orange, but always a large proportion of melon. Whole fruit was always apples. There was the occasional banana, orange, pear or plum in the early days but scarcer as the cruise went on. There is a shortage of drinks waiters at peak times and the ship still uses plastic straws and stirrers. The show lounge (theatre) has very poor acoustics. There is an annoying rattle from the roof panels and despite complaints they seem unable or unwilling to fix it. The floor is not tiered and there are 7 pillars partially obstructing the view from just about every seat more than two rows back. The furniture definitely needs replacing, all the padded chairs were sagging in the seats and many were frayed or worn. Externally she was definitely showing her age with numerous areas of rust bubbles in the deck metalwork. There is no do-it-yourself laundry on board so everything is on an individual cost. With a handkerchief or item of underwear costing £1 with an incremental scale it wouldn’t take long to run up a huge bill, especially on a long trip. There were two Magic Bag days during our trip where you could cram a laundry bag with as much as you liked for £12, wash and dry only. The swimming pool was not heated and was filled with sea water when conditions permitted but this amounted to only a few days when in warm weather. There was an appeal early on for water saving if we went to sea for more than a couple of days yet remarkably the toilets used fresh water for flushing. I understand the hot tubs used fresh water and they were therefore mostly out of use, either with covers over or a notice saying ‘Closed For Maintenance.’ Following numerous complaints about the lack of information the Cruise Director placed an ‘Entertainment Suggestions’ box in reception for a few days but I am not aware of any changes resulting from this. The lack of information was typified by our visit to Carcass Island which required passengers to get a ticket for the tenders. The first two tenders departed and then the Captain said he was temporarily suspending the service due to safety issues and would review the situation in an hour. So we all waited in the designated place and two hours later when we had heard nothing we started to drift away. Nothing else was said except for a brief mention in the evening broadcast. For our journey from the Falklands up the west coast of Chile through the fjords, a map was delivered each evening to your cabin with waypoints marked and a time of arrival. We were supposed to enter Darwin Passage and Narrows at 10am. The ship actually arrived at 8am and by 10am we were leaving so a lot of people missed it. Not a word about the amended time or the reason they managed to get it so wrong with a simple overnight passage. On the way we passed several shipwrecks and memorials but despite having a pilot on board there was not a word of explanation so having seen some beautiful scenery we were non the wiser about any of it. A guide did join us for the Panama Canal but the first hour of her commentary was lost due to an intermittent microphone. The microphone in the Captains Club where the organised games and quizzes were held was intermittent for the whole trip. The ship only did one Sailaway Party from our last port of call. For the last few days they ran out of several things including tonic, marmite and till rolls. The Good Bits: The ship appears to have some very devoted passengers with one chap we spoke to had done over 30 cruises on the ship and several others were well into double figures. The entertainment team were very good with many different routines and costumes. A gin and tonic was £4.55 so comparable to UK and with two of us a round of drinks could come to £10 so it didn’t take long to rack up a hefty bar bill. The company we booked with ’Imagine Cruising’ did an all inclusive package for £300 a couple so within about ten days we were already in credit and as the cruise lasted seventy days we were very happy with the deal. We also got £800 cabin credit which we used to pay for the organised port trips which were very good and lasted either half a day or a full day with lunch. As anyone who has cruised will know trips around the town will usually be architecture, town history, museums and churches and cathedrals so it is better to do the national parks and out of town trips. The ship laid on free shuttle buses to town centres when they were not immediately outside the port which was a bonus we hadn’t expected. The ship was kept immaculately clean inside with the crew continually cleaning walls, ceilings, stairs and washing carpets at night. Embarkation was very slow but disembarkation was excellent, done by deck number. The food on board was excellent and you could purchase special meals, eg a full Indian experience meal, surf and turf etc and we thought these were excellent value for money. The food was of a very good standard and this was maintained for the whole 71 days. The waiters and hotel staff were brilliant and we couldn’t fault them. Any requests were dealt with very efficiently. There were a whole range of activities including craft, acting, choir, ukulele, chairobics, creative writing, bridge, ballroom dancing, etc. General: The cabins were mainly two single beds with one 4 draw chest with slide out writing table plus a five foot wardrobe. We got an unrequested upgrade to cabin 625 and ended up with 4 chests of drawers, an absolute bonus on a long trip but with a restricted view. Next door had the same layout but with a good view. There are no balconies on the ship. The electric supply was a 220V socket with 2 round pins. There was also a 110V three flat pin socket and a dual volt shaver socket in the bathroom. The shower was good and on a flexi hose. There is a 2’ 6” (75cm) drying line across the shower for small items. Suitcases can be stowed under the beds or in the wardrobe. There was a temperature control on the wall. We had a kettle, two cups and packets of tea, coffee, etc. A lot of cabins do not have this. Overall, the ship is showing her age with few of the refinements of modern cruise liners. She is a graceful old lady and possibly the oldest still cruising. If you don’t mind a lack of facilities and want to get into some of the smaller ports then this could be the ship for you but CMV could do so much to improve passenger pleasure at virtually no cost with simple innovations like providing more cups and cutlery, senior staff mixing with the passengers and providing tourist information commentary at special locations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Brilliant itinerary, good food and friendly staff, service excellent. Too many people on board for the size of ship. All activities over subscribed. Ship like a long corridor, so passengers and staff passing through all bars sitting areas ... Read More
Brilliant itinerary, good food and friendly staff, service excellent. Too many people on board for the size of ship. All activities over subscribed. Ship like a long corridor, so passengers and staff passing through all bars sitting areas and bistro. No quiet areas to sit and relax and read without interruptions. Cabins, very poor sound proofing so hearing neighbours whether you wanted to or not. The cabin we had 611 had people thundering around overhead doing exercise walking early mornings. Be careful of the medical mafia on the ship, very expensive. Not recommended for a long cruise. Would not travel on this ship again. There was also a spell when black soot spots came through the air conditioning unit into the cabin covering the beds and furniture. This also happened on decks. Disappointed that the captain did not seem to want to use tenders in the Caribbean when the wind or sea was not too rough! No laundrette and laundry service expensive. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the ... Read More
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the value of it to many other cruises available. Yes, it isn't Cunard but for the price it was certainly excellent value ... of course, there will always some people who still expect Cunard quality for CMV prices. The places visited were extremely interesting and varied - major cities; remote villages and islands; scenic passageways and world famous iconic landmarks. The weather ? Only one major downpour of rain throughout the entire 70 days ... at Rio ! The hottest day ? It was a toss up between Buenos Aires and .... the Falkland Islands. Yes, 81 fahrenheit at Port Stanley, the hottest day anyone there could remember. You expect to be amazed by the major places - Rio, Buenos Aires, Montevideo - but it was the smaller ports that surprised many people and made the cruise even more enjoyable by them not expecting such there - Natal and Recife in Brazil, Puerto Montt, Arica and Valparaiso in Chile, Guayaquil and Manta in Ecuador, Ushaia in Argentina and Cartagena in Columbia, as well as cruising through the Chilean fjords and the Panama canal. The on-board entertainment team were excellent and it was obviously hard work for them to provide a varied programme for 70 days while the food was of the highest order. A very well-planned itinerary and would certainly recommend both the journey and the ship itself. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
South America cruise excellent. Ship old but very good. Lots of activities on sea days. Trips expensive but easy to make your own way. Food very good. Staff couldn't do enough for you. Many solo travellers. Entertainment very good. ... Read More
South America cruise excellent. Ship old but very good. Lots of activities on sea days. Trips expensive but easy to make your own way. Food very good. Staff couldn't do enough for you. Many solo travellers. Entertainment very good. Opted for drinks package which turned out to be an excellent choice.. disappointed not to visit some places that required a tender but you have to respect the captain's safety decisions. I would definitely hope to do another cruise on Marco polo. Although it is not as luxurious as most ships it was definitely the best I had been on for activities on sea days. There were also excellent guest speakers. People were grumbling about price paid but it depends whether you opt to book early or late and shop around different travel agents. We were on a dining table for ten but you can also eat in the history were food was very good Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this Christmas cruise for a fun filled time including new year. Oh dear what a disappointment! Ship well past it’s “sell by” date. Seating dirty and worn out. Surprise packages from family, totally messed up Half hearted ... Read More
Chose this Christmas cruise for a fun filled time including new year. Oh dear what a disappointment! Ship well past it’s “sell by” date. Seating dirty and worn out. Surprise packages from family, totally messed up Half hearted decorations very poor quality, and repetitive entertainment.Officers disinterested in passengers,complaints . Not enough explanation of ships routine. Daily programmes either changed without notice or not included in daily news sheet. Safety on decks needed attention,unable to hear announcements within cabin therefore did not receive important information definitely felt there was a shortage of staff, ie one wine waiter for numerous dinner tables. Very long wait for drinks in bars.no notifications in cabin about charge-for water. £2-80 per bottle!! Mistakes on accounts took sometime to rectify. not enough provision for disabled people.. lifts shut down far too early on evening before departure.Overall not at all a good experience.definitly would never choose CMV again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Marco Polo Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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