70 Cruise & Maritime Voyages Marco Polo Cruise Reviews

We saw the D-Day 70th Anniversary Cruise advertised in the Guardian and were impressed with the itinerary. We booked through the Cruise Company 16 months ahead of the sailing date. Most of the top grade cabins were taken but we were able ... Read More
We saw the D-Day 70th Anniversary Cruise advertised in the Guardian and were impressed with the itinerary. We booked through the Cruise Company 16 months ahead of the sailing date. Most of the top grade cabins were taken but we were able to book a deluxe room. The booking team were extremely helpful and despite booking with them directly we were able to enjoy the Guardian advertised perk of free parking at Tilbury. We were contacted near to sailing date to determine our excursion requests and were initially disappointed not to have places on all the trips we wanted to do. Cruise and Maritime Voyages kept us fully informed and placed us on a waiting list, we had regular phone calls and email updates from the courteous and friendly office staff. CMV added extra tours to this very popular cruise and found us places on all the excursions we wanted to join. When our tickets arrived we were delighted to see we had been upgraded to a Junior Suite. However we have cruised on a variety of ships before and have read the reviews of Marco Polo we were not anticipating the height of luxury. Our cabin was spacious and clean with flowers and fresh fruit plus a fridge. The bathroom was a bit old but clean and we had a bath with shower over. Shower water pressure was impressive and the water hot. Embarkation at Tilbury was chaotic due to a technical fault at the terminal and late disembarkation of previous passengers. Once this was rectified we were taken to our spacious and clean cabin where our luggage was waiting. The crew are meticulous regarding cleanliness and hand sanitising. This was most impressive. The stair rails are wiped down constantly and a crew member is positioned at each restaurant entrance to dispense anti bacterial hand wash. I was so pleased to see this as a friend has had a cruise ruined because of an outbreak of norovirus. At the buffet a crew member handed out cutlery with gloved hands so that cross contamination was minimised. This detailed attention to hygiene was much appreciated. The food was satisfactory and there was a good choice but it was a bit uninspiring and dinner could have been enhanced with more fresh vegetables. The most bizarre thing was the display of each dish on a table adjacent to the Waldorf restaurant. The display plates contained a real meal and were scraped into a bucket at the end of the evening in full view of passengers. We found that quite weird. The restaurant staff are ok, they work very hard but we felt they could not cope with the unexpected, such as a surge of passengers returning from a tour later than expected. Communication was not brilliant and one evening we were confused as to our sitting time and finally ate at 10.30 pm with resulting indigestion. Some of the restaurant and bar staff have very poor English. Most are of Eastern European origin. The excursions were very good, the best organised were the Belgians, with the additional treat of chocolates for each guest. It was a very special anniversary and the entertainment crew organised a fabulous deck party on D-Day which was great fun, especially as the weather was good too. We chose this cruise specifically because we wanted to join in the D-Day anniversary and were not disappointed. As for the ship, she is stable and quiet even in choppy waters. The decor is as expected, a bit dated but clean and comfortable. The decks slope, even in the cabins, and there are no cabins with opening windows. For this reason, unless there is a specific itinerary we would like to enjoy, we will probably not choose to sail on Marco Polo again.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
I would like to say that this was our first sea cruise so not sure what to judge against. I would like to say that the crew were in general very friendly and efficient.Thank you to Olga our cabin steward, who always had a smile on her ... Read More
I would like to say that this was our first sea cruise so not sure what to judge against. I would like to say that the crew were in general very friendly and efficient.Thank you to Olga our cabin steward, who always had a smile on her face and was always around when needed. Also to Alen our waiter in the Waldorf restaurant. Cabin was small but adequate (319).Plenty of storage. Ship had an engine problem on day 4 so did not see Svatisen Glacier as we had to re-route to Trondheim for 12 hours.Trondheim although pleasant meant we had to miss Honningsvaag and The North Cape.Also due to the weather the captain wanted to leave and come back through the fjords so we missed Sortland as well and stopped at Kristiansund. Now as this was billed as The Northern Lights cruise,for reasons above, we did not spend enough time in the Arctic so did not really see the Aurora.We were on board one night and got a message from Johnathon the cruise director saying that the lights were starting to show,but by the time we got on deck cloud had started to cover.I would rather had missed the southerly ports of call and had more time in the Arctic to see what 90% of passengers had booked cruise for. Found the excursions to be quite expensive. Drinks were expensive £3.50 for tin of beer,£5 for rum and coke. Also water at £2.20 a bottle Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Just returned from our fifth cruise on the good old M.P. around the Norwegian Fjords and perhaps it was one too many. As usual embarkation/disembarkation was fantastic. Sitting in Captains club at 09.15hrs and in car, cases loaded and on ... Read More
Just returned from our fifth cruise on the good old M.P. around the Norwegian Fjords and perhaps it was one too many. As usual embarkation/disembarkation was fantastic. Sitting in Captains club at 09.15hrs and in car, cases loaded and on our way back home 09.26hrs. Brilliant. The ship as we have come to expect was extremely clean throughout, especially our cabin. The food was excellent in both the Waldorf and Marco's. The itinerary was well thought out. However I don't know if some of the crew have moved ship (Is it really up for sale?) but the service in the bars was AWFUL. We sat in the Palm Garden each night and waited, and waited and waited for our drinks order to be taken, but to no avail. So went to the bar and there was the waitress chatting to the barman. On the last night we said we would see how long it took for our drinks order to be taken, But after half an hour gave up and moved into the Captain's Club. (Starboard side) which was no better, plenty of waiting staff chatting at the bar, so moved over to Port and got served straight away. Never used to be like this. Plus on the Gala night in the Waldorf when we are all in our best bib and tucker, the wine waiter (Starboard side) did a trick with a tray of wine. After placing 3 glasses of free sparkling wine to some of the diners on our table, he then proceeded to tip the remaining 3 glasses over my wife. She was soaked from head to toe, posh frock soaking (Spoilt ?) So ladies if you are dining in the Waldorf on Gala night, ignore the dress code and come in your muck (As bring a raincoat). There really seems to be a dumbing down of staff on the M.P. Which is a shame ,as we have had some brilliant cruises on this vessel. Will have to go elsewhere for the next one by the looks if it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
We used her 2 years before to Icleland. Cabin spotless, crew great. Ports excellent. This time a number of the Eastern European crew just showed their lack of "customer care". Our cabin steward did not speak to us once, nor did ... Read More
We used her 2 years before to Icleland. Cabin spotless, crew great. Ports excellent. This time a number of the Eastern European crew just showed their lack of "customer care". Our cabin steward did not speak to us once, nor did we see here. The cabin was not gleaming.. Clean enough. The ports and cruise were fine. The food was as before... Fair to average, with some outstanding. The far eastern crew were lovely.... We would try another ship in this line, but not her again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
As a regular cruiser I was thrown by the rigidity of dining times.Breakfast finished at 9:30 and no more available till 12:30.not only this but times varied and we had to look at cruise info to check when meals available.Its a small ship ... Read More
As a regular cruiser I was thrown by the rigidity of dining times.Breakfast finished at 9:30 and no more available till 12:30.not only this but times varied and we had to look at cruise info to check when meals available.Its a small ship more like a floating hotel and often in the bistro bar it was difficult to find a space to sit and eat a meal.The clientele were almost without exception over 65 and were probably happy enough to organise themselves for meals but I found the lack of flexibility limiting.It delivered on destinations and was reasonable on price but much preferred entertainment and general set up on Thomson.On the whole everyone was very happy with the cruise.The entertainment crew worked hard but were a singer down so a number of shows were not staged and so entertainment was not the usual cruise fare.This is very much a cruise for over 60 couples who want to see some interesting destinations ,regular meals, a bit of entertainment on the night and don't mind a lot of people around. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were supposed to embark Marco Polo at the Port of Leith, which was fine for us as we were just taking a taxi, when we got to the port we were told that because of a technical problem the ship had missed the tide for Leith and we were ... Read More
We were supposed to embark Marco Polo at the Port of Leith, which was fine for us as we were just taking a taxi, when we got to the port we were told that because of a technical problem the ship had missed the tide for Leith and we were now embarking from Rosyth. Had they let us know before hand it would have been good as it was easier for us to get to Rosyth (and cheaper!) than Leith. Nobody seemed to be organising anything, one man was holding some coloured tickets for buses, but nobody was giving out information or organising the milling throngs onto buses, it was pretty chaotic to put it mildly. We did leave for Rosyth eventually and embarked fairly swiftly after that, I found the deck labelling somewhat eccentric, but we found our cabin, which was on deck 9 although was numbered 645, all very odd. Anyway the cabin was small, but perfectly adequate and comfortable. Sufficient storage for a week sailing, although not perhaps for a longer voyage. The bed was comfortable. The room steward was consistently pleasant and helpful, we had a flickering light when we entered and it was fixed by the same evening. He produced extra hangers like a magician out of a hat. The cabin was clean although a little unexpectedly after a couple of days I couldn't close one of the drawers in the bedside unit, so took out the drawer and at the back of the drawer was a white top which had obviously slipped down the back of the unit, as it wasn't mine or my sisters, it had to be from a previous occupant, so not quite as clean as it should have been. The ship is old, but was clean and comfortable and warm, on several occasions I heard the same comment, she felt like a "proper ship" not one of the floating hotels. Most of the staff were very pleasant, but catching the eye of a waiter/ress in one of the bars could be a challenge. Food was served in the Waldorf restaurant, we were second sitting, which suited us fine and we have absolutely no complaints about either the food or service, both were excellent. We tended to eat both breakfast and lunch, as well as dinner, in the Waldorf as trying to get a seat in Marco's bistro was often difficult, if not down right impossible. In fact that is one of the reasons I've given 3 start rather than 4. Marco's is far too small for the number of people trying to access the area. On a number of occasions when coming back from excursions, having missed lunch we would go to Marco's, as we were too late for the Waldorf, only to find a heaving mass of humanity all trying to find something to eat as many of the excursions came back at almost the same time and rather than keep the Waldorf open to help with the crowds, we all had to squeeze into Marco's. It was absolutely ridiculous, people wandering around trying to find a chair, never mind a table!! Also the layout of Marco's food stations was very odd, they were in one continuous line in the middle of the restaurant, if they had broken them up into different food stations, then there would have been smaller queues. Also the layout of the food was very odd, this was one of the reasons we usually took breakfast in the Waldorf. Someone mentioned that there was no one cooking omelettes, in fact there was down in the Waldorf, also breakfast tends to be very 'samy' wherever you eat. The entertainment wasn't great, the costumes were tatty, the singers were pretty awful, they all tried their hardest, especially the dancers, but honestly it was pretty grim. We took the AI, although not big drinkers, we found it was reasonable and more or less worth the money, anyone who drinks moderately (or heavily) would find it worked ok. The other reason I've given only 3 stars was the tendering. We had originally been told we would only tender into one port, in the end we docked in only one port and tendered into the other 3 and because of this we missed the Shetland Isles as it was decided it was too rough to tender in. In fact anyone with mobility issues would have found the whole business of tendering difficult if not impossible as the stairs to the tenders were very steep and treacherous, I certainly found them pretty rocky. Instead of docking at Lerwick as we should have we ended up in Ullapool, a nice little town, but not where I wanted to be. All in all I enjoyed this cruise, there were a few things wrong, but it didn't detract too much from the enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We had wanted to have a look at the Scottish Isles and the itinerary of the cruise we chose was provided by CMV Marco Polo. We knew that Marco Polo was 50 years old and not necessarily the ship we would have given first choice after ... Read More
We had wanted to have a look at the Scottish Isles and the itinerary of the cruise we chose was provided by CMV Marco Polo. We knew that Marco Polo was 50 years old and not necessarily the ship we would have given first choice after reading reviews but we thought we would make up our own minds We were given commemorative pins when we embarked - from a different port than arranged. We arrived at Leith where we had booked our CMV parking to be given a letter outlining changes in the itinerary. Rosyth was a provided coach ride away and we were all credited with £50 per cabin. However there was notification there of an increase in tender ports. We believe this showed a weakness in planning and organisation or cost cutting. The refits over the years have kept this ship quite comfortable for passengers if you can overlook the dents here and there, except we felt added cabins (ours had been added when the second tier of the show lounge was taken away) meant there was a lag in the increase of places to eat. Unlike other cruise lines, there is not always food available on the Marco Polo. Afternoon tea was uncomfortably crowded in the Marco Grill which in the evening was the buffet restaurant alternative to the main dining room, The Waldorf, where there was set dining of two sittings. Breakfast was help yourself buffet selection with staff cooking eggs and omelettes to order in two dining areas. Dinners with waiter service in the main dining room were tasty and well presented; service was good but it was not the standard of food we have had on other cruise lines and this showed the economy style although we had paid well for our grade of cabin. A big demonstration of the age of the ship was the tender experience. The weather was stormy and these small craft had a tarpaulin over the top and only two small windows either end. It was most unpleasant. The stormy weather meant we had to have one port changed which was very disappointing as the itinerary was the reason we chose the cruise in spite of the choice of the Marco Polo. Obviously safety has to be the first consideration but would it have been safer with newer tenders? Entertainment was enthusiastically provided by a team of talented young men and women. The problem was in our cabin we heard the afternoon practice and if we were not watching in the show lounge we heard it through the floor which was a very sloping floor in our cabin where twin beds were either side of a window, not a porthole. This was a Premium Plus outside. Cabin staff were faultless. Enrichment - I did go to a "craft" activity on offer to be turned away as all the places were filled. The pool was empty the whole cruise. Disembarkation was painful because we had to vacate our cabin by 7am but the rota of cruisers leaving the ship by cabin number did not start until two hours later. This was a demonstration the public spaces had to be big enough for all the passengers but the queues for the ladies toilets demonstrated there were not enough public facilities for this couple of hours. We were brought back to Rosyth instead of where our cars were! No explanation. A note about our fellow cruisers - we agree with another review amazed at so many mobility aids, in every shape and form. Tenders were supposed to be used only by those who did not need help embarking but three mobility scooters were loaded each time, slowing up the whole process. The all inclusive package meant we saw some inebriated behaviour never seen on other cruise lines. Not nice. A pity we were not more impressed by the Marco Polo, we will not be travelling on her again even if the itinerary would be our choice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My wife and I spent 9 nights on the Marco Polo (Cruise and Marine Ltd) recently (August 2015). We cruised anti-clockwise around the British Isles. This is not the most comfortable of ships. (1) In our opinion there are too many cabins and ... Read More
My wife and I spent 9 nights on the Marco Polo (Cruise and Marine Ltd) recently (August 2015). We cruised anti-clockwise around the British Isles. This is not the most comfortable of ships. (1) In our opinion there are too many cabins and therefore too many people on board. The cabins, (one step up from a Brittany ferry), are of minimal size and the beds are not side by side as there is not sufficient space for this. The beds form an ‘L’ shape on two walls. (2) We experienced considerable rumbling and clanking from the engines during the night (cabin 304) when the ship was underway. (3) On our final morning, when we due to disembark at 10:30am (at Tilbury), we were told to vacate our cabins at 7am! We feel strongly that this is unreasonable. (4) Unless you instruct them otherwise they will automatically charge £5 for gratuities to each individual’s on-board account. For two people for nine nights that would total £90!! (5) The staff were helpful and polite and we tipped several for excellent service. (6) Cleanliness is above and beyond what you might expect. (Though that is for their benefit mainly to avoid having any sickness epidemic aboard). We booked this cruise as we felt it represented good value - however you only get what you pay for don’t you? Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We embarked on the Marco Polo on the 7th September from Tilbury for 34 nights destination Canada, All was OK until we got to our room 605 on a tilt and so was the bed, you can hear the Music from the show room 3 times a day, rehearsal and ... Read More
We embarked on the Marco Polo on the 7th September from Tilbury for 34 nights destination Canada, All was OK until we got to our room 605 on a tilt and so was the bed, you can hear the Music from the show room 3 times a day, rehearsal and then the two shows at night. On the whole the ship is ok, BUT if you have a food allergy, then this is not the Ship for you. I have a NUT ALLERGY, and it did not matter how many time I mentioned this, it was totally ignored to the point where I gave up going to the restaurant and lived on soup. Food I would give a 25 out of 100 and that was on a good day. Look carefully at this as I know that everyones expectations are different, But don't say you were not warned. CMV voyages, (Cheap and Miserable) think carefully. Don,t always go for their tours check locally you will find them a lot cheaper and usually more informative. Hop on Hop off buses are cheaper independently than booking through the cruise ship. They do not have shuttle buses at most ports and walking can be for a while. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was our 20th cruise. We have been with various companies on both large and small ships. We were cruising to Amsterdam, Belgium and France. Started with problems the day before we sailed when we received am email to say that the boat ... Read More
This was our 20th cruise. We have been with various companies on both large and small ships. We were cruising to Amsterdam, Belgium and France. Started with problems the day before we sailed when we received am email to say that the boat was going to be 3 hours late returning from its previous cruise. We did find that the boarding process was painless and were happy to find we had been up graded from inside cabin 485 to outside cabin723. This was a large clean cabin. Life boat drill wss next and to my amazement men and women were sepereted. This would be impossible to implement in a real emergency. Next came dinner. The main dining room felt cramped so for the rest of the week we ate in the bistro. The food for every meal was good but tea and coffee facilities left a lot to be desired. Often no cups and hot water not always hot enough. The cruise passed smothley with the exception of a change of ports. This ment we spent time in Honfleur which was an advantage. The one thing that let the whole trip down wss disembarkation morning !!! Out of cabins by 7am. 800 passangers waiting for a table and breakfast. Not the best parting memory !! Be warned also that there are very few public toilets on the ship. A good ship for small cruises but not for longer ones. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Cant be bothered to write an essay..but: Good points: Loved the ship and the ease with which one could access all decks without using lifts, easy to get between venues. Em/disembarkation smooth and a well oiled machine. Good ... Read More
Cant be bothered to write an essay..but: Good points: Loved the ship and the ease with which one could access all decks without using lifts, easy to get between venues. Em/disembarkation smooth and a well oiled machine. Good cheerful service from bus drivers and porters at Tilbury. I liked the food, ALL of it, though beans on toast is a feast to me when I haven't cooked it! In the main it was lukewarm, but the soups were always hot, as was any freshly cooked things like hot dogs and pizzas. Coffee and tea dire as usual. The cabin was OK with sufficient storage for 6 days. Wouldnt know where to put it all for any longer. Small cases go under bed, bigger ones? Hmmm. Bathrooms OK, showers intermittently hot but powerful. Stinking blocked drains. Nice toiletries. Guests onboard from Only fools, Hi de hi, Allo allo, were fab, and the reason for booking. Also the Giverny/Monet's House trip was fab, a lifetime wish realised. The rest of the entertainment was poor. Bad points: Steward was rubbish. We saw him only once, cleaned room and turned down bed once in the afternoons. Wet towels after evening showering left to fester till following afternoon. Housekeeping changed them without comment. Nothing improved. Hoovered in doorway as far as he could reach, left the rest haha...Basic service badly executed. Food venue in both places was chaotic, absolute bedlam. But acceptable quality of food for me for the price. Bar staff mainly surly and slow, waiting staff much more professional. Personal tipping could be a factor here! In short as with all C&M cruises you get what you pay for (£349) which is old tired ships, old tired cabins and poor facilities. But it WAS generally clean. I would go again if the attraction was good guests or good destinations. Otherwise I prefer a bit more than 3 star. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
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
Sail Date April 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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 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
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date August 2016
be very careful when you select all inclusive with Cruise and Maritime as it is not what it says.Firstly I am a beer drinker,and the only draught beer was german lager.If you wanted bitter or any other beer they only had cans and ... Read More
be very careful when you select all inclusive with Cruise and Maritime as it is not what it says.Firstly I am a beer drinker,and the only draught beer was german lager.If you wanted bitter or any other beer they only had cans and bottles,which were NOT inclusive,but you had to pay between £3 and £4 for them. Also the water in your room was not included (£2.20) a bottle,and if you wanted a coffee from the bar you had to pay for that too ! The food in the bar could have been better if it was hot,more often than not it was only warm. The best food was from the service on deck 8 during the lunch hour. The entertainment apart from the excellent show team,consisted mainly of quizes,not enough game shows etc. The staff,although very competent,could have been more friendly. The cabins,although small,were kept very clean and tidy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise as it was convenient for us as we live in Bristol, and we thought the weather should be warm. Convenient it was, but the weather was far from good, which was no fault of the ship, obviously. However. I was in bed for 2 ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was convenient for us as we live in Bristol, and we thought the weather should be warm. Convenient it was, but the weather was far from good, which was no fault of the ship, obviously. However. I was in bed for 2 days with sea sickness. We were tossed around everywhere, which is one of the drawbacks of a small ship. We have been on bigger ships, and not even known were were on the water. It was most unpleasant, and worrying as you had no way of knowing what the next day would bring. It was extremely hard to keep your feet when walking about and ruined the whole experience for me. The staff, food and entertainment were excellent, as was our cabin. The weather in the Canaries was just passable, but it poured rain in Madeira. The drinks were very reasonably priced. Don't pay for the excursions. We had an hour on a tuk tuk in Madeira, it cost us £84. We saw nothing and spent 20 minutes looking round a shop. I complained to the excursion rep on the desk who was extremely rude and spoke to me as if I were a child. Complete rip off. We did however book as excursion at Coruna, before we sailed, which was great. Most ports have open topped buses for sight seeing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cabin, serving and bar staff were very good. The cabin was good, but freezing for the first 7, yes 7 days. This was despite reporting it to be cold everyday, Apparently someone fictionally meassured the temperature at 24 ( I wish), so ... Read More
The cabin, serving and bar staff were very good. The cabin was good, but freezing for the first 7, yes 7 days. This was despite reporting it to be cold everyday, Apparently someone fictionally meassured the temperature at 24 ( I wish), so they didn't need to act. I stamped my feet and this was after they had increased the temperature twice, they came and measured it in my pressence at 19. The man then adjusted it there and then and fixed it. My grievance is they didn't solve the problem 3 days earlier because they decided to ignore me. On the last day I met another person that had the same experience and he had been ill in a freezing room for 14 days. He had been told his room was 24 too. On my birthday we booked the special menu in what I found out later was called the garage by the staff, because it was so cold. When I think back I don't know why we stayed because it was shivery cold. They assured us it would warm up. The starters were lovely, soup delicious, but then they came with a cold main course. We were being served by the maitre de, so if he didn't make sure it was good then there isn't much hope for the rest. My husband is gluten free. The restaurant staff were good and made sure he got toast etc, but they just don't do the stuff you can get on Fred and P&O. If you're gluten free you wont get scones, pizzas and the little extras that make a holiday. I wont be using Cruise Maritime again Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Frail elderly people, think my wife was the youngest on board apart from the staff. I am 68 & my wife is 60 but we are both very fit & healthy.Think most of the customers were well over 75+.Emergency helicopter at sea, rough seas ... Read More
Frail elderly people, think my wife was the youngest on board apart from the staff. I am 68 & my wife is 60 but we are both very fit & healthy.Think most of the customers were well over 75+.Emergency helicopter at sea, rough seas & elderly people do not mix. Food brilliant 5* well presented, cooked beautiful & most of all HOT!. Staff 10/10 could not fault them at all, staff as good as any of the 8 cruises we have been on. Ship far too small for us, well out dated, needs a complete revamp or sinking. Cabins are in need of gutting & bringing up to date.Beds too small, no dressing table for the ladies, shower jell & shampoo rubbish.Shows average, theatre not terraced correctly made it difficult to see the shows. No casino. Sun beds & chairs very uncomfortable. Would not go with Cruise & Maritime again much prefer larger more modern ships with lots more to do. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
As a first point - this was our first cruise on a "regular" cruise liner, previously we've only sailed with Star Clippers, so we are used to smaller boats (200+ rather than 800 here). We chose this trip primarily because ... Read More
As a first point - this was our first cruise on a "regular" cruise liner, previously we've only sailed with Star Clippers, so we are used to smaller boats (200+ rather than 800 here). We chose this trip primarily because of the round-Britain itinerary and the cruise certainly delivered on that. Of all the stops only one - Inverness - was so-so and the remainder were interesting places well worth visiting. Trips were reasonable value allthough at several locations we did our own thing. Useful to know - English Heritage membership gets you into Edinburgh Castle for free, travelling independently to visit the Book of Kells in Dublin was MUCH cheaper than the organised trip and very easy (we were very glad that our trip booking was cancelled due to lack of numbers). Embarkation at Bristol through the giant shed that masquerades as a Cruise Terminal was a bit shambolic but car parking was conveniently close and we only had half an hours queueing to get through to the boat. First impressions of the boat were, yes it's old but its clean and well maintained. We found it stable - although we didn't have to contend with more than 3 metre seas - and reasonably quiet. Our cabin was roomy and beds were comfortable. Shower / bathroom a little tired perhaps but I've seen plenty worse in hotels.The cabin service stewards couldn't be faulted for helpfulness, friendliness and efficiency. Public rooms are comfortable. Bar prices seemed reasonable and service was prompt and friendly. We were less happy with the food. Not bad but not great and rather samey. Same menu in both the table service and self service restaurants. Some curious menu choices : quite a lot of curry (OK by me but some might not find this good) and on one evenng two dishes (prawn cocktail and one of the salad options) served with Marie Rose sauce. The gourmet evening - a taster menu with accompanying wines - didn't live up to its "Master Chef" aspirations and while it was enjoyable I wouldn't rate it as good value for £40 each extra). Often it seemed that the ambition of the chef outstripped the ability of the team to deliver, both on this menu and on other occasions. I don't think there's a place for a jar of pre-made sauce ona fine dining menu - just put it in a dish for heaven's sake, and if you're going to serve breseaola with a balsamic glaze make sure all the servings have it so chef doesn't have to apear from the kitchen with his squeezy bottle of glaze to fix a serving there on the table. Breakfast was the usual cheese / ham / cheese / bread / fruit / eggs / hot buffet etc but very much the same thing each day and lunch depressingly similar to breakfast. Afternoon tea - didn't really need this and thank goodness - had some of the driest and curliest sandwiches I've seen since the bad old days of British Railways station cafes. No tea or coffee making facilities in the cabin but tea is always available in the lounge and coffee too (though I'll confess to not liking the 'stewed in an urn' variety found almost everywhere). Espressos / americanos available from the bar cheaper than Costa, so nothing to complain about there. They run a two sittings for dinner arrangement with allocated tables. This was OK, except on our table one couple preferred to eat in the self-service almost every night meaning our table of eight was usually a spread out table of six. Sometimes its nice to eat with the folk you have met up with during the day. I must confess we prefer the approach used on Star Clippers which is based on open seating. Breakfast too in the table service restaurant is based on filling tables up as you enter, so its pretty hard to get a table for just the two of you. Breakfast, lunch or dinner in the self service restaurant could involve a wait for a table to become free. It wasn't that it was bad but it was the first cruise I've come back from without putting on any weight. Didn't try the entertainment - we weren't encouraged by off-key playing in the bar - but the lecture origramme (an RSPB bird expert) was interesting and the one we attended excellent. One problem with the boat was that due to the weather - a cool English spring - most of the passengers were inside almost all of the time. That made public areas crowded. It was dificult to find quiets spots to read or study (as we tend to). A crowded boat also tends to make people less conscious of other's sense of private space, so we often found people plonking down next to us without so much as an "Is this free?" Disembarkation for organised trips / independent travellers was shambolic. Part of the problems seem caused by the fact that with an elderly passenger list many folk need assistance and gangway / tender handling generally seemed a bit haphazard and not well coordinated with passenger announcements. Getting off at the end of the cruise was rather better organised and we were on our way within a couple of hours of docking and ahead of the schedule that we were given on board. Generally I didn't get the "one ship" feeling you get on Star Clippers. This may not be fair but it felt to me like the individual departments on board were just getting on with their own thing without really acting as a team for the benefit of the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Marco Polo Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.7
Dining 3.0 3.5
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 3.8
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.4
Enrichment 4.0 3.2
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 3.6

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