17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
thought this short first cruise would be an ideal starter , As not experianced but found it a mix of old world charm and a posh butlins , I think i would investigate a ship and the cruise further before booking again ,, over all a ... Read More
thought this short first cruise would be an ideal starter , As not experianced but found it a mix of old world charm and a posh butlins , I think i would investigate a ship and the cruise further before booking again ,, over all a nice experiance , but avoid level five and cabin 238 as the engine noise and desel fumes were bad,also sleep was a problem at times , I was told could not be moved as ship was full ,i found staff at times over powering and gave little time to relax , if you took your eye of your plate cup or glass for 1 second it was removed , the times i had to get more cutlery or napkins was daft ,at the buffet peoples food and drinks were removed when they just nipped back for juice or tea of somthing ,, Somthing wrong with there training they were more like robots then humans this became a nusuance Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This ship is very tired and old and needs lots of updating. The waiting and bar staff are very hard workers, polite and friendly but the reception staff and excursions staff appear to be more aloof. The food apart from the cooked breakfast ... Read More
This ship is very tired and old and needs lots of updating. The waiting and bar staff are very hard workers, polite and friendly but the reception staff and excursions staff appear to be more aloof. The food apart from the cooked breakfast is of excellent quality but the cheap beans, sausage bacon etc lets it down. The cabin air conditioning was diabolical. The force of it was far too strong which could not be turned off, only the temperature could be adjusted. Several people seemed to be sneezing and coughing and openly complaining about the air conditioning which was far too forceful. The entertainment was OK but the guest singer Clarke was a let down, as he seems to be stuck in the 1980's. Sing or tell jokes, doing both does not work. There seems to be a problem in the bistro regarding not enough seats as people sit in there playing cards and reading. Many times I had to stand up as I could not find a seat when wanting to eat a meal. In the end I had to dress up and eat in the restaurant where I had a guaranteed seat. This was fine however dependent on excursions or port leaving times, to make the most of the stop offs I did not want to go back to the ship to eat at 6pm and would have liked to eat in the bistro later on. The dining room staff are good at getting people to sanitise their hands as some people did try to get in without using the gel. Read Less
41 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Cruise and Maritime Voyages' Marco Polo has problems and we would never cruise on her again. She is old and tired, food is poor, safety and security in need of serious attention, organisation leaves much to be desired, and ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime Voyages' Marco Polo has problems and we would never cruise on her again. She is old and tired, food is poor, safety and security in need of serious attention, organisation leaves much to be desired, and Reception staff distinctly unhelpful. The only positives were the itinerary (the reason we took the cruise), shows, particularly the guest comedian, and the quizzes hosted by the dancers and singers. Old and tired? Plain, damaged walls in stair wells and corridors, scruffy carpets, a 'bistro' that has too few tables and chairs and all the looks of a 1960s greasy spoon cafe. Seating throughout the ship is worn, with cushions that gave up a long time ago. In none of the public areas could we find comfortable seating. Poor food? Sausages that consist of a puréed tasteless mush in a wafer thin casing. No need to cut, the knife just falls through. Bacon that is impenetrable to knife and fork. An 'Italian' dinner menu that was so unappetising that six out of eight on our table found it impossible to choose from. Followed the next night with a choice of steak, roast turkey and salmon. Safety and security? We have taken many cruises and have never been allowed back on board from a port visit without everything we have carried being screened. The only screening we experienced was on boarding in Leith. Anything could have been carried on board during the cruise with obvious implications for the safety of the ship and its passengers. Totally unacceptable. As for safety, the tendering at Stornoway was bordering on dangerous. We have seen tendering stopped on other cruises on lesser seas. The ship was positioned so that waves washed down her side, lifting the tender high, and then dropping them low. On one occasion the tender dropped so low that it was able to move in towards the ship and, when it rose again, it caught under the tendering platform and lifted it with passengers standing on it. Totally unacceptable: the ship could, and should, have been positioned to place the tender platform in its lee. Organisation? The excursion across Mull to Iona left without an opportunity to see Tobermory and returned 20 minutes before the final tender. It would have been quite possible for the ship to have sailed an hour later to allow passengers to have at least a brief look around the town. That would, of course, needed the ship to increase its speed a little, which would have increased fuel consumption a little, which would have increased costs to CMV a little. So it did not happen and bus loads of passengers were left disappointed. A number of passengers on our coach were also disappointed to hear the male guide announce that we should 'look forward to see if the girl is in her pool in her garden'. The member of crew who was accompanying the excursion made no comment and took no action on hearing this totally inappropriate comment. Offloading luggage in Greenock was a joke. Everyone had to leave their cabins at 07:00 and the latest disembarkation was around four hours later. The luggage was craned ashore in a cage. For much of the time only one cage was being used with luggage thrown in. The door left open on one transfer with luggage loosely piled and quite able to fall out into the dock. Unhelpful Reception staff? One suitcase, being used for the very first time, was delivered to our cabin with one of the feet torn off. Reception took no interest and no action despite the damage being reported before we left Leith at the start of the cruise. The only response was to provide a form to allow us to claim on *our* insurance. CMV and their agent took the luggage from us, damaged it, and refused to accept responsibility saying we had accepted their Terms and Conditions. Terms and Conditions that state they abide by the Athens Convention. A services access hatch in the corridor outside our cabin door was left swinging open, and so quite dangerous, throughout the cruise despite being reported to Reception and despite Reception saying it would be closed 'immediately'. If anyone is tempted to think that CMV and Marco Polo offer an acceptable cruise experience then they need to try just one cruise elsewhere at no, or minimal, extra cost. It is a wonder that the average star rating on CMV's Facebook page has reached the heights of 4.2 out of 10. Someone has been very generous. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Ship - having read many of the previous reviews we were worried about the holiday - what had we let ourselves in for?! Our first impressions of the ship were very good. She is just over 50 years old but beautifully maintained and in ... Read More
Ship - having read many of the previous reviews we were worried about the holiday - what had we let ourselves in for?! Our first impressions of the ship were very good. She is just over 50 years old but beautifully maintained and in excellent order. Cabins were beautifully maintained & spotlessly clean at all times. We chose a standard plus outside on deck 6 amidships. Cabin 308 - a good choice - a short hop along from the main dining room. I would not recommend cabins on same level or near Scotts Bar as all passengers had to pass along their corridor after late night entertainment or crew parties!! There are no balcony cabins on board and the bed configuration suited us well offering plenty of room. Bathrooms adequate - shower good though tiny. Shown to our cabin after easy embarkation at Edinburgh - we were just told to join small queue after walking over car park with cases - many others seemed to be waiting in small waiting room for timed embarkation. Cases all arrived in cabin in minutes of arrival. Overall we enjoyed our cruise. Excellent dining companions & great itinerary - main reason for booking. Tours were expensive as all are from ships. Often we did our own thing - just wandering around & exploring or at 2 ports had arranged tours independently. Thoroughly recommend Geoiceland, in Reykjavik and Jean Ross ( Great Orkney Tours) in Kirkwall, Orkney who tailored an individualised tour for us - more expensive, but worth every penny. With the ships tours people are tardy in following instructions or late back to the bus - however the ship does wait for their own tours to return to port ( as in Invergordon, when 2 buses were over half an hour late having lost a couple who failed to follow instructions on the steam train trip from Aviemore). Fellow passengers were a mixed bunch - mostly retired - but not by all means Scots - some Americans & Australians as well as folks from all over the British Isles. I had expected Scots as we sailed from Edinburgh. Weather turned nasty - which meant that we spent longer in the safety of harbour in a rain soaked mist shrouded Faroes and had to miss out Shetland all together as too rough to anchor off and use tenders. Disappointing but safety first - we experienced 6.5 m waves - & a prolonged time at sea which some passengers clearly disliked. I think the ships crew handled all this well - though there were passengers injured in the dining room on on one occasion. Overall the entertainment on board was super - west end show quality singers & dancers who did a varied and enjoyable programme. Superb violinist duo as wel. The guest speakers were not as good and comedien got thumbs down by most people. Tony the cruise director got the musical entertainment just right and I enjoyed the art classes immensely. Craft classes were okay if a little basic at times. What let him down in my opinion was that on the rescheduled sea days he was only able to offer very old DVD's in the theatre and a hotch potch of extra classes - surely they should be better prepared for an unexpected sea day and have a couple of modern/ current dvd's and have guest experts prep a few extra classes - just in case??!! Our main disappointment was the food. Plenty to eat - but not to my taste and overall of poor quality. Tough steaks, the same gravy on everything, excessive use of herbs, a same taste to everything !! Of course it is mass catering on a grand scale - but instead of 4 or 5 courses - I would prefer 3 of higher quality. Many diners did not follow the dress code - or imagined that informal (jacket & shirt for men) meant that they could come down in fleeces or cardigans to dinner . Most did dress up for the formal nights - but overall the dress code was not well observed & you would be in the lounge dressed for dinner while others would be parading around in anoraks, fleeces & t shirts & waistcoats. Unavoidable of course as there was only one lounge area. CMV did offer speciality dining in a small curtained off area in dining room or for groups in a conference room. Price range £20 -£40. Drinks were pretty reasonable - we didn't take the all inclusive offer at £17 pp per day. We found the crew attentive to our needs and most had a happy friendly disposition. No complaints there. This is budget cruising - there are no balconies, climbing walls, ice rinks, children, or luxuries. But if you don't need these and are looking for a cruise from a port near home then this may be for you. Would I go with CMV again - probably not - though the long trek to Southampton is also off putting !! Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit St Petersburg and the 2 day stop at this city did not let us down. We chose the 2 day package and visited the Winter Palace (The Hermitage), the Summer Palace (Catherine's ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have always wanted to visit St Petersburg and the 2 day stop at this city did not let us down. We chose the 2 day package and visited the Winter Palace (The Hermitage), the Summer Palace (Catherine's Palace) and Peterhof. The only disappointment was we did not get to see the Faberge Museum. We also chose the trip to Berlin and the 3 hour bus journey both ways was worth it as we had a wonderful guide who was very knowledgable and spoke wonderful English. The other stops we did ourselves - Copenhagen, Helsinki and Tallin. We did not get off the ship at Nynasham for Stockholm because there was not enough time to visit Stockholm at any length. The trips were expensive but we saw a lot of things that the independent traveller may have missed. However, I would suggest that you wait until you are on board to book any shore excursions because it is only by attending the shore excursion previews that you find out that courtesy buses will be provided at certain ports. The embarkation and disembarkation did go smoothly. The Marco Polo is a wonderful old ship and the 800+ passengers were able to meet new people and enjoy their company. Our cabin (615) was very clean and comfortable and our cabin steward (Edison) was a hard working, cheerful and pleasant young man. Dining in the Waldorf Restaurant was excellent. The menu was extensive and the food very good. Our waiter (Uros) was very attentive, happy and efficient. We used Marco's Bistro for breakfast - lots of choice but you had to be early to get a good table. The entertainment team on board were very hard working and good. The shows were very good in the main but one or two nights were very average. The dancers were excellent. We enjoyed the quizzes - but don't treat them seriously - have a laugh. The duo in Scott's Bar were very good. We paid for all inclusive and it was worth it though the prices were similar to lounge bar prices at home. It cost £17 per person per day but, if you had a glass of wine at lunchtime and another with dinner then that would cost you £10. The service in the various lounges and the pool bar was on the slow side as there was not enough bar staff and the waiters were very good at ignoring arms raised requesting service while they picked up empty glasses or stood at the bar waiting for the one bar person on duty to pour the drinks. All in all we had a great time and I would recommend the Marco Polo voyage. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
With misgivings, we booked a 1 night taster on this venerable ship, for nostalgic reasons! Decades ago, when she was under Gerry Herrods ownership, we enjoyed some adventurous cruises on her,; to Antarctica, up the amazon , etc, and ... Read More
With misgivings, we booked a 1 night taster on this venerable ship, for nostalgic reasons! Decades ago, when she was under Gerry Herrods ownership, we enjoyed some adventurous cruises on her,; to Antarctica, up the amazon , etc, and loved her. A convenient one nighter was available, from Newcastle, to us infinitely more accessible than Tilbury. Our hopes were not high, assuming we would find shabbiness and lack of maintenance. How wrong we were, she was beautifully maintained, and cared for. We felt welcome and valued as customers, and enjoyed our brief stay in our roomy cabin with comfortable double bed. Food, as we'd expected, was basic, but adequate, and service was fine. The drawbacks were few, poor embarkation and a chaotic disembarkation, which Needed far better management, and a disembarkation that was far too early came as a shock.. A 0ne night cruise with a mere 16 hours onboard made it poor value, and very hurried Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Travelling solo, I chose this cruise because of the Newcastle Embarkation port and I live close by. Embarkation was as efficient as could be expected, there was an element of waiting and slight confusion when entering the large ... Read More
Travelling solo, I chose this cruise because of the Newcastle Embarkation port and I live close by. Embarkation was as efficient as could be expected, there was an element of waiting and slight confusion when entering the large embarkation hall, as you had to collect your Cruise Card then sit and wait around until your label colour was announced then check in. It was fairly well organised and once checked in, I was boarding and in my cabin within minutes, The Marci Polo is a wonderful old lady and because of her size, easy to navigate unlike the hotel ships of today. I would say that 70-80% of the passengers were from the North East in view of the Newcastle sail and age group definitely in the 60+ range. The ship looked her age from the outside but clean and bright once on board. The quality of food at both restaurants varied. Formal dining in the Waldorf I enjoyed though there were mixed comments about the quality of the food and small portions. I believe it came down to menu choice. I personally enjoyed every meal although the late sitting was 'late' at 8.15-30 and given the choice again I would go earlier. Marco's Bistro I found convenient for breakfast and lunch and although there was a varied choice of buffet food, it did resemble a supermarket cafe serving luke warm and poor quality food. Tea time proved very popular with little cakes and sandwiches, it was always very busy, very hard to get a seat and a bit like a cattle market especially when the weather was poor without the choice of dining outside on the deck. I did not attend the evening shows but on sail days I found all of the lectures on marine and bird life, space and volcanoes very enjoyable and well attended, Bar prices not as expensive as other cruise lines I have been on. I did purchase their drinks package but it turned out I would have been better off without as I barely reached the daily limit. Perhaps if the speciality coffees had been included in the package it would have been more worth while. All the bar stewards were very friendly bar one lad in Scott's bar whom I found rude and surly. Perhaps he had a bad day. Good daily programme published each day and delivered to cabin. One complaint - on another cruise line, if you tuned into a certain TV channel there were up to date reports on where you were sailing by plus any interesting wildlife. Marco Polo displayed an up to the minute navigation slide (rather like those on plane travel) but a good example was the morning we were supposed to circumnavigate Surtsee - most of the passengers 'missed' the event as nothing was announced unless you were prepared to stand on the deck and wait around in the cold for the island to pass by! The Captain did make his daily navigational announcement, but bless him, his accent was quite hard to understand! The Solo get-togethers were an inspiration on behalf of Olga the Guest Services Host, we boarded as solo's, but disembarked with lovely memories of friendships made - the luncheon and Bridge visit was absolutely fab. Most of the excursions, although expensive, I enjoyed and were well organised. I note another reviewer had not enjoyed The Essence of East Iceland tour. I would totally agree with his comments. The tour was 'flat', the guide poor, even though the scenery was wonderful. All the other tour guides I encountered were very good and entertaining. My cabin Category 12 - Pacific - was lovely, no complaints. Two large port holes, comfortable double bed. Lovely powerful shower. A cabin steward who was very efficient and attentive in fact all of the stewards worked extremely hard. I especially appreciated the kettle and also enjoyed a few breakfasts in my cabin rather than the Bistro. Just one other complaint on returning back from one of the excursions in Iceland on a rainy afternoon, a totally 'unsafe' walkway was used to board the ship as a result whilst I was waiting to board we witnessed two people - one elderly having nasty falls. They did have other 'stairways' which were much more suitable and I think on this occasion this was definitely a Health and Safety Issue. So all in all a wonderful trip for me personally and I would sail with Marco Polo again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and date. Which is the main reason we cruise. The ship and cruise line are secondary to us. Embarkation: No problems. Nothing to note. Ship: Older, smaller ship. Which has ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and date. Which is the main reason we cruise. The ship and cruise line are secondary to us. Embarkation: No problems. Nothing to note. Ship: Older, smaller ship. Which has it's pro and cons. My wife liked that we were close to dining and the theater. We docked right in the ports of some smaller towns. The ship also looked like a classic cruise ship. Cabin: OK. The main problem was the shower was slow draining and splash over at times. But, we're not really fussy about our cabin. We had a nice big window. Dining: OK. Typical British food. Brought the beer package, 14 beers for $50. Entertainment: Good. Enjoyed the shows and lectures, especially the bird classes. Service: OK. Eastern European crew. Did their job but could smile more. I guess that's just how they are. I asked how many more beers I had on my package, and the server said "You should know that." Ports: Great! Most times we were the only ship in port. Only had to tender once in Shetland. Iceland and Shetland were the highlights. Also enjoyed the Faeroes, Kirkland and Inverness. Shore excursions: Only took the ship's excursions if there were no other choice. Took a local tour in Reychivic and was glad we did. Traveller: Mostly British in the 60-70's. Disembarkation: No problems. We did the express checkout (you carry your own bags off and are the first to go.) To sum it up: The itinerary was interesting and a great way to see Iceland! The ship was OK. But we knew that going in so it was a big disappointment. Overall we had a good time! Read Less
29 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary.When we visited the Waldorf restaurant for our 1st breakfast the staff were very curt towards the passengers and made unacceptable comments to other waiters about the passengers! The staff ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the itinerary.When we visited the Waldorf restaurant for our 1st breakfast the staff were very curt towards the passengers and made unacceptable comments to other waiters about the passengers! The staff on both the reception and excursion desks lacked any people skills and they too were often rude. The excursion on the Strathspey railway was very disappointing and a rip off.The steam train was off due to maintenance! although the tour guide said it was due to fire risk from the steam train! !What was the truth!! The disembarkation was a real mess. I hope the staff will be replaced soon,it was not our 1st venture on the Marco Polo but it is our LAST. We were very sorry for our friends who were on their 1st ever cruise,we did assure them that other cruise companies offer much better service. Even the food was look warm and asking for a pot of water and fresh toast was frowned on by the staff. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise and in truth we had been rather sniffy about cruises before but we wanted to go to Iceland and CMV were offering a 2 for 1 deal so we gave it a go. The Marco Polo appealed as it was a small ship and looked like ... Read More
This was our first cruise and in truth we had been rather sniffy about cruises before but we wanted to go to Iceland and CMV were offering a 2 for 1 deal so we gave it a go. The Marco Polo appealed as it was a small ship and looked like a real ship as opposed to the floating blocks of flats that pass as cruise ships. So, how was it? The embarkation started off well, we parked our car (under cover) and our luggage was whipped away and we were shuttle bussed to the terminal. Here there was a long queue and a lot of waiting. We trooped through the P&O ferry terminal as if we were on a day trip to France. It is at this point that you realise the Marco Polo has 800 passengers and there was only one window where you picked up your boarding card. CMV do stagger the boarding times but two or three windows would help. However, we were soon on the ship and into our cabin (434), which was bright, airy and clean. It wasn’t quite as spacious as the pictures led us to believe but hotels do the same trick (shoot the picture on a wide angle lens) so we weren’t disappointed. The steward was very attentive and helpful and kept the cabin clean and tidy for the whole cruise. The staff (or are they all called crew?) were mainly Indian or East European and were friendly and wanted you to enjoy yourself. For some reason those on the reception desk did have a somewhat supercilious air about them as if they would rather be dealing with passengers on the Queen Mary. I don’t know, is there a class system amongst the staff with reception being at the top of the pile? The food was OK, perhaps a little bland for my tastes but CMV has worked out the demographics of their passengers and erred on the side of caution. Except for one meal, which consisted of a fish called Panga (Pangasius) a native of the Mekong Delta. Well, let’s just put that down to experience!!! There are two main restaurants: The Waldorf and the Marco Polo Bistro. The food was the same at both venues and whilst the bistro had the ambiance of a crowded works canteen it did offer the opportunity to sit outside on the aft deck which was pleasant. The Waldorf was slightly more formal, although the dress code was generally informal save for two nights, with two sittings for the evening meal. We chose the early sitting and you were aware as soon as the main course had finished that they were rushing through the dessert and coffee to clear ready for the second sitting. We were extremely fortunate that our table of eight all got on very well and meals were a delight. If you happened to be on a table where this wasn’t the case, then that could be a chore. We couldn’t really comment on the evening entertainment as we didn’t go but we did go to the lectures given in the daytime. These were generally interesting and well-presented although the one given by the shore excursion team about the ‘exciting places’ we were going to visit simply involved a girl reading from the brochure, verbatim. Not very illuminating. We booked lots of the shore excursions and these were well organised and pretty efficient. I know several people have said that they were expensive and, yes, you probably could have organised them yourself at a considerable saving but we didn’t want all the faff. There is the added bonus that if you are on an organised excursion and you are late returning they will hold the ship for you. A case of ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’. Disembarkation was very swift and easy, albeit we were up and off the ship by 7.15 am. This was just as well as the ship was running low on food and had run out of several basic items, breakfast cereal and bacon. So, what were our final thoughts on this our first cruise? We liked it. I accept that several aspects were low rent but then, in fairness, CMV are not charging top dollar for the cruise. We chose the Marco Polo for the reasons stated plus we didn’t want great atriums with shopping malls and restaurants with great big ice sculptures and it did what it said on the tin. If you want big glitzy cruises with all the bells and whistles then this ship isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you want a simpler time on a ship that’s a bit quirky then do as we did and give it a go. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was to the Faroes, Iceland, Orkney and Shetland sailing from Hull. First impression was that the embarkation arrangements were mickey mouse as we had opted for the car parking arrangements. In the end however, choosing ... Read More
This cruise was to the Faroes, Iceland, Orkney and Shetland sailing from Hull. First impression was that the embarkation arrangements were mickey mouse as we had opted for the car parking arrangements. In the end however, choosing secure parking was a good move as we were the first to leave the ship on arriving back at Hull. My wife had never experienced a small ship cruise before and having sailed with Princess, Celebrity and Cunard it would have been easy to consider this a lesser experience. So, in general: a) Cabin was clean and spacious - superior ocean view (I think) despite no sofa and extra seat. b) Cabin service - excellent. c) Cruise Director - Tony Parkins - wonderful host. d) Evening entertainment in the Marco Polo Lounge - as good as anything you would get on the big ships. The Marco Polo Ballet (as they are called) were amazing. e) Waldorf Restaurant (1st Sitting) - Much too frantic for our liking and dropped out of formal dining half way through the cruise. f) Marco Polo Bistro - good choice of menu if you could put up with the lack of space especially at breakfast time. You needed to get up early. g) The waiting/res bistro staff were in the main youngsters from Romania, Serbia, India and the Ukraine. One criticism is that they would not defer to you and would expect you to get out of their way. Not happy about that and it would be a complaint. However, it was not all of them to be fair. h) TV in cabin - waste of time. Bad quality viewing. I) Shore excursions. - Strictly they were very expensive in Iceland and the Faroes for what you got. I am not surprised as the VAT rates are astronomical. The worst value was the Eastern Iceland Essentials in Seydisfjordur which at £69 per person was a "rip off" as there strictly was nothing to see and shopping stops are not my interest. j) Cocktails were very good value for money. k) Cruise cost - Two for one? Don't believe it. We paid well over £3000 for two and there is no way that I would have paid £3000 for just the one. Never. Generally then it was an enjoyable trip and being so small you could meet people and then meet them again unlike the big ships where you would never bump into the same people again. Not sure that I would use MSV again as the ship is quite old, but was an interesting experience. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have cruised with other companies. Our impression of C&M is budget throughout. This started at Hull where we waited in a marquee for embarkation. We then went through the P&O terminal and there was a computer glitch which ... Read More
We have cruised with other companies. Our impression of C&M is budget throughout. This started at Hull where we waited in a marquee for embarkation. We then went through the P&O terminal and there was a computer glitch which delayed our boarding. Ship- On board our first impression of Marco Polo was a traditional small ship but clean and quite well maintained. Layout was OK but cramped in public lounges. Elderly passengers had gone to sleep in lounges, including the show lounge. Cabin- Our cabin (618) was on a higher deck but above the show lounge. The walls were paper thin and we could hear rehersals from below. We did have a large window in the cabin and a good unobstructed view. The TV was old and the picture rubbish all cruise. Dining- Main restaurant 2 sittings. 1st is 6pm- too early, 2nd- 8.30pm too late. !st sitting problem if late from excursion. Food is budget but OK. Our waiter was not very friendly but efficient. Our wine waitress was good though. The self service restaurant was always busy and passengers tended to sit and talk and not vacate tables when finished despite others queuing. Overall we found many of our fellow passengers rude and pushed into queues and saved tables for others. Entertainment- Tony, cruise director passionate about what he does and tries hard. Dancers good, singers variable. shows generally quite good for size of ship. Live band good and lounge duo v.good. Guest lecturers talks very good. Guest acts variable. Show lounge lots of poles in the way and seating poor in that one row obscured the one in front. Lots of saving of seats and complaining when you sat in front of someone else. Service- Bar staff busy and many are rude. Several times told 'just wait'. Mainly Ukranian serving staff need some customer service training. Ports & shore excursions- Visited Faroes, 4 ports in Iceland, Shetlands & Orkney. Enjoyed all the excursions and ports several by tender. Talk by on board team on ports of call rubbish as just read the brochure. Value variable but some good itinaries. No children on board but mainly elderly/retired passengers. Would we cruise with C&M agian- no. Did we enjoy our cruise- generally yes. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We wanted to visit Iceland and, having initially looked at flights/hotels, this cruise, our first, fitted the bill. Although the good weather and calm sea helped, the cruise exceeded our expectations. Despite the previous negative reviews ... Read More
We wanted to visit Iceland and, having initially looked at flights/hotels, this cruise, our first, fitted the bill. Although the good weather and calm sea helped, the cruise exceeded our expectations. Despite the previous negative reviews on CruiseCritic, the Marco Polo was fine and we enjoyed our time on the ship. I guess if you wanted to find faults you could do but we found the ship had plenty of room and things to do - much more on the ship than you expect from the outside. A good set of stops (Faroes, 4 in Iceland, Shetlands, Orkney) and excursions, but independent excursions also no problem. Really friendly staff, food was good, cabin was what we expected, friendly passengers etc. Embarkation was a bit slow, but disembarkation was really fast and efficient. Wifi would have been good but free wifi at all stops so not a problem. So no real issues from us. A good cruise, now what next? Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was the second time we have been on the Baltic Cities & St Petersburg cruise, and just as with the first time, it was thoroughly enjoyable. We sailed from Hull in East Yorkshire and the operation there was so smooth; drove car ... Read More
This was the second time we have been on the Baltic Cities & St Petersburg cruise, and just as with the first time, it was thoroughly enjoyable. We sailed from Hull in East Yorkshire and the operation there was so smooth; drove car into a large parking shed, unloaded bags, they were loaded onto a van, we climbed aboard a bus with our hand luggage and were driven to the 'check-in' area. Check-in was very straight forward and we were on board the Marco Polo in no time. A buffet was available as soon as we embarked and was as expected - delicious. In fact, all the meals on board ship were lovely and there was always plenty of choice. The entertainment - both the ships own team and special guest artists - was really, really good, in fact, excellent. There were two guest speakers - again both were excellent, and although we didn't join in, the craft activities room was always full, so were obviously excellent too. Our cabin was on the Caribic Deck and even though you could hear the propeller, this didn't stop you from sleeping. If anything, it lulled you to sleep. The cabin consisted of two beds, a 3 door wardrobe, 4 sets of drawers and a bathroom (shower only) and a safe. Our cabin stewardess kept everything spotless. Would we go again? Definitely - there is so much to see at each of the ports visited. Cruise and Maritime provide an excellent choice of excursions to make sure that you experience everything there is to experience. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise as the Ports of Call were all just where we wanted to go. As we live in Debyshire Hull was so easy to reach. Once on board not so sure on our choice, cabin sloped down hill making quite a high step in to shower etc. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as the Ports of Call were all just where we wanted to go. As we live in Debyshire Hull was so easy to reach. Once on board not so sure on our choice, cabin sloped down hill making quite a high step in to shower etc. Food was a great disappointment being of poor quality and level of service left much to be desired. As one of the few not ill in the bad weather on crossing north sea, I witnessed in the glorified cafe called a 'bistro' dirty pots cleared, but tables not cleaned or when they were the same cloth was used without being rinsed and no anti-bac spray used. This was the theme throughout, when meals required a sauce like mustard or mint these were served in their jars with residue running down the side!!! Waiters at meals did not realise it was bad manners to clear the table before everyone had finished eating even crossing people eating to changing cutlery. Entertainment staff tried very hard, but needed more support, even one of them told me that Oliver Twist would not ask for more! Ports of call were all good, did many trips ourselves, others were ok Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise on price and local embarkation (Hull). The small ship (only 800 passengers) suited my age range and the fact no children allowed suited me and my husband. I have been on much more expensive and larger ships but found ... Read More
Chose this cruise on price and local embarkation (Hull). The small ship (only 800 passengers) suited my age range and the fact no children allowed suited me and my husband. I have been on much more expensive and larger ships but found the Marco Polo more intimate. Cabin small but adequate, cabin staff very friendly and attentive. Dining very wide choice 5 course evening meal which was good value for what we paid, service was great. Facilitates adequate for my age group, attended craft sessions which passed the time whilst sailing with friendly instructors. Evening entertainment was average on the nights we attended. I went to Norway to see the fjords, my husband and I were not disappointed, scenery was awesome. Organised excursions were not cheap but this did not put me off and was not disappointed. We would certainly go again but would not pay the extra for higher grade outside cabin as it only consisted of two grubby portholes and had to kneel on bed to look out of. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Embarkation in UK (Hull) as we live in Grimsby and wanted to visit the Fjords. No flying with no waiting about, ease of boarding and disembarking. The Ship, Marco Polo was adequate but rather dated, crew very helpful, cabin was spacious ... Read More
Embarkation in UK (Hull) as we live in Grimsby and wanted to visit the Fjords. No flying with no waiting about, ease of boarding and disembarking. The Ship, Marco Polo was adequate but rather dated, crew very helpful, cabin was spacious and clean with an excellent cabin stewardess. The ship's amenities were all close by and very central and easy to find around the decks. The food in general was not to my taste and available selection was at best average. There wasnolatenight buffets which is the norm on most cruise lines. The on-board entertainment team was at best average and amateurish, lot of on/off stage with no breaks like an on-going commentary about the show. The Guest cabaret was poor, some what crude and "holiday camp" level. The itinerary around the fjords more than made up for the quality of the cruise, especially the ever changing scenery. Shore excursions, mainly road and/or rail trips were rather expensive if booked via the ship and you could save money by booking your own tickets. This was our first cruise with CMV and we would not be likely use them again or recommend this cruise line to potential customers after using Thompsons and P&O cruise lines. Read Less
34 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Cost determined our choice plus the destination of St Petersburg. Crew/staff excellent friendly and helpful. Very good service. Embarkation easy and efficient. Disembarkation positively slick. Food very poor. Cheap ... Read More
Cost determined our choice plus the destination of St Petersburg. Crew/staff excellent friendly and helpful. Very good service. Embarkation easy and efficient. Disembarkation positively slick. Food very poor. Cheap ingredients. Free coffee very weak and tasteless. Activities - ITV level, not to my taste. Spa treatments excellent. Shore excursions much too expensive. Use viator.com instead. Cabin light, compact, manageable. Bed narrow and uncomfortable, lumpy cheap foam pillow. If you are going for the food, forget it. Nice small ship - 800 pax. Child-free boat. A port intensive cruise would make me use them again but remember to buy fresh veg and fruit at each port (altho apparently you are not allowed to take them on board!). ballet in St Petersburg (shore excursion) awful - in a conference cinema in a hotel. poor lighting. poor flats. tiny orchestra. not at all what one would expect. One ballerina actually fell over. I thought it would be fabulous. It wasn't. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We sailed on Marco Polo to Baltic and St Petersburg May 2016 and could only rate the cruise as average- ish. The cabins are quite dated and no tea/coffee making facilities but were clean and the cabin steward great. The shopping ... Read More
We sailed on Marco Polo to Baltic and St Petersburg May 2016 and could only rate the cruise as average- ish. The cabins are quite dated and no tea/coffee making facilities but were clean and the cabin steward great. The shopping quarter consisted of 2 shops which were ridiculously over priced. We bought an all inclusive drinks package which was worth every penny and included cocktails. The food was not over impressive. Even in the main restaurant coked breakfast was still self service which does not help if you are not a fully able bodied person. The self serve restaurant always seemed to be chaos with queues a regular thing. The lifts were constantly breaking down and port days were a nightmare for the trips. disabled people were offered no help to get on and off the ship which we found disgusting and when we complained on return to UK about that and other issues the response from C&M was not worth the paper they wrote it on. They didn't offer any decent response to our complaints and even tried to tell us that the lifts are not in use on embarkation or disembarkation!! The entertainment team were friendly and did their best. Leaving the ship when we got back was well organised and I would even say better than other big cruise companies I have used. Overall the cruise wasn't bad as the ports of call made it with lovely trips. Would we sail on Marco Polo again? NO absolutely not. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
As we had spent two months on the Cruise and Maritime flag ship M/V Magellan from middle of December 2015 to middle of February 2016, I was rather concerned how the Marco polo cruise to the Baltic would go. The Magellan was rather ... Read More
As we had spent two months on the Cruise and Maritime flag ship M/V Magellan from middle of December 2015 to middle of February 2016, I was rather concerned how the Marco polo cruise to the Baltic would go. The Magellan was rather awful, and therefore we decided to go for only a 12 night cruise of the Baltic Sea , with ports of call at Aalborg, Warnemunde ( for an excursion to Berlin ), Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki, and Stockholm before returning via the Kiel canal to Tilbury port.It must be stated that we had done this on the M/V Blackwatch about three and a half years earlier. Embarkation was excellent, and I would class the inside cabin as compact. However, the cabin was on deck 5 and right at the very back, and the engine sound together with the propeller sound was loud, and although we got slightly use to it , it must be said that of the five cruises we have done, this was by far the loudest and lot's of vibration to go with it. The excursions that we choose, ( six in all), went well and the highlight for me in the whole cruise was the visit to Berlin. Although, all are rather expensive , even with our 5% discount, the trip to Berlin, all twelve hours, was wonderful, and i am pleased that we choose it. There were also three excursions in St Petersburg , including the ballet on the Saturday night, and the wonderful Peterhof Palace which is just under an hour drive away from St Petersburg, ( just could not get it out of my mind that in reality the palace was less than 70 years old as virtually destroyed in WW2.) But the trip was well worth going. Two other excursions followed in Helsinki, ( not much to see it that city) and finally Stockholm, where we were only there for about six hours. The food was far better than on the Magellan, however, it must be said that it was probably always going to be as the Magellan was that poor, and both the Waldorf restaurant and the buffet restaurant, were rather good with service, and facilities. There was the odd game of " Hunt the Table" in the buffet area ,but nowhere near as bad as the Magellan to which I compare the Marco polo under the CMV banner. The show entertainment, was in the Marco polo lounge, and not that bad, it had the normal song and dance, which was expected, but the shows were all rather good, and the singer Jordan was magnificent, although I believe that he is only on this ship for a month. However, the assistant cruise director, was not at all good, and although she has the moves and expressions, so many of her pitches were so high, they went right through me !, and at times she is rather squeaky, the other two were good, and Emily, would be classed as better than average. There were also two external entertainers, a comedian, but so many of the jokes were told over ten years ago, and I thought he was nothing special, plus a husband and wife magician act, and they were both fine.The shows in Scott's bar, which were held at 21.30pm, I thought rather poor, and for once they would be classed as better on the Magellan.This would also be said of the daily games such as crazy golf. So, one up to the Magellan when it comes to them. The ship is now 51 years old, but does have something about it, which others do not. It has a bit of old fashioned style, and the complete opposite of the " floating town's " that are now on the seas. It does not have all the facilities of the much larger ship's, but then again , there were no children, and I saw no binge drinking as there was so much of that on the Magellan. I know passengers have these drink packages as they do on other cruise ships, but it appeared to be disciplined drinking, and that was good. Although the average age of the passengers was high, so it was for the two month's on the Magellan, and therefore I can only conclude that the Marco Polo passengers were more responsible, and that may also account for people not taking up the tables in the buffet for so long or reserving outside seats and chairs, which was done in abundance on the Magellan. So, this comes down to the mindset of the passengers and they were a lot better on the Marco polo than the Magellan ( where I found a far higher percentage of people to be more selfish), and I only saw one row about seat reserving on the Marco polo, compared to it being a daily event on the Magellan. The disembarkation was for us rather long, and we sat in the Columbus club for four hours before being called. Regretfully, just as on the Magellan, passengers are asked to vacate their cabins at 07.00am, and that is far too early, then there is a struggle to find anywhere to sit, although this time we were rather lucky , unlike the Magellan where we ended sitting on the floor by one of the lift's. I think this is something that CMV need to address as I understand that cabins need to be cleared and made ready for the next cruise, but 07.00 is too early and then there is the worry of where do we go ? However, once called, we left the ship very easily and were soon out of the terminal, but four hours is rather a long wait. The result is that I would rather not go on M/V Magellan again, but I am happy to say that I would on the M/V Marco polo, and if you fancy a cruise that has a bit of old fashioned style then give her a go. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise to the Baltic and St Petersburg because we wished to enjoy the experience of visiting the ports to which the ship was destined - in particular St Petersburg, which we had never visited. As my wife is ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise to the Baltic and St Petersburg because we wished to enjoy the experience of visiting the ports to which the ship was destined - in particular St Petersburg, which we had never visited. As my wife is disabled and dependent on a manual wheelchair to move around, it was important that at each port of call we would be able to go ashore and to journey around that location, even though we understood that we would not be able to make us of the various coach trips offered, as none of the coaches would be wheelchair-accessible. We took care to ascertain that at each port the ship would berth alongside, so that nowhere would disembarcation involve having to use a tender to get ashore, and also that the 'Marco Polo' had side loading ports through which the quayside could be reached by appropriate gangways. Let me first say that the facilities aboard were superb, and we were highly delighted with both the cuisine and the accommodation provided (we had booked an accessible cabin, one of only two such aboard the ship, having explained the nature of my wife's disabilities). We were pleased with everything aboard the ship, including the friendliness and help provided by all officers and members of the crew. The cabin was excellently and comfortably equipped, and both the cabin stewards and the catering staff provided exemplary service throughout the voyage. Because this is an elderly ship, the thresholds from one part of the ship to another were sometimes rather prominent and thus difficult to cope with in a wheelchair, but we accepted this as an inevitable consequence of the ship's construction. We have been on other cruise lines' ships in the past, and found that the 'Marco Polo' compared well with our previous experiences aboard P & O and Thomson. The grave problems which emerged, and resulted in our having to give an 'average' raing to the cruise in spite of the excellent features mentioned above, is that we found it impossible for my wife in her wheelchair to disembark from the ship at either St Petersburg (our primary reason for choosing this cruise) or at Stockholm. The reason was that at both ports, instead of a ramped gangway which we could have negotiated, and which was used at the other four ports of call during the cruise, at these two ports mentioned above the ship deployed a stepped ramp which could not be negotiated in a wheelchair, even with my own assistance. Thus we were unable to make the planned shore excursions together, and my wife was compelled to remain aboard the ship at both ports throughout their stay, and was unable to go ashore either in Russia (where we had pre-booked a private tour of the Hermitage) or in Sweden. As the only passenger who was dependent on a wheelchair for getting around, she became the sole person aboard who was denied any opportunity of disembarking from the ship at either port. It is thus clear that this ship, while it has adequate facilities for the disabled passenger in the two disability-eqipped cabins aboard, is totally unsuitable for any person who is dependent upon the use of a wheelchair for going ashore, even with the full-time assistance of her (or his) spouse or carer - a total disappointment which ruined our holiday. What makes it worse is that we were given no warning of this eventuality until six weeks before the sailing day, at which there was no opportunity to cancel the holiday without losing all that we had paid (we had paid the costs for the cruise entirely by the end of the previous December), and even then we were only told that use of the stepped ramp was a possibility, not a likely scenario. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Just returned from six days on the Marco polo, an old ship but well maintained, as this was our first cruise didn't know what to expect.... The food was excellent also the service was too, couldn't do enough for you, being a ... Read More
Just returned from six days on the Marco polo, an old ship but well maintained, as this was our first cruise didn't know what to expect.... The food was excellent also the service was too, couldn't do enough for you, being a small ship was a bit of a squash at meal times especially breakfast, we had the all inclusive drinks package of £17 per person per day which was good value and the drinks were good quality, entertainment sadly was not very good at all the nightly show was too short and very amateurish and quiz games disorganized and hard to follow, also the choice of music needs up dating... Our cabin was small which I expected on a ship but was clean and the service from our steward Yuri was excellent but I did begrudge paying £2.20 for a bottle of water in our room and should be included in the drinks package.... All in all an enjoyable week but don't think cruising is for us as we found it to confining and Norway is beautiful.... Read Less
40 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed the whole experience. Embarkation was a very smooth process ;taking less than an hour from arrival at the car park to eating our lunch aboard. It was well organised and we were instructed ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we really enjoyed the whole experience. Embarkation was a very smooth process ;taking less than an hour from arrival at the car park to eating our lunch aboard. It was well organised and we were instructed where to go clearly throughout. We had a superior cabin on the 9th Deck and it had two windows which was a nice surprise. The furniture and fittings had seen better days but everything was clean and functional - precisely what I expected from CMV's photos and the price I paid. The room was cleaned twice a day and we opted to have a continental breakfast in bed the majority of the mornings. Information was provided in a nightly magazine and there was plenty to do during the days at sea. The entertainment was again, in keeping with the whole experience of being fun and functional. The shows were slightly cheesy, the quizzes silly and the musicians in all of the different bar/ lounge areas were fantastic. If you opt for a cruise like this, you need to embrace the spirit in which it is intended and join in. Everyone we spoke to was of a similar opinion- you get what you pay for and if you throw yourself into the 'small friendly boat ethos' then you'll get a lot more from your experience. We ate in the Waldorf restaurant each evening and there was a wide range of food which was cooked well and served at the right temperature by a highly efficient team. The food was a little bland and 'safe' to my taste but it was perfectly edible and fun stuff like 'the parade of the baked Alaska ' complete with indoor pyrotechnics and the night the head waiter danced to Zorba the Greek with a giant bottle of Olive Oil are what made this holiday so much fun. Norway itself and the excursions were fantastic. We paid for two and did Bergen on our own. I'm glad that we went on the guided tours as they were well worth the money, had very well informed guides and allowed us to see things we would not have been able to plan on our own. The fjords were spectacular and my best moment was waking up early on the second morning of our cruise to find that we were cruising the beautiful Hardangerfjord. Norway was very expensive and I feel that this cruise offered good value for money as an alternative to staying in a hotel and exploring on our own which is what we would normally do. The whole boat was spotlessly clean and staff seemed to be cleaning constantly throughtout the day. Hygiene was very important and at every meal time we had to clean our hands before entering. I thought this was a good thing. Since this was an entirely unpretentious cruise, there was little emphasis on dressing up and hanging out with the captain which suited us and our companions. That said, there was a meet the captain evening which was well organised and good fun. The majority of travellers were older than us but they seemed to be up for more of a good time than the younger folk and for me, this laid back approach to travel only added to the experience. There truly was no hurry to get on coaches/ upstairs/ into bars - we were supposed to be on holiday! My only grumbles would be that the 'Bistro' area was not very pleasant; it was reminiscent of a mid 1990's department store and was often hot and smelly. It could do with a refurb and a reconfiguration of the space. Also there were not enough bar staff circulating particularly during the evenings which led to considerable frustration when trying to order drinks. These however, were only minor issues and would not put me off travelling with this company or ship again. We had heard horror stories about disembarkation but like every other part of the trip, this was a smooth calm process. We opted for express disembarkation and, if you are able to carry your own bags and use the stairs, I'd definitely recommend this. We got off about 15 minutes after docking and the buses were waiting to take us straight to the car park so we only had about 30mins where we had to do any waiting around. So, I would recommend this cruise to first timers and those who enjoy chatting to other people and simple pleasures such as reading a good book in the sunshine and working ones way through the cocktail menu of an evening. It was a laid back, fun holiday. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
1) Embarkation. Quick and easy check in at Tilbury. We were in our cabin less than an our after arriving at the long stay. 2) Ship. Small compared to what we've cruised on before but made for a nice atmosphere. It's old and it ... Read More
1) Embarkation. Quick and easy check in at Tilbury. We were in our cabin less than an our after arriving at the long stay. 2) Ship. Small compared to what we've cruised on before but made for a nice atmosphere. It's old and it shows in places, but go with an open mind and don't have RCCL or Celebrity expectations and you'll be pleasantly surprised. 3) Public areas. Captains Club Bar, Scotts Bar, and Columbus Bar. There is a small theatre, library and games rooms. Reasonable gym and spa. There is a bar and café at the back of the ship either side of a small pool. 4) Entertainment. To be fair that is subjective, we found it to be poor in the theatre. Duo in Scotts were okay. 5) Food. Will never trouble a Michelin guide but what we got in the MDR was okay, service was excellent from our Serbian waiter Nesa. Food in the bistro seemed to be a re hash of what was on offer in the MDR, reminded me of a department store café 6) Cabin. Outside twin with large window. No tea or coffee facilities, small TV showing limited channels on a 24hr loop. Plenty of storage, good sized bathroom with a nice shower. Take some ear plugs as the cabin creaked and squeaked throughout the night. Great service from our Romanian steward Elena. 7) Bar service. We opted for a drinks package at £17 a night which was good value. Waiters (mostly Eastern European) can appear to be a bit cold and surly at first but they are fine once they get to know you 8) VFM. We booked this cruise after seeing a buy one get one free offer, we also received a cabin upgrade. Six nights cruise to the Fjords with three stops cost the two us around a £1000 which I felt was just about okay. That said, it was a mither driving to Tilbury from Manchester. Biggest disappointment was the train from Flam to Myrdal which at £45 each through CMV was overpriced and to be honest a none event, again subjective. 9) Conclusion. Having read some bad reviews of the Marco Polo we went on this cruise with pretty low expectations, but we both had an enjoyable time & we met some lovely people. If you've ever stayed at the Claremont or the Cliffs in Blackpool think of those on water and your not far off what you'll get. Would I go again? Probably will, but it would have to be from Liverpool and would have to be an offer. 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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