5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and ... Read More
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and perfect for our cruise of a week. It's not a big ship (800 passengers) and that means it doesn't feel impersonal by any means. The choice of food in both restaurants is amazing - tasty and plentiful. You won't starve on this ship. Free tea and coffee and water available at all times. Never ran out of anything. All crew were lovely, friendly and helpful. If you suffer from sea sickness then ask for a cabin on the lower floors. We were on the Navigator deck and we could feel movement , tho not unpleasant. The cruise we did was down the Seine from Bristol, stopping at Honfleur (so pretty), Rouen (ok), Guernsey (lovely) and Scilly isles. The ship doesn't go into port at the Scilly isles and the sea too rough for the tender so we couldn't do that trip sadly. Overall, I would highly recommend her. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, ... Read More
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, continually ran out of cups and shut themselves down with fault codes which appear to be due to over-use and they run out of hot water. There was a good choice of food for the buffet breakfast but the equipment in the Bistro failed to keep it warm, I would suggest a couple of microwaves for those who like their food hot. The main restaurant was slightly better. Omelettes, fried and poached eggs were always cooked fresh in both. The main cut fruit available was melon with a bit of pineapple, apple and occasional orange, but always a large proportion of melon. Whole fruit was always apples. There was the occasional banana, orange, pear or plum in the early days but scarcer as the cruise went on. There is a shortage of drinks waiters at peak times and the ship still uses plastic straws and stirrers. The show lounge (theatre) has very poor acoustics. There is an annoying rattle from the roof panels and despite complaints they seem unable or unwilling to fix it. The floor is not tiered and there are 7 pillars partially obstructing the view from just about every seat more than two rows back. The furniture definitely needs replacing, all the padded chairs were sagging in the seats and many were frayed or worn. Externally she was definitely showing her age with numerous areas of rust bubbles in the deck metalwork. There is no do-it-yourself laundry on board so everything is on an individual cost. With a handkerchief or item of underwear costing £1 with an incremental scale it wouldn’t take long to run up a huge bill, especially on a long trip. There were two Magic Bag days during our trip where you could cram a laundry bag with as much as you liked for £12, wash and dry only. The swimming pool was not heated and was filled with sea water when conditions permitted but this amounted to only a few days when in warm weather. There was an appeal early on for water saving if we went to sea for more than a couple of days yet remarkably the toilets used fresh water for flushing. I understand the hot tubs used fresh water and they were therefore mostly out of use, either with covers over or a notice saying ‘Closed For Maintenance.’ Following numerous complaints about the lack of information the Cruise Director placed an ‘Entertainment Suggestions’ box in reception for a few days but I am not aware of any changes resulting from this. The lack of information was typified by our visit to Carcass Island which required passengers to get a ticket for the tenders. The first two tenders departed and then the Captain said he was temporarily suspending the service due to safety issues and would review the situation in an hour. So we all waited in the designated place and two hours later when we had heard nothing we started to drift away. Nothing else was said except for a brief mention in the evening broadcast. For our journey from the Falklands up the west coast of Chile through the fjords, a map was delivered each evening to your cabin with waypoints marked and a time of arrival. We were supposed to enter Darwin Passage and Narrows at 10am. The ship actually arrived at 8am and by 10am we were leaving so a lot of people missed it. Not a word about the amended time or the reason they managed to get it so wrong with a simple overnight passage. On the way we passed several shipwrecks and memorials but despite having a pilot on board there was not a word of explanation so having seen some beautiful scenery we were non the wiser about any of it. A guide did join us for the Panama Canal but the first hour of her commentary was lost due to an intermittent microphone. The microphone in the Captains Club where the organised games and quizzes were held was intermittent for the whole trip. The ship only did one Sailaway Party from our last port of call. For the last few days they ran out of several things including tonic, marmite and till rolls. The Good Bits: The ship appears to have some very devoted passengers with one chap we spoke to had done over 30 cruises on the ship and several others were well into double figures. The entertainment team were very good with many different routines and costumes. A gin and tonic was £4.55 so comparable to UK and with two of us a round of drinks could come to £10 so it didn’t take long to rack up a hefty bar bill. The company we booked with ’Imagine Cruising’ did an all inclusive package for £300 a couple so within about ten days we were already in credit and as the cruise lasted seventy days we were very happy with the deal. We also got £800 cabin credit which we used to pay for the organised port trips which were very good and lasted either half a day or a full day with lunch. As anyone who has cruised will know trips around the town will usually be architecture, town history, museums and churches and cathedrals so it is better to do the national parks and out of town trips. The ship laid on free shuttle buses to town centres when they were not immediately outside the port which was a bonus we hadn’t expected. The ship was kept immaculately clean inside with the crew continually cleaning walls, ceilings, stairs and washing carpets at night. Embarkation was very slow but disembarkation was excellent, done by deck number. The food on board was excellent and you could purchase special meals, eg a full Indian experience meal, surf and turf etc and we thought these were excellent value for money. The food was of a very good standard and this was maintained for the whole 71 days. The waiters and hotel staff were brilliant and we couldn’t fault them. Any requests were dealt with very efficiently. There were a whole range of activities including craft, acting, choir, ukulele, chairobics, creative writing, bridge, ballroom dancing, etc. General: The cabins were mainly two single beds with one 4 draw chest with slide out writing table plus a five foot wardrobe. We got an unrequested upgrade to cabin 625 and ended up with 4 chests of drawers, an absolute bonus on a long trip but with a restricted view. Next door had the same layout but with a good view. There are no balconies on the ship. The electric supply was a 220V socket with 2 round pins. There was also a 110V three flat pin socket and a dual volt shaver socket in the bathroom. The shower was good and on a flexi hose. There is a 2’ 6” (75cm) drying line across the shower for small items. Suitcases can be stowed under the beds or in the wardrobe. There was a temperature control on the wall. We had a kettle, two cups and packets of tea, coffee, etc. A lot of cabins do not have this. Overall, the ship is showing her age with few of the refinements of modern cruise liners. She is a graceful old lady and possibly the oldest still cruising. If you don’t mind a lack of facilities and want to get into some of the smaller ports then this could be the ship for you but CMV could do so much to improve passenger pleasure at virtually no cost with simple innovations like providing more cups and cutlery, senior staff mixing with the passengers and providing tourist information commentary at special locations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the ... Read More
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the value of it to many other cruises available. Yes, it isn't Cunard but for the price it was certainly excellent value ... of course, there will always some people who still expect Cunard quality for CMV prices. The places visited were extremely interesting and varied - major cities; remote villages and islands; scenic passageways and world famous iconic landmarks. The weather ? Only one major downpour of rain throughout the entire 70 days ... at Rio ! The hottest day ? It was a toss up between Buenos Aires and .... the Falkland Islands. Yes, 81 fahrenheit at Port Stanley, the hottest day anyone there could remember. You expect to be amazed by the major places - Rio, Buenos Aires, Montevideo - but it was the smaller ports that surprised many people and made the cruise even more enjoyable by them not expecting such there - Natal and Recife in Brazil, Puerto Montt, Arica and Valparaiso in Chile, Guayaquil and Manta in Ecuador, Ushaia in Argentina and Cartagena in Columbia, as well as cruising through the Chilean fjords and the Panama canal. The on-board entertainment team were excellent and it was obviously hard work for them to provide a varied programme for 70 days while the food was of the highest order. A very well-planned itinerary and would certainly recommend both the journey and the ship itself. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
43I booked a last minute 5 night cruise on Marco Polo as it had been advertised at a very good price. I have sailed on her a number of times and have a soft spot for this elegant old cruise ship. Embarkation at Tilbury was very quick, I ... Read More
43I booked a last minute 5 night cruise on Marco Polo as it had been advertised at a very good price. I have sailed on her a number of times and have a soft spot for this elegant old cruise ship. Embarkation at Tilbury was very quick, I had allowed for travel holdups that did not occur, and arrived at the port almost two hours early, and checked in and was aboard in less than five minutes. I had a comfortable outside cabin on deck 7 with tea and coffee making facilities, which I was very happy with. It was kept spotlessly clean by my steward, who was a dab hand at providing me with a range of daily towel sculptured animals. Our first port of call was Rotterdam, which was a delight. Although free coach shuttles had been laid on, it was only a 15 minute walk from the cruise terminal to the city centre. Rotterdam is much more modern than Amsterdam, but the benefit is that you do not have the hordes of tourists to contend with. It is a lovely city to explore on foot. Our next stop was Rouen for an evening visit to the Christmas markets by the cathedral. As before, free shuttle coaches had been provided to the city centre. Rouen is beautiful, I would have liked far longer there to fully explore the place. Our third and final stop was a full day in Honfleur. We had been informed at the start of the cruise that the Christmas market in Honfleur had been delayed and would not be open for our visit. I spent the morning exploring Honfleur, which is well worth a visit, with many quaint narrow streets and ancient buildings. After returning to the ship for lunch, CMV kindly laid on free coaches to take us over the impressive Seine bridge to spend an afternoon in Le Havre. I have seen some reviews of Marco Polo where people moan about various niggles they’ve found, but these seem very unfair to me. The ship is not new, but she is smartly styled and the crew work tirelessly to keep her looking her best. I found the food in the restaurant to be very good, the beef wellington one night particularly worth a mention. Dinner consists of five courses, Cunard only serve four on QM2! My table companions all agreed the food in the restaurant was very good. There were lots of activities organized on board, regular quizzes and games, craft workshops, guest lectures (themed on Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte which were excellent and well presented) as well as entertainment from talented musicians and an enthusiastic show team of singers and dancers. If you get a chance to do a longer cruise on this lovely liner, you are in for a little treat at the end of your meal on the last formal night. This is possibly the only ship that still does the ‘Baked Alaska’ parade properly. Take your cameras with you to dinner. I’ll say no more so as not to spoil the surprise! The baked Alaska was delicious of course. After a final day at sea, we disembarked in Avonmouth, Bristol. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic. Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious. Process at Tilbury went smoothly , ... Read More
Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic. Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious. Process at Tilbury went smoothly , left hand luggage in cabin and had quick lunch in buffet before lifeboat drill. Next day was a seaday, spoilt for choice when it came to activities , lectures, craft classes, quizzes etc. I recommend arriving early for craft sessions they are always popular, this trip was no exception. We had a late night passage through Kiel canal and arrived in Wismar around lunch time on Tuesday. Wismar is where the Marco Polo was built. There were shuttle buses into town for 2 euros but its an easy walk and if you go via the old harbour quite a scenic one. I recommend the restored old merchants house, the wallpaper gallery is a must see. Audio description available in several languages. Entry is via donation and staff are extremely pleasant. St Georges church has a lift to take you to top of its Tower for 3 euros...well worth it for an overview of the town. Several other churches and a lovely town Square, shame our visit was a little short. Day two saw us in Rhonne Denmark, charming little place, being so late in the season the tourist areas were almost deserted. The side streets were quaint , and the main shopping street delightful with fountains and a children's play park. The museum was very informative , particularly as to the war time events. Lots of public toilet facilities alas having the right coinage in local currency not always possible, the usual standby of taking a coffee break did not work because a lot of cafes do not offer facilities. The church overlooking the harbour is delightful and is well worth a visit on way back to tenders. Visby Sweden....the new cruise stage only opened this year and it looked like the local gulls had been making free use of it....free shuttle into the old town. Rather like a Disney film set, turrets and floral decorated balconies abound, was expecting Rapunzel to appear at any moment. It is possible to walk round the city walls and some of the towers are open to give a good view point. The botanical gardens were still in bloom and provided a welcome pot to rest for a while. Entry to the museum was 10 euros and looked interesting however I had left it rather late to visit so confined myself to coffee and cake in the cafe. Filter coffee offered free refills. Staff multi lingual but please note Euros are not accepted as payment. Unfortunately witnessed two American ladies from the ship being quite abusive to staff on discovering this. Arrival in Klapeda was not promising a grey damp mist greeted us, however a local folk group were playing on quayside so wasn't all bad. We received town maps with a marked trail around the town, there is something to see on every corner so feel free just to wander. The sculpture garden is well worth visit, but there are sculptures and interesting buildings everywhere. A small craft market offered much amber but also ceramics and art work. Prices were reasonable and English was widely spoken. Finally we arrived in Gdansk the largest and busiest port on our itinerary, free shuttle into town. Amber shops/ stalls everywhere but no heavy sell. There is a scenic observation wheel which gives you 15 minutes of eye level viewing for around £6. Lots of building work going on but refreshingly building sympathetic to original style. Fairly typical normal port of call, very touristy. Our return passage through Kiel canal was in daylight. Fascinating to watch the gate close behind us and lots of interesting bridges/ canal side homes to see on way through. Final day was sea day, back in the North sea so a tiny bit of movement but ship handles very well in conditions , the pool burger bar stayed open throughout I think the smell of frying did make some people feel a little off colour. Final morning buffet started sevingbreakfast early, had no trouble finding seat although I would recommend hanging on to your cup if you want a refill. After breakfast I moved onto Palm garden and found seat by the window to watch our arrival in Tilbury. Return shuttle went very smoothly. The Marco Polo is looking good despite her age, constant cleaning and, when in port , painting going on. Public facilities good, I recommend the Columbus lounge if you do start to feel the effects of sea movement. Service in the Wardolf restaurant good, nice selection of dishes and extra off menu dishes salomon etc always available. Also additionally dishes of veg if you would like them. Bar staff efficient although sometimes waiting times in the show lounge were longer than ideal. Very friendly ship, I recommend for those who actually like being at sea. Maybe not for those who want waterslides and the like, but throw yourself into the activities and you will have a good time. Lecturers were good and very good comedian/ singer/ one man band provided excellent entertainment...he even doubled up as tour guide at one port. My one niggle....the new cruise director and his assistant....they were both good singers and very enthusiastic, pleasant and accessable... However I wonder if they are not a little too full of themselves for CMV? Time will tell. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Wanted to see the East side of Canada after visiting the other side last year. The cabin was fine 3 cases already waiting as we arrived at our cabin the steward was very helpful. The ship was kept very clean and tidy. Enjoyed the food ... Read More
Wanted to see the East side of Canada after visiting the other side last year. The cabin was fine 3 cases already waiting as we arrived at our cabin the steward was very helpful. The ship was kept very clean and tidy. Enjoyed the food tried self service and the restaurant, , plenty to chose from, only complaint not enough vegetables on the plate in the restaurant. The ship rides rough weather very well. Though we were lucky not too many rough seas. Enjoyed Glengariff our first port, the tendering is a bit of a slow job, then of of to Canada, enjoyed the exercise classes that that the dancers take, if you wanted there were crafts bridge, games and quizzes every sea day. We had 2 lecturers on board both very good,the one for whales and dolphins was on deck and able to tell us what species we saw which added to the enjoyment. St Johns it poured down but didnt stop our walking trip, the scenery was fantastic. Halifax was hot sunny and a lovely city to explore and Charlotte Town on Prince Edward Island was a lovely town. It was a pity the next 2 days as we sailed down the St Laurence to Montreal it turned dull and cooler. Montreal was great and Quebec, pity our second day there it poured down all day. Most of the time we did our own walks round and exploring as there was usually good maps. The smaller French speaking town were friendly but did not have lot to see, but we were welcomed and usually the locals turned up to wave us off. Entertainment was very good for such a small ship dancers and singers great and the young singer Savannah that had just joined was a pleasure to hear. Enjoyed the chocolate afternoon tea. met some lovely people, all the crew were friendly and helpful, oneor two slight problems but no more than other cruise lines Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Great ports. Ship immaculate, lovely cabin with two windows, and massive amount of storage. Perfect size. Great attention to detail in cleaning. Great care was taken over making sure everyone used the antiseptic sprays on entering the ... Read More
Great ports. Ship immaculate, lovely cabin with two windows, and massive amount of storage. Perfect size. Great attention to detail in cleaning. Great care was taken over making sure everyone used the antiseptic sprays on entering the restaurants and when returning to the ship from shore. The food was very good, with plenty of choice, and other options if needed. The bistro was a good option for lighter dining in the evening. The Captain was very sociable, and always gave advice on being careful around the ship when the sea was rough. The stabilisers were used several times, and we found the ship behaved very well. It felt very stable. We have been on ships which did not do so well in rough seas. The service was wonderful, from the cabin stewards to the restaurant staff, bar staff and reception. All were very friendly and helpful. The entertainment was superb. It was definitely the best we have experienced on any cruise, of which we have done many. The cruise director was wonderful, and the team so talented. Other guest acts were also much appreciated. There were plenty of daytime activities to suit everyone, and the ship also offered a mile walk by circling deck 10 six times. It is not possible to walk like that on most of the new ships. Much prefer her style compared to the new impersonal monsters. At the gala dinner at the end of the cruise, one of the passengers stood up to thank the whole crew for a wonderful cruise. Will hope to travel on Marco Polo again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
This was my fourth cruise with CMV but my first on the Marco Polo, I had heard so much about this ship from friends who had been on its 50th Anniversary Cruise up the St Lawrence. I must admit I had heard bad reports as well as good ... Read More
This was my fourth cruise with CMV but my first on the Marco Polo, I had heard so much about this ship from friends who had been on its 50th Anniversary Cruise up the St Lawrence. I must admit I had heard bad reports as well as good reports about this ship but my own findings were that it has a charm all of its own and a very friendly dedicated crew. The reason I choose a cruise is to see different places and experience different cultures, this cruise to Greenland really was an amazing experience but could have been better if the quality of the lecturers had been more consistent. The difference that onboard lecturers can make to a cruise is more than significant and on this cruise the ability and relevant knowledge of the lecturers varied to the extreme. The main lecturer was Prof. Eric McVicar, who when I looked him up on the internet was described by one University as "an Internationally recognised expert on Arctic cultures and ecology". This was certainly the case, every lecture he gave was pertinent and relevant to the destinations visited. His lectures were delivered in an exceptionally professional manner and were highly informative, as well as being delivered with more than a touch of humour. Strangely enough my friends who had been on the CMV Anniversary Cruise had also commented on the brilliant lecturer they had encountered, the same Prof. Eric McVicar. In all my years of cruising he is the first lecturer I have ever come across who has given two evening shows in the show lounge followed by a question and answer session and to get into his lectures you had to arrive very early to ensure getting a seat. CMV has done well to secure a lecturer of this standing. We had the privilege of having lunch with him on a couple of occasions during which he was asked by one passenger "Do you also lecture in the Antarctic?" To which he replied he only lectured in places where he felt that he was suitably qualified and had sufficient knowledge to answer questions, a point which other lecturers should take on board and he was definitely the best lecturer I have come across in my years of cruising. The second lecturer was Sue Walsh who was described as a wildlife expert, I could find no references to her on the internet. Rather than describe her as a wildlife expert i would say a more apt description would be amateur bird watcher, her lectures were delivered in a monotonous patronising manner more like a bored primary school teacher with a class of 8 year olds. Her wildlife knowledge expired after three lectures, included in one was a reference that one needn't worry about Arctic mosquitoes as they did not carry malaria, thankfully Prof. McVicar subsequently informed us that although they were free of malaria they did cause encephalitis and that Arctic Blackfly could cause blackfly fever and therefore taking precautions to avoid insect bites was essential. Both insects were encountered during the trip so it shows a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing! After running out of wildlife information Sue treated us to 10 hints on how to live longer and another on ways to make ourselves more self asserted. Considering the average age of the passengers and the fact that many of us were retired professionals, University Professors, Doctors and Teachers these lectures were extremely patronising. Another of her lectures was titled Chickens in Colorado, what on earth that had to do with the Arctic God only knows! Definitely the worst lecturer I have ever come across and I was not the only one who was of this view, as one lady who farmed reindeer said that she talked "a right load of crap". The third lecturer was more of an interest subject rather than about the cruise destinations, Ian was a photographer whose hints on how to achieve excellent photographs with even the most basic equipment such as a phone camera were very good, however his last two lectures were his holiday photographs taken on a pilgrimage following the children of Israel out of Egypt, considering the religious diversity of the passengers these two lectures were not really appropriate on such a cruise. On the other entertainment side the comedians were dire but there was a real treat with Tenor Laurence Robinson who not only was a delight to listen to but was a great entertainer to boot by involving the audience in an extremely entertaining and humerous manner, top marks to Laurence. The ship's show team and Cruise Director Jonathan Dulson put every ounce of effort and enthusiasm into their performances, and considering the small size of the ship and stage this was no mean feat. The adult only feature of the CMV cruises I have been on has always been a factor in deciding which cruises we go on and no doubt we shall return to CMV when we see a cruise to destinations which we find interesting, hopefully in the case of Canada we will again have the delight of Prof. McVicar's lectures. The cabin we had on the ship was an outside cabin with twin beds, although small was comfortable and the steward was outstandingly attentive to all our needs and requirements. Port and short excursions - we do not go on many excursions as we prefer to explore ourselves and see how the local populations live and work, in the case of Iceland however it is obvious that most of those involved in tourism are also involved in what may be termed extortion and daylight robbery, suggest to anyone going ashore in Reykjavik that they take a packed lunch and walk into town and keep their hands in their pockets and go to the toilet before you go in as it will cost you £2.50 (they do take credit and debit cards at the toilet). As always the food was good wholesome fare, don't expect lobsters and caviar at CMV's prices but you certainly won't go hungry and the variety of food and the service cannot be criticised. Read Less
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
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
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
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
As we live in Yorkshire, it was easy to access the Port of Hull for our departure. We had already sailed on the Marco Polo to Scandinavian Cities from Tilbury, but this was so convenient for our trip to Norway. The ship is over 50 years ... Read More
As we live in Yorkshire, it was easy to access the Port of Hull for our departure. We had already sailed on the Marco Polo to Scandinavian Cities from Tilbury, but this was so convenient for our trip to Norway. The ship is over 50 years old and has character. It was immaculately clean and great emphasis is placed on hygiene. The staff are wonderful and the formal dining experience is excellent and we much preferred that to the self service restaurant. The staff knew us as individuals and called us by our names when they encountered us anywhere on the ship. We were placed with two other couples for evening dining and it says a lot that we are all booked to travel on the Marco Polo in 2018 for various itineraries. We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment and there were various activities during the day for those wishing to partake. We did not use any of the ship's excursions, but sorted out our own, which were cheaper. I am surprised that there are not more positive reviews for The Marco Polo, as the general feeling was one of satisfaction and every day, we could see people booking future sailings. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I plus two friends had been recommended to consider the Marco Polo. Prior to sailing we were alrmed by some negative comments on Cruise Critic and other sites and were thus delighted to find that the Marco Polo was brilliant. ... Read More
My wife and I plus two friends had been recommended to consider the Marco Polo. Prior to sailing we were alrmed by some negative comments on Cruise Critic and other sites and were thus delighted to find that the Marco Polo was brilliant. Yes the ship is old but it looks like a ship rather than a high rise set of portacabins. It is also exceptionally well maintained and the food (especially the food) and service were excellent. The drinks are fairly priced and whilst the drinks package sounds good value at £17pppn most would struggle to drink enough to warrant buying it. The red and rose house wines are very drinkable - and I don't even normally like rose. All the staff are hardworking, friendly and helpful. The cabin bathrooms need updating but the cabins are large, clean and well serviced. The beds are comfortable. Shore trips were well priced but the standard of the tours and local guides was mixed. Copenhagen's guide was a nice lad but with limited knowedge. Tallin's guide was excellent. In St Petersburg we did not use the Ship's excursions but prior to the cruise we booked a private tour through SPB. This tour was excellent and well worth the extra. Helsinki's guide was poor but the Stockholm guide was very good. The on board guest speaker (an historian) was excellent and gave us all a good understanding of Russian history (plus some french too) prior to our visit to St Petersburg. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
was not sure bout cruiseing but all ways wanted to see the fyords so we booked and set sail from hull on the mv discovery and it was great got back rebooked on the azores again no complaints anoter great cruise and so on to our our third ... Read More
was not sure bout cruiseing but all ways wanted to see the fyords so we booked and set sail from hull on the mv discovery and it was great got back rebooked on the azores again no complaints anoter great cruise and so on to our our third cruise with cmv first on the marco polo but all ready booked for next year on mp from hull again its a great ship the food was brill and all the staff were great the ship was kept clean and our cabin was nice and clean all our shore trips were brill my partner loves flam will be back there next year like the smaller ships and adult only hope the staff are back next year on her and the craft lady as well keep up the good work cmv and see you all again next year would recomend cmv to any body 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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