18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly we wanted to visit the west of Greenland and this is the only ice-strengthened (double hull) cruise ship that we know of and secondly it was extremely good value for money. We were slightly ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons, firstly we wanted to visit the west of Greenland and this is the only ice-strengthened (double hull) cruise ship that we know of and secondly it was extremely good value for money. We were slightly hesitant about choosing Marco Polo as we had heard passengers on other cruise ships say that wouldn't travel on her (on further questioning about their experience it mostly seemed that they had never travelled on her but were going by what 'other people' had told them). I would now say to those people that they are missing a great experience. Our choice is for smaller, older ships and Marco Polo is definitely this. She sits well in the water in rough seas, is immaculately clean and appears to be well maintained with no obvious maintenance work going on during our 3 week trip. The food was very good with choices for everyone and some of the meals were excellent - we had no complaints at all. The crew and staff were friendly, efficient and helpful and our room steward, Jose, waiter Iqbal and excursion staff Susan and Lena were absolutely excellent. Our cabin was a twin porthole cabin on deck five and it was absolutely fine - people didn't seem to care on this ship what deck you were on! There was no kettle in the cabin, which we missed - if you have a cabin with window rather than portholes then apparently you do get a kettle. Now to the cruise. We sailed from Hull and there were also 550 people on an overnight trip from Hull to Harwich. In Harwich the 'normal' passengers joined and there were around 800 of us on the trip, mostly British but with a good number of Australians. The age range was, I would say, 90% retired - but it is not easy for people in work to take three weeks holiday. Generally people were fit and healthy and able to get around well. I would say that most people were interested in the Arctic and wildlife and visiting unusual destinations - and happy to be getting away from the heat in the UK! The onboard lecturers in Arctic matters, wildlife, photography and wellbeing prepared us well for what was ahead. There were also classes in art, crafts and creative writing for those interested, as well as the usual quizzes, knit and natter, bridge, games etc. The show company were good and worked very hard and there were excellent light classical concerts by Laurence Robinson and resident classical duo Lidia and Tatiana which we enjoyed. Our first port of call should have been Lerwick in the Shetland Isles but due to rough weather for the tenders we visited Kirkwall in Orkney instead. This was excellent and the excursion staff did well in quickly arranging some tours. We visited Skara Brea and thoroughly enjoyed it. Our afternoon in Kirkwall was lovely and Orkney is certainly somewhere we would like to revisit. Torshavn in the Faroe Isles was our next port of call. It was rainy here but we enjoyed a good excursion to the picturesque Saksun village. For me the call here was marred by knowing about the whale hunting that was currently taking place ... I can accept whale/seal hunting for communities where it is essential, but I just wasn't sure that this was the case in the Faroes. The next two ports were in Iceland. Eskifjordur is a small town in the east. We had visited this area before so didn't do an excursion but enjoyed a walk around the town, you can walk up to a waterfall, and visited a beautiful modern church. Akureyri in the north is a good port to visit. We had arranged a whale watching tour privately (with Elding) and this was really good with plenty of opportunity for photographing the whales. Akureyri was very busy as there was a huge MSC cruise ship in dock too with 4500 passengers. I can recommend the Valdis ice cream shop in the main street - try the liquorice ice cream! Greenland - generally useful information is to take layers of clothes, our temperatures varied between 6 degrees and 22 degrees in the sunshine. Also essential is mosquito repellent and mosquito nets to wear over a hat. The mosquitos here are huge! All of the towns have wonderful colourful houses and there is lots of beautiful scenic cruising between ports. Tasiilaq was our first port in Greenland. There was thick mist when we arrived but we went ashore and the mist lifted to reveal colourful buildings and huge icebergs in the fjord. There were no organised excursions here but we knew that there were some walks here, for the energetic over the hills to a lake and for the reasonably fit a walk to the 'Flower Valley'. The wild flowers here were stunning, as was the cemetery. Unfortunately there was a lot of rubbish around - I understand that they only incinerate rubbish in Greenland with no recycling facilities so rubbish is a problem in places. Good ice cream at the red shop with the destinations finger post (you can't miss it) and good quality tupilak souvenirs in this shop too. We saw our first husky dogs here - they are working dogs and are chained but they seemed happy enough. Narsarsuaq was the port for an amazing excursion in the Qoroq Ice Fjord. This was stunning and I can't recommend it enough. We were in a small local fishing boat, just 8 of us, and we were dwarfed by the huge icebergs, getting close enough to touch them. The fisherman then took us to glacier that the icebergs calved from, shut off the boat engine and we sat there in the absolute quiet, it was wonderful. In the afternoon we were tendered to the quayside and walked to Narsarsuaq, a good 20 minute walk (there was a small minibus for those with limited mobility). Here there is a hotel with a cafe, the Blue Ice Cafe with a shop (and wifi), a small museum and an airport. There are longer walks for the energetic. Sisimiut is Greenland's second city, but more the size of a town. It is a pleasant town to walk around with a supermarket, clothes stores etc. There were good quality souvenirs in the hotel gift shop (near the museum). I understand there is wi-fi at the library. The museum here looked very good but as it was sunny we stayed outdoors and had a good walk around the city. There are longer walks for those interested. Near the harbour there was a workshop where you can see Tupilak being carved and the amazing Quivet (musk oxen) yarn being knitted - the yarn costs £60 ball! Kangerlussuaq was a tender port and, as the tide was low and the mud flats high, the tender boats could only take 25 passengers at a time. This did cause some delays in getting off the ship and in particular getting back later in the day when some passengers had to wait an hour to get a tender back, but for me it was worth it as we got to do an excursion to the stunning Russell Glacier. We travelled in a tundra bus for about an hour - it should be noted here that the roads are very rough and some of the buses not too comfortable. The scenery was interesting and in places really beautiful and the glacier was just awesome. We didn't actually stop in the town but Greenland's largest airport is here and there was a selection of shops. Nuuk is Greenland's capital city - but probably not like any capital city you have visited before - and it is easy to get around on foot. Almost a quarter of Greenland's population live here. There are 62 miles of roads here - none of the communities in Greenland are joined by road - and it is quite a shock to be back in traffic, not that it was that busy. It is the administrative centre for Greenland and there are many shops here with everything you could need and also the Greenland National Museum - most of the places we visited in Greenland had small museums but this was the only one that we visited and it was excellent. The Qilakitsoq mummies are here. Qaqortoq back in the south was our last Greenland port of call. It is a small town easy to walk around with longer walks if you want them. There is tourist information, which is also a shop and there are about 40 sculptures and rock carvings around the town. There is a lovely small church and a small valley alongside it with flowers. There is a well-stocked supermarket here too. Should you wish you can also visit a factory shop near the harbour where seal skin products are for sale. After two days at sea we had a day in Reykjavik. As we have spent time here before we didn't do an excursion but walked from the berth to the city centre (about an hour - £18 return on shuttle bus provided by port). We went to the Harpa cultural centre (free wi-fi and free toilets here - not always the case in Iceland!). We watched a good short film about Iceland and then had a good walk around the harbour area where there are various museums and food shops - was pleased to see another branch of the Vardis ice cream shop opposite the maritime museum for my fix of licorice ice cream! I should perhaps mention that one night in Greenland Marco Polo did 'bump into' an iceberg! We did have two ice pilots on board and I believe there was just no way around this iceberg. There was a bit of a bang and scraping of the ice and everything fell over in the cabin, but actually it was fine and this is almost certainly due to Marco Polo being such a strong ship. The company did take it seriously and specialist divers did check the hull while we were in Sisimiut but all was fine and our journey continued without further incident. I hope that this has given a good impression of our Marco Polo cruise with some useful information on the ports - this was difficult to find before we travelled as there are currently no guide books available on Greenland. Our conclusion was that this was an excellent trip and we will definitely be looking out for Marco Polo's more interesting itineraries in the future - rumour has it that Cruise & Maritime may be selling her and I sincerely hope this isn't the case, think they should market her as an heritage ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise to the Baltic to St Petersburg because - we wished to visit St Petersburg, it sailed from Hull port and it was an adults only cruise. It does need to be pointed out that there is no control over the average age of the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to the Baltic to St Petersburg because - we wished to visit St Petersburg, it sailed from Hull port and it was an adults only cruise. It does need to be pointed out that there is no control over the average age of the passenger! And that a ship such as the Marco Polo will attract the older generation because she is an elegant old lady, small liner and doesn't cater for children. Our cabin (489) had 2 large windows, plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, good lighting and mirrors, TV which had daily choice of 3 up to date films, current news programmes and the bathroom with a very good shower and plenty of hot water. Linen and towels were changed on a regular basis and the cabin was kept spotlessly clean by Hendry our steward. Great attention to cleanliness and hygiene is made by the crew. I saw shower heads being cleaned and the cabin walls washed down - no sign of mould in the bathrooms let alone a spec of dust in the cabins or fluff on carpets. All common areas on the ship were also kept in a similar state - Karcher machine cleaning carpets during the trip. There was no early morning or late evening noise to disturb passengers. The food and service in the Waldorf restaurant was 5* fine dining. Breakfast was buffet style service with every food imaginable served - from porridge - fruit cereals, fruits of all sorts, cold cut meats, cooked breakfasts, pastries and breads. Lunch and dinner was waiter service - 5 courses each and delicious. The tours and efficiency of organising all the passengers worked like clockwork. Shuttle buses were arranged for passengers doing their own thing. Embarkation and disembarkation was superb - and fast,. Yes there is an age factor to passengers so be prepared for walkers, some wheelchairs and sticks. Overall everyone enjoyed themselves because of the service from a delightful staff, good range of activities and very good and interesting lectures and above all fabulous food of a very high quality and standard. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Cruise and Maritime “Baltic cities and St Petersburg” 12 night cruise aboard the MS Marco Polo. I booked this as a surprise for my wife’s 60th birthday. Having read previous reviews on the MS Marco Polo, the vast majority of which ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime “Baltic cities and St Petersburg” 12 night cruise aboard the MS Marco Polo. I booked this as a surprise for my wife’s 60th birthday. Having read previous reviews on the MS Marco Polo, the vast majority of which were extremely positive, my expectations were high. I’m pleased to say that I was not disappointed. The ship is a classic. The MS Marco Polo is a traditional cruise ship and the tone of this cruise was similar. The ships specification is well documented on the Internet so I won’t go into the details, suffice to say, the food, entertainment, lectures, information, cabin service, bar service and so on were all of a very high standard. The wine and pre-booked excursion tickets were waiting for us in our cabin on embarkation and the embarkation and disembarkation procedures were very well organised, which was one area that was not quite as slick on our previous cruise experience from Hull in 2015. In essence, the entire organisational aspects of the cruise ran perfectly. Regarding the cruise excursions, the ship’s tours were all executed extremely well. We did our own thing in Warnemünde, Tallinn and Helsinki but we stuck to the Cruise and Maritime sponsored excursions in St Petersburg. We did this for two reasons; the possibility of the ship having to amend its itinerary and, therefore, not being in port as and when the independent excursions companies were due to pick up and, secondly, the fact that we were due to be in port on the day of the 3rd/4th place World Cup play off match (which, or course, involved England) which could have influenced the access for tourists in the city. In the finish everything went according to plan but we thought it best to completely de-risk the situation and accept that we would have to pay a small premium for the Cruise and Maritime sponsored sight visits (we more than likely won’t be going to St Petersburg again). Although there will be no World Cup on subsequent visits, I would still recommend future cruisers to do this. The few people on the cruise who did book through the independent companies in St Petersburg said they were good value and a bit cheaper than the ships own, but we were happy with what we did. That said, the ships excursions are excellent and, in my opinion, good value. You may save a few pounds here and there booking independently and there is usually the “Hop-on - Hop-off” buses around in port, but, with the ships excursions, you are straight off the ship, onto the coaches and away which maximises your time to see the sights. In summary, this is my second Cruise and Maritime cruise, both of which have exceeded my expectations. I would recommend Cruise and Maritime Voyages to any potential cruiser. Just a few observations specific to this Baltic cruise: The drinks and tips packages appear expensive but they are, in my opinion, still good value and allow you to budget from the outset of the cruise. Although not mandatory, we did feel more at ease booking the ships excursions when in St Petersburg as we were assisted through the immigration procedures, every step of the way, by the destination services team, who were ever present on the shore during the two days in port. If there is something you really want to see, pre-book to maximise your chances of getting on the excursion. Warnemünde is effectively the seaside town for Rostock, which is easily accessible by train (20 minutes, €5.20 for a day rover which includes the tram between Rostock town centre and Rostock railway station). We did this and found Rostock to be an interesting alternative to the excursion to Berlin (which we have already visited). Likewise Warnemünde itself is a nice place but probably not enough to do there for the time in port. We were advised that Sweden is fast becoming a cashless country so I was unsure if to take the local Swedish Krona (I did take some in the end). When in Sweden however, I didn’t have any difficulty in paying for anything in cash and the tourist areas will, generally, even take euros. If you are interested in history, don’t miss the tour in Stockholm that goes to the Vasa museum. The story of the 17th century ship, it’s demise and it’s eventual recovery is worth every penny and the techniques and technology used to lift the ship off the sea bed in one piece and preserve it for the future is incredible. I hope this information is of use. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Our first ever cruise chosen because of the destinations and departure port being so close to home. Very impressed with the organisation of embarkation, cleanliness and standard of service. We had cabin 607 on deck 9. Spacious enough and ... Read More
Our first ever cruise chosen because of the destinations and departure port being so close to home. Very impressed with the organisation of embarkation, cleanliness and standard of service. We had cabin 607 on deck 9. Spacious enough and with plenty of storage but nothing flash. Food was excellent as was the service ice and the standard of entertainment was superb. Popular with older people. Sadly the pool was only filled on 2 days despite the very high temperatures which was a huge disappointment and no explanation was every given despite enquiries. Ports of call were excellent, wish we had had more time in Stockholm. The ships excursions were very expensive but we were happy to do our own thing and use local transport. One exception was St Petersburg as we wanted to see so much in our 2 days. We booked a tour through a local company called Alla tours and saved almost 50% on the ships prices. We were on a small minibus with 11 others from our ship and it was amazing. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We Choose this cruise because the departure port was convenient and the itinerary looked interesting. The ship, despite its age was fine, as was our cabin. The food was good, although the chefs seemed to regard vegetables as something ... Read More
We Choose this cruise because the departure port was convenient and the itinerary looked interesting. The ship, despite its age was fine, as was our cabin. The food was good, although the chefs seemed to regard vegetables as something rare and precious. But even at 70 I felt a generation too young when compared to my fellow passengers many of whom were in their 90's. And many more acted as though they were. Queueing for a buffet seemed to confuse most of them, and getting into a tender, even for those fit enought to attempt it, was a slow and laboriouis process. The people in the adjoining cabin went to bed at about 10pm, and banged on the wall if we as much as spoke to each other after their bed time. Every morning at 8.00 we were disturbed by the tannoy, anouncing that we had arrived in port, or that tenders were waiting. Or even anouncing that their would be no announcements!!. But that didn't wake us as the cabin steward had done that at 7,00, hoovering outside our cabin. We enjoyed the ports of call but don't think it was worth the hastle it took to get us there and would have liked more onboard entertainment for those who elected, for whatever reason, not to go ashore or who were unable to do so. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have waited a week to write this review in case the euphoria I felt afterwards was just the "post cruise" afterglow but I have to say I still feel the same and have to write this principally in order to thank the ship's ... Read More
I have waited a week to write this review in case the euphoria I felt afterwards was just the "post cruise" afterglow but I have to say I still feel the same and have to write this principally in order to thank the ship's crew for all the wonderful hospitality and make others aware of the extraordinary cruise experience that is the Marco Polo. The cruise I went on was the "British Isles Discovery" visiting Scotland Ireland and Honfleur in France The ship itself is small by cruising standards and is all the better for that although I did find it a little confusing to find my way around initially (says more about my navigation skills than anything else...). The standards of cleanliness were extraordinary - crew were constantly cleaning and ensuring that an incredibly high standard was maintained throughout the ship. Our cabin was spotless, cleaned twice a day and the bathroom was immaculate. It's impossible to praise the dining staff too highly - the food itself was varied, healthy - always a vegetarian and vegan option and never too much on the plate that I felt overloaded. The waiting staff were attentive, friendly, helpful and just a delight to encounter at every mealtime. Thank you in particular to Verdi at dinner time and Francisco and Sanjay at breakfast - what a team! I can't comment on the entertainment offered as I always preferred to spend time on deck every evening (we were blessed with the most glorious weather) or in the library but those I spoke to who went to the shows enjoyed them - particularly the musical entertainment. My mother and I went on a number of the shore excursions - all well organised - we especially loved the Tresco Gardens in the Isles of Scilly - all the guides were not only knowledgeable but also great fun - and the Tobermory excursion included brilliant views of sea eagles on the nest. The whole crew are extremely well organised which was illustrated in the well handled embarkation and disembarkation procedures.They are also unfailingly courteous. I must also mention in particular Sue who organised all the excursions - thank you Sue - as mentioned above, they were great, and Julie (who I think is the Purser) and has boundless energy as well as a wicked sense of humour. I loved all my conversations with her which were hilarious as well as being informative. The acid test is whether I would book another cruise with the Marco Polo - I have already booked another two - treating my daughter and I to a mini cruise very soon and the 75th Anniversary D Day cruise next year. I'm so looking forward to getting back on board the Marco Polo again. Thanks to all of you on board who made my first cruising holiday so memorable - I will hopefully see many of you again very soon ! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Chose the cruise because of the itinerary [St Petersburg] and have sailed on Marco Polo before. Marco Polo looks like a ship and not like a floating apartment block and that's why I like it. OK it has its downside when the ship is ... Read More
Chose the cruise because of the itinerary [St Petersburg] and have sailed on Marco Polo before. Marco Polo looks like a ship and not like a floating apartment block and that's why I like it. OK it has its downside when the ship is full - not enough seating in buffet; insufficient open deck seating; cramped restaurant tables [and bossy waiters at breakfast & lunch - sit where you are told [for their convenience] and not where you want to sit. But Marco Polo has plenty of upside too. No screaming kids or truculent teenagers. Small ship atmosphere. Friendly and hardworking staff - buffet Head Waiter and his staff superb as was our table waiter at dinner in the restaurant. Thank you very much Sanjay. Good food. Reasonably priced drinks. Really good entertainment and a good itinerary although the Captain, speaking from the bridge, had to cancel Stockholm and transit of Kiel Canal because the Germans don't maintain their canal locks properly. Wouldn't happen on a Russian canal Captain! Also the passengers were mainly British and of an age when good manners, courtesy and civility were deemed important educational outcomes which made for a very pleasant atmosphere on board throughout the cruise. One serious issue is that crew leave passengers to sort themselves out when having to queue for disembarkation tickets and shuttle buses. Not good practice. Queues should be orderly and controlled with clear instructions given by crew. [and to the truculent crew member in future cruise sales - I know what I am talking about having written operational orders involving dozens of agencies and thousands of people so don't try and make me appear to be a moron in front of other passengers. I did not complain about your attitude this time]. Overall a good cruise and excellent value for money. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The Marco Polo is old, small and no frills but she doesn't try to be anything other than that. This was my 11th cruse and the smallest and oldest vessel I have sailed as my past ships have been on the super liners from RCI ... Read More
The Marco Polo is old, small and no frills but she doesn't try to be anything other than that. This was my 11th cruse and the smallest and oldest vessel I have sailed as my past ships have been on the super liners from RCI (majority), MSC, P+O etc. I really wasn't sure what to expect but I knew I had to keep expectations low and not compare to past ships. I wouldn't say I was pleasantly surprised but I was not disappointed either. The ship was slightly bigger than I anticipated and certainly showing her age, however it does look very tired and extremely dated. We took this cruise (Weekend to Honfleur) as it was good value and sailed from my home town (Cardiff) so being a cruise addict I really could not resist the chance to sail from a port just a few minutes drive from my home. Embarkation was very quick and organised. Our luggage was waiting outside the cabin door as soon as we boarded and this is certainly not something I am used to on the large ships so that was a pleasant surprise. The cabin (504) was ok. Dated and tired decor but cosy with a large window, good storage and usual size bathroom. The ship does not have balcony cabins and I really missed not having my own outside space to chill out. The MDR was a little drab and they certainly squeeze you in but it was pleasant enough. Food was fairly good, nothing fancy or luxurious but everything was tasty enough and service was good. Wine is reasonably priced with good wine from £15 a bottle and drinks at the various bars were also reasonable with cocktails of the day, beers and cider at £3.50 or more. The one thing I did not feel on this ship that I have done on RCI, NCL etc is the feeling of being ripped off. A feeling I especially get on the American ships. Entertainment was very good and the entertainment team were as good, if not better, than some of the bigger ships. Had they had a proper theater or better facilities than I honestly think they could be the best entertainment team I have seen at sea. As this was a weekend cruise we only had one port of call and that was Honfleur. This has to be one of the most beautiful ports I have ever been to. We were so lucky with stunning spring sunshine which complimented this picture perfect port. The ship docked close to the town but there were regular free shuttle buses throughout the day. As it was such a lovely day we chose to walk which took around 25min but it not the most picturesque so recommend the bus. All in all we had a very enjoyable weekend but this is certainly not a ship for me. A weekend is fine but I would not chose CMV for a holiday as they do not cater for what I want out of a cruise. I want a bit of luxury, more facilities, bigger ship and I don't want the feeling I am on a ferry. We are also in our early 40s and young minded but CMV clearly cater for the 70+ market. However it is good value of money, you pay for what you get and this ship really does not pretend to be anything else. So if a cheap weekend deal does come up again they I would certainly do it again, but for a weekend only! Few points I was not happy with - Pool and hot tubs close early, service was sometimes quite bad, especially from Eastern European bar staff, snacks not available all day so if you are a late sitting and you fancy a snack around 5pm forget it and more sun loungers needed on deck. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Just returned from a fabulous ‘Mini cruise’ from Cardiff to Harwich via Honfleur. Extraordinarily good weather made the whole cruise perfection. The procedure for embarkation was simple and rapid. Our rooms were small but well ... Read More
Just returned from a fabulous ‘Mini cruise’ from Cardiff to Harwich via Honfleur. Extraordinarily good weather made the whole cruise perfection. The procedure for embarkation was simple and rapid. Our rooms were small but well furnished with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space and a nice, clean bathroom with a lovely hot shower. The room was kept spotless by Imam. The food was delicious and I would definitely recommend eating in the waiter served restaurant. Fantastic quality of food, five courses for lunch and dinner if you required, very well presented and always a tasty variety of dishes served. The buffet restaurant was also great but here there is the tendency to over eat as everything looks so delicious. The staff were very attentive and always happy and well presented and we loved the entertainment team who in turn loved us because we took part in and enjoyed everything. The views and sunsets were amazing and we were lucky to have perfect weather and calm conditions. Couldn’t fault a thing. Truly fab and can’t wait to go again. Thankyou the staff on The Marco Polo - we loved it. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
The Itinerary suited us but sailing from Cardiff clinched it. Knowing nothing at all about cruise lines I booked on impulse. Then, I found cruisecritic and how critical some were about the Marco Polo! By the time out sailing date arrived I ... Read More
The Itinerary suited us but sailing from Cardiff clinched it. Knowing nothing at all about cruise lines I booked on impulse. Then, I found cruisecritic and how critical some were about the Marco Polo! By the time out sailing date arrived I was filled with trepidation about poor food, bad service, and a generally bad trip. I had read so much that my expectations were low but the first sight of the Marco Polo brought a lump to my throat, I had wanted for so long to experience a cruise, and here I was. Expecting the worst we were shown to our cabin where our cases which had only left us 20 minutes before, were outside the door. All four cases, yes I made all the classic first timer mistakes. Our cabin was exceptionally clean with enough storage space for everything. We chose to eat in Marco's and as a vegetarian my only gripe was all the meat eaters digging into the vegetarian and vegan dishes. The food was always enjoyable, not gourmet certainly but I enjoyed every meal. I have crutches but am used to them but in the eleven nights I don't think I had a meal time where immediate assistance was not given as soon as I stood up. The service was outstanding and we stayed in Marco's for the whole cruise. I found the ship an absolute delight, obviously there were signs of age here and there but I loved the little nooks and crannies as well as the larger lounges. The one thing that I hadn't really considered was bad weather and it was very bad some days with access to decks restricted and queues forming at reception for seasickness pills. Our cruise was defined by the weather with us having to miss one of the Icelandic ports resulting in another sea day. Iceland was probably not the best destination for me, just not mobile enough for a lot of the excursions but I will never forget our tour of Eastern Iceland and the wonderful guide we had. Entertainment was varied, a one man band who made me laugh till I cried, and who sang beautifully as well. Being honest, the rest of the entertainment was a mixed bag, but the conditions were so bad on a couple of nights it was difficult to stand much less sing and dance. Marco Polo is not grand, she is not big, and in the type of weather we had you would never forget you were at sea. The gangway was difficult for me to negotiate but once on board I managed very well. For those used to large and modern ships I can see that the Marco Polo might not be enough but if I as able to I'd be back on her tomorrow, I really miss the old girl. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Everything about this cruise was fabulous from the start to the finish the crew couldn't do enough for you and made you feel special they all, always had a smile for you and nothing was too much trouble, the food was amazing and ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was fabulous from the start to the finish the crew couldn't do enough for you and made you feel special they all, always had a smile for you and nothing was too much trouble, the food was amazing and entertainment was first class. Every single person on this cruise give it 100% our cabin 237 was perfect for us and our cabin steward Yougesh always kept our cabin spotless made sure we had everything we needed. Pritish our waiter was very attentive as was our wine waitress Alla Ivanova, the entertainment crew were first class every show was brilliant thank you Mitch, Josh, Callum, Anna and Chrissie not forgetting the dancers who were all fabulous, next are the bar crew who certainly looked after us very well, a very special mention to Ramesh, Klayton and Nataly from the Colombus bar who gave us many happy hours and lots of laughs in the evenings, also Sanja Lato in the showroom. The excursions and scenery on this trip plus the above made it a holiday to remember forever. A big thank you to the Marco Polo crew and we look forward to travelling with you again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Our 1st cruise, so have nothing to compare it with, but it was definitely a positive experience. Embarkation was easy and efficient, luggage was with us in less than an hour and our cabin was excellent. The food was great and very ... Read More
Our 1st cruise, so have nothing to compare it with, but it was definitely a positive experience. Embarkation was easy and efficient, luggage was with us in less than an hour and our cabin was excellent. The food was great and very plentiful! We splashed out and enjoyed the “Chefs Table” one night, well worth it. We had a tour of the galley, which was a real eye opener, how they managed to cater for 800 passengers and 300+ crew in such a small space was beyond belief. It was an 8 course meal, and we expected the portions to be small, but we were so wrong! We could hardly move by the end of the meal. Crew were brilliant, very helpful at all times. Excellent excursions. We embarked at Bristol, and dis-embarkation was at Cardiff, the transfer by coach was easy and problem free. We would be very happy to cruise on this ship again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Chose this cruise because of the interesting mix of ports to visit and liked the idea of travelling on a smaller, older ship. Mixed reviews on here but we were pleasantly surprised. Cabin was very clean and spacious two good sized ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the interesting mix of ports to visit and liked the idea of travelling on a smaller, older ship. Mixed reviews on here but we were pleasantly surprised. Cabin was very clean and spacious two good sized windows, cabin steward very friendly and helpful. Food was very good, plenty of choice and good quality in both Marcos (buffet) and the Waldorf (sit down restaurant). Plenty of varied ways to amuse yourself on board- pool, gym, ping pong, quizzes, shows etc. Ship was fully booked and did feel busy at times. Only slight disappointment was that we didn't get to go ashore in Stornaway, the sea was too rough and swell too high to use the tender boats. Crew did their best to get us ashore but unfortunately it didn't happen- can't be helped though as purely down to the weather. Our favourite stops were Belfast and Tobermory- very different but both very interesting and really enjoyed our visits at both of them. We did the walking tour in Tobermory which was very good, our guide was a very knowledgable local lady and told us a lot about the Isle of Mull and Tobermory itself. So overall, yes the ship is older and a little tired in places but it is kept immaculately clean, the facilities are good and the staff are very friendly and helpful. For the price paid we were very happy with our trip on the Marco Polo. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We chose this 7 night cruise for the ports visited, convenience (no fly) and price. Having read mixed reviews we weren't sure what to expect. This was our first cruise with Cruise and Maritime: the model suits us and we would return. ... Read More
We chose this 7 night cruise for the ports visited, convenience (no fly) and price. Having read mixed reviews we weren't sure what to expect. This was our first cruise with Cruise and Maritime: the model suits us and we would return. We enjoy cruises as a relaxed, comfortable way to travel to some beautiful and interesting destinations. We appreciated the smaller ship with a relaxed homely feel. CMV seem to know their clientele and cater well for them - mainly older and British on this cruise, many being repeat cruisers with CMV. Despite being a small ship, facilities were adequate, including 3 hot tubs, a sauna and gym, none of which were busy. It may not have the glitz and luxury of newer and bigger ships / lines, (no fruit in cabin, chocolates on pillows, or quirky folded towels etc) and the main restaurant was a bit cramped. But for us this was more than compensated for by the quiet, relaxed, intimate ambience (about 800 passengers). We particularly appreciated: - the most efficient embarkation and disembarkation we have ever experienced (car to cabin in under 20 minutes, with luggage following a few minutes later) - tea and coffee included and served at the table at the end of dinner (some lines no longer do that). Tea (wide choice) and coffee freely available on deck 8 most waking hours. - free shuttles at ports (although we mostly walked) - beautiful medieval ports and a lovely cruise along the Seine - not accesssible on larger ships. - personal and prompt responses from staff to queries or concerns. e.g. staff remembered our preferences despite our changing dinner sitting (as per our request). - announcements clear and in English. Just enough but not too much. - enrichment programme. I attended 4 gardening lectures which were interesting and useful. There were also art, craft and line dancing classes available, all well attended. - classical music duo playing every evening. - entertainment team did well, including the ships own band. Again not glitzy but enjoyable. - fellow cruisers seemed kind and considerate, interesting and not noisy (adults only on this cruise)! - evening activities in the bars were self-contained and the rest of the ship remained quiet - no casino / gambling machines - easy to promenade right round the ship. - good written summary port information for each stop, and no hard sell re excursions. - well attended Sunday service taken by an officer. - the small ship was quick and easy to get around. - repeated sightings of dolphins as we cruised! All in all an unfussy, relaxed cruise on a small older ship, with personal service from helpful staff, visiting beautiful places. The Cruise and Maritime style suits us and we would certainly return if the price, timing and destinations matched our requirements. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
We picked this cruise because it looked an interesting itinerary, departed from the UK and appeared to be really good value for money. Booked directly with CMV we were delighted to find we had been given a 4 category upgrade from 8 to 12. ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it looked an interesting itinerary, departed from the UK and appeared to be really good value for money. Booked directly with CMV we were delighted to find we had been given a 4 category upgrade from 8 to 12. We parked at the port and embarkation was quick and efficient. Our cabin was midships and was quite a good size with 2 large windows and lots of storage space (16 small drawers, 8 large drawers and 2 double wardrobes). Tea and coffee making facilities in the cabin although we didn't use them. Our cabin steward kept the cabin spotlessly clean and really tidy. The location was convenient as it was really close to the central staircase. The ship is old and has a feeling of older style cruising which we really enjoyed. Marco Polo is an adults only ship and at the age of 51 I was at the younger end of the age range of people on board. Dress code for dinner was announced every day. There were 2 formal; 3 informal and 2 casual. The dress code was expected in the buffet as well and for dinner the buffet tables were set with properly with tablecloths. Most people seemed happy to follow the dress code which I like. There were 2 restaurants: the Waldorf (formal) or Marcos (buffet). Breakfast was buffet style in both but in the Waldorf the waiters served your drinks. A reasonable selection of items and both had chefs cooking any style of eggs you wished. The omelettes were particularly good. For lunch and dinner the food choices tended to be the same or similar in both but obviously in the Waldorf you were served and the food was beautifully presented. The buffet is not huge so there were often people waiting for tables. Dinner was really, really good. We went to the Waldorf every night. Five courses: appetiser, soup, salad, main, cheese or dessert. The staff were so friendly and so cheery and we were lucky to get a table with 3 other couples who were fantastic company. There was teatime (sandwiches and cakes) 15.30 to 16.30 every day and late night snacks were brought round all bars at about 11pm. On Gala Dinner night there was a sumptuous buffet at 11pm with the most amazing food sculptures although I think most people on dinner sitting 2 were probably still too full from dinner. We opted for the drinks package which at £119 for 7 days (£17 per person per day) is very good value. Whilst drinks are not particularly expensive in the bars you could spend the £17 by having 3 glasses of wine and a diet coke every day so it you're going to drink more than that it is absolutely worth it. There is an extensive list of cocktails (£4 or less) and other drinks available. The only negative about the drinks package is it says you have to book in the first 24 hours but that is not quite true. If you try to book on your second day (having boarded the previous afternoon) they will expect you to pay for 7 days even though you only have 6 days left and you have spent money in the bar the previous evening. If it is not a daily thing they should focus on it being £119 for 7 days rather than focusing on £17 per day. There are lots of activities and entertainments on board and everyone can choose to join in as much or as little as they wish. Games, quizzes, sports, lectures (our had gardening), classes (painting and crafts) even a session to take your knitting and have a natter with other knitters. Just sitting in the lounges doing crosswords and puzzles which were issued every day was a popular activity. We only went to one show (We will Rock You) which was fantastic. There was a very talented violin/piano duo performing in the lounge bar regularly every day and later in the evening you could head up to Scotts bar for a late cabaret followed by a disco. The ports we visited were Honfleur, Antwerp and Rouen. I suppose times are dependent on tides etc but we didn't get all that much time to spend anywhere. Rouen in particular was badly planned. We arrived in the evening but not many people left the ship as it is quite some way to the town so would have involved taxis and been quite expensive. the next day was Monday and most things were either shut all day or in the morning so we didn't get to see inside the beautiful cathedral or the Joan of Arc museum. The last shuttle back to the ship was 1pm but all aboard was 2.30pm so we could have had more time had they arrange the shuttles for longer. Cruising down the Seine was a very enjoyable day. Disembarking was very easy for us as we opted for the carry your own bags option and just walked off at 7am thus avoiding queues for lifts and car park chaos. We also got to keep our bags in the cabin and finish packing in the morning rather than have them ready by midnight the night before. The requirement to vacate cabins by 7.30am seemed a bit harsh (particularly as the ship is now going into dry dock). I'm sure we would have all appreciated a lie-in, a casual breakfast at the normal time then a leisurely disembarkation after rush hour. In summary we loved the whole experience. A small intimate ship with superb staff and wonderful fellow guests. We would book a cruise with CMV again. Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Travel thousands of miles across storm- tossed ocean to cruise the St Lawrence River by night and see all the pretty flashing lights on the navigation aides along the length of the river. Watch burning cinders spewing from the funnel over ... Read More
Travel thousands of miles across storm- tossed ocean to cruise the St Lawrence River by night and see all the pretty flashing lights on the navigation aides along the length of the river. Watch burning cinders spewing from the funnel over the decks as we incinerate the on board rubbish and pollute the sea. By day relax on the open decks surrounded by reeking ashtrays, cigarette smoke and crew members varnishing the taffrails and re-caulking the deck under your feet as you queue for chips. Take a trip ashore in one of our skilfully manned tenders. For your enjoyment we will lose our way in the fog for an hour whilst trying to return to the ship and for thrills re-embark you at midships on the windward side of the vessel for you to experience the 2-metre rise and fall of the swell as you try to get a footing on the landing stage. Break a leg folks! Dine in our fabulous restaurant and watch as your dinner and long-stemmed wine glass slide gracefully across the table and onto the deck where the glass shatters into a hundred pieces while the waiter pours hot coffee down your neck. Have fun in your cabin trying not to cut your feet on the broken glass from the litre glass bottles of water which have slid off the dresser and smashed on the deck, soaking the carpet and your clothes that have been thrown from the open drawers of the dresser. Have fun staggering along the deck and up companionways to reach a toilet because a crew member is in your cabin bathroom replacing and sealing the shower wall. Qualify for NHS hearing aids on your return home by sitting through several of our showtime presentations by our singers. (NB. It is pure conjecture that no whales have ever been seen from the ship because the singers perfectly reproduce the whale alarm call). Finally, watch the Northern Ireland authorities emergency response as we sail into Belfast with the Red Ensign upside down and the Captain, speaking from bridge, teaches the crew some new Russian vocabulary. If you are queueing on a beach awaiting evacuation in the face of a pursuing army then board this vessel. Those are the only circumstances in which this should be done. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
After reading a review posted by a fellow passenger on this 28 night cruise, I'm wondering whether we were actually on the same holiday ! Everyone is entitled to their views, but to me, the difference between the previous review and ... Read More
After reading a review posted by a fellow passenger on this 28 night cruise, I'm wondering whether we were actually on the same holiday ! Everyone is entitled to their views, but to me, the difference between the previous review and the one below is more to do with attitude and expectation. I had already prepared my review (just not posted it yet), so I will leave it up to the reader to decide who had the best holiday experience. This cruise was our 2nd with CMV and on the Marco Polo. A previous 12 night cruise to Iceland last October became the taster to this 28 night return transatlantic cruise to Canada and therefore we were aware of what to expect from this ship before we booked. Firstly, we had found the standard cabins to be too small - for us - for a month long trip, so we splashed out and booked a DeLuxe Outside cabin for this cruise, which - with so many sea days - turned out to be a good move. The Itinerary, was Liverpool, Cobh, St John's (Newfoundland), Halifax (Nova Scotia), Charlottetown (Prince Edward Islands), Gaspe (Quebec), Montreal, Quebec City (2 days) Sept-Iles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Cap-aux-Meules, Sydney (Nova Scotia), Corner Brook (Newfoundland) & a final port of St Anthony (Newfoundland) that unfortunately had to be cancelled. The Ship - is old by current cruising standards, but charming at the same time. It is kept spotlessly clean by the staff, and for us, this compensates for the obvious wear and tear you can see around the ship. Having said that, I am led to believe that the Marco Polo will soon be going into dry dock for a 'make over' so it will be interesting to see what they do to her. She has a loyal fan base who cruise regularly on her, and I can understand why, as she is probably one of the most honest and friendly ships I have ever been on. She doesn't profess to be all singing and dancing with glitz everywhere you look - but if your expectations are realistic and you open yourself to the quirkiness of the ship, she will embrace you and give you a warm homely feeling. (Apologies if this is a bit too lyrical !!) Embarkation at Liverpool was speedy and well organised. Cabin - A DeLuxe Oceanview on Deck 11. Great size and layout, with 3 large windows, kingsize bed, settee & chair, stool and coffee table. Fridge/Minibar, Tea & Coffee making facility, and bowl of fruit replenished as necessary. The two double wardrobes provided plenty of hanging space for clothes and there were drawers galore which helped in keeping the room tidy. The only downside (for us) was that the bathroom had a full size bath with overhead shower. We prefer a walk-in shower which is what you get with the more standard cabins. By the way, its true what they say about the higher you are, the more motion you feel !!!! We do not suffer from sea sickness, but if you are prone to this malaise, then stick to a lower deck cabin. Dining - If you are used to the selection you get on the premium cruise ships, then you will feel limited with Marco Polo. The food is good, but the choice is limited and repetitive. Breakfast can be taken in either the Bistro Buffet, or MDR - both are buffet style, although tea and coffee are served to your table in the Dining Room. Lunch is also served Buffet style in the Bistro and by Table service in the MDR. An addition when weather permits is the Pool Grill which has a Burger / Pizza / Fries selection on the open aft deck. Buffets are notorious for being difficult to find seats, but we only had 2 occasions at Breakfast during the 28 nights when it was full and we walked out and waited 15 mins. Afternoon Tea is also served in the Buffet around 3.15 each day - the pastries and scones were lovely. Dinner is a 5 course affair in the MDR (two sittings 6.00 pm and 8.00 p.m.) and of all the food served on this ship, I found this to be the best quality & choice. And if you hadn't eaten enough during the day, they provided a buffet in all the lounges at 11.00 p.m. each night !!!! During our 28 night cruise, there were 4 Formal Nights which the majority of passengers adhered to. The remaining nights were a mix of Informal or Casual depending on whether we had been in Port all day or not. Mostly, men wore Jacket (usually taken off within minutes of sitting down !!) & open neck shirt for Informal, and just short sleeve shirt / polo on casual nights. Overall, I would say Ladies dressed up more than I have seen on P & O / Princess / Royal Caribbean etc although the atmosphere never made you feel you had to. Entertainment - This is one of the reasons we chose to cruise on CMVs Marco Polo again. I have never met an Entertainment Team that puts so much effort into their job. The 4/5 headline singers (including the Cruise Director) were outstanding, and also doubled up on hosting onboard quizzes / bingo / games etc. and also provided Cabaret in Scotts Bar at 11.00 p.m. each evening. The twice nightly (8.00 p.m. & 10.00 p.m.) main Shows in the Marco Polo Lounge were superb and very well attended. On a couple of the evenings early in the cruise, a Comedian joined the ship, and likewise we were joined by a Ventriloquist / Comedian for a couple of shows on our way home. The 7 strong dance troupe were amazing, as was the Live Band. In fact I can honestly say that the whole Entertainment team was one of the best and most committed I have ever come across. A big plus for the CMV line in my opinion. Only one downside to the entertainment was that for the whole 28 nights, the large Columbus Lounge had the resident Russian Classical duo playing in the evening. Im not against classical music, but this limited the use of this Lounge - at least to us. I would have liked to have heard some occasional upbeat music in this area, and move the classical team around a bit. Onboard Lectures - I would imagine that these become more important, the more sea days you have in your Itinerary, and become extremely important when you are sailing across the North Atlantic - both ways !!! We had 4 great Speakers giving presentations on a wide range of subjects from the History of Newfoundland through to the photographing over a period of years, of a lioness and her family in India. A WW11 Historian (who did a very convincing impression of Winston Churchill) also gave us an in-depth explanation of events such as the sinking of the Bismark, the D-Day Landings and the Dambusters. All good stuff. Shore Excursions - As with all cruise lines, these are expensive for what they are, but if you are not up to the hassle of researching your ports and arranging private tours, then just book them and enjoy. The Excursion staff are first class, and Sue (the Manager) is extremely good at her job. The tours are well organised and simply administered without fuss. Maybe its because this Ship is so much smaller than many, but disembarkation onto the tours went without a hitch - as far as I could see. Overall Enjoyment - A great cruise, which included a number of great ports in Canada that many ships are too big to call at - a fabulous Itinerary, with just one exception 'Sept Isles' - not a lot there, and my advice is not to take the Shuttle into Town - what town ?!? Either do one of the ships tours further afield, or stay on the ship and have a cheap massage !! If you are prone to motion sickness, I wouldn't take the Marco Polo on a North Transatlantic Voyage unless the Itinerary was something special. Don't get me wrong, we felt safe on her and she rode the waves well, but she's small, so there is movement. BUT, I can't wait for her to come out of the re-fit next year and book again. To us, she is a 'special' ship and probably always will be. Read Less
51 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I was a bit concerned because I had never cruised with this company before, and also because of the age of the ship, but I was very impressed with everything about the Marco Polo. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I was a bit concerned because I had never cruised with this company before, and also because of the age of the ship, but I was very impressed with everything about the Marco Polo. The embarkation at Liverpool was faultless. Our cases were taken from us as they were unloaded from our transport and by the time we embarked the first case was already in our cabin and the other arrived shortly afterwards. The crew, from the Captain down to the cleaning staff were friendly, helpfull, and just so very nice. Our cabin, a category 12, number 473 was mid ships and quite roomy with 2 big windows, 2 wardrobes, each with a small set of drawers inside. 2 large chests of drawers either side of a dressing table. The beds were really comfortable, and the little shower room was also very good. Our bed linen seemed to be changed several times a week, and the towels replaced as often as you wanted them to be. We had a kettle and tea/coffee making facilities, but not everyone seemed to have these, but we were very pleased to be able to make a cup of tea first thing in the morning. The food was always very good and of an amazing variety. I have an allergy to prawns and shrimp, and I was given a menu each evening, for the following day, to choose my meals so that the chef could ensure that none of my choices included any hint of prawns or shrimp. I have never had such care on any other cruise line, and I have sailed on many. We always had breakfast in the dining room as it was buffet style, but with an egg station where you could have your eggs cooked in a variety of ways. Lots of fresh fruit every day and lots of cereals, granola, and always hot porridge for those who wanted it. We seldom had lunch because we were out and about, but the few days we did we opted for the little kitchen outdoors outside the Bistro where they cooked burgers, pizzas etc to order, along with fries and some salad accompaniments. Every afternoon at 3.30, there were sandwiches and cakes etc in the Bistro. Dinner was always a great choice, 5 courses if you wanted to eat them all, and several choices of each course. The entertainment was a great surprise to me. On big ships they have scenery, special effects and a huge cast, but on this little ship they had wonderful singers and dancers who just gave it their all, with no fancy special effects. So talented, and they always gave such a good show. There were also a couple of visiting comedians who gave shows alternately with the dancers, and also an amazing violin/piano duo who gave classical concerts and also entertained in the lounge. There were quizzes and other entertainment day and night, and a cabaret at 11 each evening which we were always too tired to stay up for, but always sounded great fun. The service was excellent. The dining room wait staff, and the wine waiters were really attentive, and could not be faulted. Our room maid did an excellent job of keeping our cabin clean. Although she spoke very little English, she was always smiling and happy to supply anything extra we wanted. Our first 2 ports were Dublin and Cobh, neither of which we booked excursions for. Unfortunately it rained heavily on both days, so we did not go off the ship until after lunch, when we just took the free shuttle into Dublin and walked to Trinity and queued to see the Book of Kells, which was well worth doing. In Cobh we walked the few hundred yards from the ship along the promenade to the Titanic Experience. This was excellent, it takes place in the original port terminal building that was used to take on passengers for the Titanic's last fateful voyage. A very worthwhile visitor attraction. Next port was St.Mary's in the Scilly Isles. We took the ship excursion to Tresco to see the Abbey Gardens. This was lovely, the gardens were beautiful and the red squirrels playing were an added bonus. In the afternoon we visited St. Mary's and after a lunch of Cornish pasty (huge, we really felt stuffed after them!) we had another ship's tour around the Island on a mini bus. Excellent tour guide/driver who told us all we should know about life in the Scilly Isles. Guernsey next. We did not go on a ship's excursion, just took the tender ashort and caught the ferry to Herm, where we walked over the island to Shell Beach and had a coffee and walked back. Herm is lovely, no traffic, just the quad bikes, some with trailers to take guests luggage to the hotels from the dock. We also took the local service bus in St Peter Port which takes an hour and a half to go right around the island and costs £1 only!! Very good value, and gave us a good idea of the island in the short time we had left before getting back on the ship. Honfleur. Good for passengers who wanted to go to Monet's house or the D day landing beaches etc, but as we did none of those, it was a bit boring. Edinburgh. Great, even though rammed with visitors for the Festival. A short walk from our dock was the Royal Yacht Britannia and we got there before opening and spend 2 hours touring it, and had a scrumptious scone with jam and cream and tea in the restaurant on the top deck! Orkney. Delightful! Took the ship's tour Scenic Orkney which included a stop for coffee and cakes. Lovely area but very windy! Stornaway. Took the Lewis and Harris tour. Very interesting place and we had an excellent guide who told us the history of the place. Beautiful beaches. Tobermory Mull. Nice little place. Lots of tours on offer but we chose the Whale and Wildlife tour and unfortunately we had some very heavy rain showers, so apart from 3 porpoise we didn't see very much. Belfast. We took the Antrim Coast and Giant's Causeway tour. This was an excellent tour, helped by the lovely weather. It was 8 hours and we were worried it would be boring, but our guide Lorna was really good. We had lots of photo stops at beautiful beaches and glens and the time just flew. We had lunch (included in thr price) at the Royal Court Hotel in Portrush which was excellent. Melon, roast beef with Yorkshire puds, roast and mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, followed by a delicious fruit pavlova! Also included was either wine, beer or soft drinks. We tried a half of Guinness each! Lorna suggested trying it with a dash of blackcurrent, and it was really nice! Back to Liverpool! Disembarkation was very smooth. There was plenty of room in the lounge to wait for our call to leave, and we did not see anyone have a problem. It was chaotic getting out of the port, but that was because the Isle of Man ferry came in just as we were trying to leave. Sorry this is such a long report, but hopefully it may help if anyone is planning a similar cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I originally drafted this review of the British Isles Discovery Cruise (Cruise and Maritime) some weeks ago but it read like “What I did on my holidays”. So, I abandoned that approach and will instead to focus on the experience which ... Read More
I originally drafted this review of the British Isles Discovery Cruise (Cruise and Maritime) some weeks ago but it read like “What I did on my holidays”. So, I abandoned that approach and will instead to focus on the experience which should make for a shorter piece and be more helpful to the reader. Suffice it to say my wife and I left from Liverpool (Pier Head) Terminal on 20th August and arrived back on 1st September. Our cruise took us to Dublin, Cobh (near Cork), St Mary’s (Isles of Scilly), Guernsey, Honfleur in France (for Bayeux), Edinburgh, Orkney, Lewis (Outer Hebrides), Mull (Inner Hebrides) and Belfast. MV Marco Polo is an older cruise ship, first built in former East Germany in 1964 and named the Aleksandr Pushkin. She has recently been fully refitted and carries around 800 passengers and 300 crew. A Russian Captain oversaw a multi-national crew who were pretty much unfailingly helpful, cheery and polite. We were first-time cruisers and admittedly in our mid-60’s, were among the younger passengers. We dined each evening with two other North West couples of a similar vintage who had, in each case, extensive experience of sea cruise holidays. I can only report that the holiday was a wonderful experience from beginning to end. The ship was an ideal size – large enough to provide a comprehensive range of services – small enough to feel personal and comfortable. The food was plentiful and varied without being overwhelming and was of a consistently high quality. My wife is a lifelong vegetarian and was well catered for and the drinks prices were reasonable with pre-booked all-inclusive packages available if required. The range of available excursions (we selected three) was very comprehensive at each location and the provision was prompt and well-organised. The local guides were really excellent and provided plenty of interesting and informative background for each trip. The on-board entertainment was good and unobtrusive and the staff worked very hard to provide a quality service. Our cabin was a ‘Superior Plus’ twin on the Pacific deck with a large window to view the outside world. The sunsets were particularly pleasant to view. I am sure that I could pick holes if pressed, but why bother? Overall, this was a super holiday and excellent value. WE had the added bonus of meeting up with old friends and relatives in five of the ten ports and are now enthusiastic convers to the cruising experience ……. On smaller ships! Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Enjoyed the overnight cruise from Greenock to Liverpool on the Marco Polo. Great value for money, very good food and okay entertainment, very reasonably priced drinks. This is an old ship but the public areas are well maintained but ... Read More
Enjoyed the overnight cruise from Greenock to Liverpool on the Marco Polo. Great value for money, very good food and okay entertainment, very reasonably priced drinks. This is an old ship but the public areas are well maintained but somewhat dated as you'd expect. The cabin we had (432) was a premier twin with two windows and ample storage space. Good spacious cabin with furniture showing a bit of wear and tear. But the bed ..... it was so hard it was like lying on a brick wall. If the bed had been better I'd have given an extra star and would have been more likely to cruise with CMV again. The disembarkation was quite slow given the fact that this is a small ship. Having docked at 9am I'd have thought you could have had everyone off quicker. The buffet breakfast in the dining room was okay but there really isn't enough room for people to get back and forward between tables, it was a bit of an assault course. For an overnight it was an enjoyable experience but we had to go to bed early the next evening in Liverpool to make up for lack of sleep on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Cabin was clean and comfortable but I wouldn't want to be on for a long cruise 14+ nights as wardrobe space was at a minimum. There was a good range of public areas and bars. The accommodation round the pool was good with a bar ... Read More
Cabin was clean and comfortable but I wouldn't want to be on for a long cruise 14+ nights as wardrobe space was at a minimum. There was a good range of public areas and bars. The accommodation round the pool was good with a bar and outdoor grill. The buffet restaurant was spoiled by the smokers right outside the door. If you were entering from outside you had to run the gauntlet through the smoke. All in all the cruise was enjoyable but what spoiled it for us was the crew. They were unhelpful, unfriendly and down right rude at times. From reception to shops and bars you hardly got smile let alone an acknowledgement. No one greeted you or smiled as you arrived to be served or when you passed them in the corridor. Maybe we are just spoiled by the fantastic crews on board Fred Olsen cruise lines who are happy to meet you, remember you by name and are pleasant, smiley and engaging. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
All good - except charged for a bottle of water in the cabin not used- we deliberately made a point of not opening the bottles of water in the cabin - did manage to get money back with a bit of awkwardness-also staff not terribly friendly ... Read More
All good - except charged for a bottle of water in the cabin not used- we deliberately made a point of not opening the bottles of water in the cabin - did manage to get money back with a bit of awkwardness-also staff not terribly friendly at the reception while dealing with it! My main moan was the dreadful Wellness Package I had pre - booked for £129!!! To cut a very long story short - don't bother with getting it! - not worth the money and hassle I had trying to sort it. It was a disaster from the start to the finish - thought with pre booking it and the price I would have red carpet treatment - oh how I was wrong! Don't Do It!!! But apart from that -thoroughly enjoyed the trip - even with two extremely choppy nights at sea! - don't forget the sea sickness pills and you will be fine! Would book with the cruise line again - but keeping to small trips. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package ... Read More
I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package because we wouldn't have got through this trip without it! Service appalling. No one around to serve if you want a drink in the pool area. Staff non existent in bars except behind it. Staff give the impression they really do not want to be working for this company. Thank God it was for only 4 nights. I feel sorry for people booked for two months! Cabins dated and awful. Nothing to do in the day. Disabled beware as very little facilities to get on and off at ports. Never again. Miles to civilisation once on shore. Complained but too late - they already had my money so they are not bothered. You have been warned! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a ... Read More
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a last minute deal, yet had a better cabin than those who did not get the same deal... The cabin was clean. There was a good choice of food at the buffet. The Bad: The food was mostly always look-warm/under-cooked/overcooked The fish on the menu was not fresh. Keep your receipts to check later. The Ugly: Some of the staff obviously did not want to be there. e.g This is the only cruise I have been on to date where upon returning aboard we were met with complete silence from the staff scanning the boarding passes. I reported something serious to be told by staff they were busy and "not to worry as we are almost home". Read Less
Marco Polo Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 1.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 5.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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