Sail Date: February 2011
We sailed from Tilbury which was great, no flying, we drove from Yorkshire and stayed the night in a hotel so we were relaxed for boarding the ship the next day. Once on board the ship we were shown to our cabin, our cases were already ... Read More
We sailed from Tilbury which was great, no flying, we drove from Yorkshire and stayed the night in a hotel so we were relaxed for boarding the ship the next day. Once on board the ship we were shown to our cabin, our cases were already outside out cabin. We were supposed to be on Baltic deck but were upgraded to pacific deck (level 7), also our room was the bigger, inner twin which slept 3 people instead of the smaller room we had originally booked. The room was very clean and comfortable. stocked with the general, tissues, shampoo etc; bottled water was in the room, cost over £2. The only thing missing was a tea/coffee maker. We had taken our own travel kettle but were not supposed to use it. Hot drinks were available free of charge in Marco's buffet room from 7am - 10pm, hot drinks could be purchased in bars around the ship. There is 2 duty free shops selling alcohol, cigarettes, perfuum, gifts and another one selling sweets, toiletries, clothes etc; shave gel cost over £4!The Cruise Director, Richard has got a great entertainment team, he also joins in the shows which is a plus. The evening entertainment is excellent, better than i have seen on other cruise ships. the shows in the Marco lounge (theatre) are different every night, 2 shows per night, eg; Joseph and his Technicoloured Dreamcoat, Eurovision, Queen and many more. The singers and dancers put on professional, entertaining shows. There was also a comedian and magician, both very good. If you go to the 10pm show which finishes approx 10.45-11pm and you want to go on to the Scotts bar is more singers performing followed by a disco, you will find it hard to get a seat as it is always packed. There was always a seat in the captain's club where a violinist and pianist play each evening. The daytime entertainment is rather poor, the odd quiz, bingo and something like shove halfpenny. We would rate the Waldorf Restaurant 2* only. I am vegetarian and there was one choice only. On the menu they put out samples of the evening meals on a table outside the restaurant, often the meals we ordered were not as plentiful or finished off the same as the samples, quite honestly I stopped looking at them because they didn't look very appetising. The waiter was Bulgarian (which is not an issue) but he was not very talkative, when he did speak he muttered and was talking as he walked away, not very professional. The napkins were never ironed and often very damp, apparently they get washed in between sittings. The buffet bar, well what can we say, there was always a varied choice of food for breakfast, dinner, afternoon tea and evening meal. It would have been good had the food been hot, there was only a small flame under each of the food containers, but saying that, if you managed to get the food when it was just put out it still wasn't hot. We were eating continental breakfast because the bacon etc; was always cold. I commented to the supervisor about the cold food on more than once occasion, eventually, she had one of boys warm my plated food in the oven, the plate came back hot the food still wasn't warm, when I told her she just walked away. When I complained to the staff on reception, hoping they would pass the message upwards, they just seemed perplexed and said nothing. I said I would put the complaint in writing and the receptionist said he would do it for me!!! needless to say I did it myself but never received a reply. The cakes left a lot to be desired, they were generally mousse and tasted the same whether lemon or chocolate.The outside bar opened 2 days then we hit bad weather and it never opened again!!!!! They did nice burgers, spare ribs and fish, really tasty and hot!!! (the fish was yummy)Apart from the food and attitude of some of the staff on board we had a fantastic holiday, the days we were off the ship were so good they outweighed the negatives.We had booked our trips independently, on the internet, prior to sailing. Although we didn't get to dock at 3 ports we did do all the trips we had booked and they were much better value for money than the ship tours offered. When we went to the talks about the tours from the ship there was no one advising about 'do it yourself', which usually on cruises they do have separate talks for those wanting to do it yourself. A few hints for those wanting to do it themselves.Amsterdam - just outside the terminal you can get a tram into the town, it's a couple of stops only. The drivers are very helpful, we were advised to buy a tram ticket for 1 hour, this cost about £10. We got on a tram around the city and back, we then strolled down the main shopping street. The red light district is off this street, take the street down the side of the church, you can't miss it and it is obviously what visitors to Amsterdam want to see. We wanted to go on a canal cruise but didn't get time. We got the tram back to the terminal and the driver didn't even charge us. Molde - the Atlantic road tour cost £49 pp on ship tour. it is easy to do yourself - leave the ship, out of the port turn right to the bus station and tourist information, 5 mins walk, take bus no.7 and to the Atlantic road. He drops you off and then picks you up 10-15 minutes later and takes you back to Molde. The whole trip takes about 3 hrs and you get to see plenty of scenery and little places. The cost if you are a pensioner (they say senior) is approx £14 per couple, if you are under pension age it costs £28 per couple.Svartisen Glacier - passing through Arctic Circle and viewing glacier- we kept being told there would be warm wine, we never saw any!!! great experience though, very cold.Narvik - the Ofoten Railway - cost from ship £60 ppWe got on the 9am shuttle to the station (the town is about 50 min walk) we were told we could pay on the train so we got on. a nice train ride to Riksgransen, takes about 40 min. spent some time at the ski resort and got the train back. The cost should have been £12 pp return but we never saw the ticket man. The people on the trip were supposed to return by coach but it broke down so they got on the train. Back in Narvik we walked to Fagernes mountain Cablecar, it is signposted and takes about 20 mins from the station. there is a cafe at the top and some fantastic views. cost £10 pp.Tromso - dog sledding - cost from ship £135 - I enquired and was told the actual dog sledding was for 30 mins only. Our trip cost about the same but we were dog sledding for about 2 hrs. We got a taxi to the hotel we were being picked up from, takes about 10 mins to the town from the ship. The travel into the wilderness took about 1hr 15 mins, 'lyngsfjord.com adventure'. They kitted us out with clothes, we were partnered up and one stood on the sledge driving and one sat, sitting is a bit bumpy. We had 6 dogs pulling us and it was so much fun, actually sledding on rivers covered in ice and snow, going through woodland. When we had finished we went into a tent (hotel) for very hot fish/vegetable soup with bread, drinks and cake. Then it was the journey back to town and the end of a great fun day, we got back to town by 4.45 pm excellent value. We got the shuttle bus back to the ship, the last one was 5.15.We got our first sighting of the lights later that night, everything on the ship stops for people (staff and holiday makers alike) to go outside and see. Again the following evening the lights appeared on numerous occasions. Richard, the cruise director announces it over the loud speaker for everyone to hear, even if you are in bed you won't miss it. My only wish is that we had paid to go on the evening out to the wilderness trip in search of the lights. The people who did go said they had never experienced anything like it and even if the lights hadn't appeared it was a great experience. Of course they got a better sighting of the lights than we did from the ship. The cost was £99. Due to severe weather conditions we missed out on 3 ports, Bergen, Allesund and Svolvaer. This couldn't be helped and rather safe than sorry. We could have been kept more up to date with information during our time on the ship regarding not visiting certain ports and updates on where we were and the weather conditions etc; but all in all, fantastic holiday with great, never done before, experiences, shame about the food and some of the staff. This is not a budget holiday but you would think it was as far as the food was concerned. It's a smaller ship than we have been used to but try not to compare with the bigger ships and make the most of what there is to do in the places you visit. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
If you enjoy bean bag throwing and bingo then this cruise is for you.As for seeing Norway ... don't bet on it. Out of seven planned stops in Norway only four were managed. The explanation (very poorly communicated) was down to the ... Read More
If you enjoy bean bag throwing and bingo then this cruise is for you.As for seeing Norway ... don't bet on it. Out of seven planned stops in Norway only four were managed. The explanation (very poorly communicated) was down to the weather.The ship is ex Russian, specifically built for cruising in the ice bound higher latitudes. In February one should expect that the weather in the Arctic Circle isn't going to be perfect BUT one should also expect that the cruise company would not be running cruises if there is such a limited chance of completing the itinerary, not least because the ship can manage these conditions.The first missed stop was because the port necessitated an anchorage which was deemed to be a problem as the weather made using the tenders uncertain. In the event it was decided to visit an alternative port ... which also, it turned out, needed to use tenders ... which of course meant that the second choice was also impossible to go ashore.Later in the trip the Captain (virtually unseen during the whole fiasco) and the cruise directors waited so long to make a decision that two further stops were impossible to visit in the remaining time.Whilst waiting for these decisions (over 8 hours) no updates were given. When eventually advised that we would be going straight back to Tilbury (missing the final two ports) we were crassly told to 'have a great evening'. No thought was given to recognising this huge disappointment through some announcement or gesture.We were inadvertently told in the end that the weather was no worse than a Force 8 which this ship could easily cope with.At no point were alternatives considered e.g. letting passengers ashore whilst waiting to make up their minds or choosing substitute ports where we could get ashore.The ship is great; the crew are great; the Captain and directors are bad decision makers and exceptionally poor communicators.Travel with the Marco Polo is a gamble whilst these 'managers' are employed. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
This was our first cruise and therefore have nothing to compare it with but we were very satisfied with our holiday. We sailed from Tilbury so no airports to contend with. The cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. The beds were ... Read More
This was our first cruise and therefore have nothing to compare it with but we were very satisfied with our holiday. We sailed from Tilbury so no airports to contend with. The cabin was a good size with plenty of storage. The beds were comfortable and the en-suite quite adequate.We found all staff consistently pleasant and attentive even when some passengers were quite rude to them. The ship was spotlessly clean in all areas and great trouble was taken to remind diners to cleanse their hands prior to entering the restaurants. The food was excellent. We mostly ate in the Waldorf Restaurant as the self service bistro tended to be a bit draughty as the doors to the deck were either side of it. The food we did eat there was delicious and always hot. The only criticism being the frequent lack of mugs at the drinks counters. This was an irritating problem that should be so easy to resolve - I wonder if it has?The entertainers were professional and very talented young people. There was enough variety to meet most people's needs from beautifully played classical & easy listening to show-time and the velvet voiced Carmen. The lectures were interesting too. The Cruise Director, Richard, deserves a mention for his versatility, enthusiasm and professionalism. The lounge areas were very comfortable. Drinks were reasonable to buy too, what we would call 'London prices'.I would endorse the previous critic's comment and was disappointed that I didn't go to 'The Wilderness' to see the lights. Those that went had a spectacular experience. I hadn't realised that light pollution from the ship and harbour,etc would interfere with seeing the lights at their best. However we did enjoy our other excursions especially the dog sledging. The excursions did seem expensive but then Norway is an expensive country. Again, we were disappointed that we missed 3 of our ports of call but I don't know how this could have been avoided as the weather was so bad at one point that the Captain had to take the advice of the Norwegian pilots and,for our safety and comfort, we had to anchor in a fjord and therefore had to make up lost time to return to Tilbury on-time for the next cruise. There were the usual moaners complaining about this too - we were in the Arctic Ocean in February for goodness sake! I wonder who built the snowman on deck and his cheeky companions late one night? Only the snowman remained the next morning! Maybe a River Cruise would be calmer??!! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We were really looking forward to this trip to see the northern lights and Norway in winter. We were so disappointed by the ship. The cabin was small old fashioned cramped and lacked facilities. The food was appalling the main ... Read More
We were really looking forward to this trip to see the northern lights and Norway in winter. We were so disappointed by the ship. The cabin was small old fashioned cramped and lacked facilities. The food was appalling the main restaurant was dark and dismal the food unattractive and tasteless. The staff tried hard but had little to play with. The alternative dining venue was appalling it looked like a works canteen with food to match. Entertainment was dreadful, an amateur caberer show not as good as a production in a village hall. Repetitive singing duo in one of the bars and a few quizzes. Shops poor with little stock and very overpriced. Outside deck full of tatty plastic chairs and dirty cups. Husky trips and ice hotel excellent but very expensive. We missed 4 ports of call due to severe storms We will stick to better cruise lines in the future. Avoid at all costs Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Cruise to see the Northern Lights. We boarded at Tilbury with high expectations and were let down at almost every step of the way. It is a shame as the possibility to create a good cruise experience is there, but the management were so ... Read More
Cruise to see the Northern Lights. We boarded at Tilbury with high expectations and were let down at almost every step of the way. It is a shame as the possibility to create a good cruise experience is there, but the management were so poor that it let the whole trip down. Major problems include: Very poor management of the Marco's Restaurant. Scramble for food is laughable at each mealtime. Food very frequently warm at best due to ridiculous opening doors to deck area for smokers in freezing cold temperatures. These doors should be off limits at mealtimes. The tea/coffee area is a shambles at all times with cups and mugs in short supply most of the time, along with cutlery shortages. Either get more cups and mugs or wash up more frequently and for goodness sake monitor continuous these areas in order to forsee shortages. The majority of the staff and crew are foreign but on the whole very ameniable and pleasant. Some waiters have had a charisma bypass and most of the reception staff were not helpful. The tours on this trip were so expensive as to be laughable. This was not helped by the fact that absolutely no help or useful information is given to you if you do not wish to book a tour. Most irritating this as it meant much time lost exploring buses and trains that could have been detailed for you. Very bad indeed this aspect and needs much more work to be helpful. Throughout the trip the Captain was notable by his abscence. We had many days of very bad weather and the Captain did nothing to reassure the passengers. Indeed many would question his judgement in losing a day or so sailing and thereby missing 3 ports of call. sadly the nicer towns in Norway. Having had to spend so much time on board due to weather and missed ports of call, the infill entertainment was pathethic. It was of an old peoples home standard. e.g. throwing bean bags into wastepaper bins!!!! The highlight of the whole trip and the saving grace in preventing a total disaster was the on board evening entertainers. They were magnificent for the whole trip and worked extremely hard and were the best we have seen in a long time. Full marks to them. It wouldn't take any real cost to build on the fine entertainment and make this a better ship to sail in. The management need a thorough overhaul and need to understand what makes for a pleasant cruise. Mostly small things would improve passenegr satisfaction enormously. Provide better entertainment during day, show films for example. Stop smokers using restaurant deck to keep doors locked and food warmer. Sort out the tea/coffee serving area. Make independent travellers welcome by providing good port of call information. Keep trip costs lower. I would not use this ship again until it smartens up its act. It is 2011 and customers expect and demand more than this ship provides. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2011
My daughter and I wanted to see the Northern lights,it was on our life list of 'things to do'. We were also excited about a cruise in the Artic.I had previously cruised the Fjords on Marco Polo when she was run by Transocean.I ... Read More
My daughter and I wanted to see the Northern lights,it was on our life list of 'things to do'. We were also excited about a cruise in the Artic.I had previously cruised the Fjords on Marco Polo when she was run by Transocean.I had been impressed by the ship,crew and itinerary and therefore chose her again as she is an excellent sailing ship and we expected that all the weather may not be good. We were right to be cautious and when the worst of the weather hit we felt safe, the ship sailed well and the itinerary was fulfilled although the ports of Molde and Alesund were exchanged for each other in the program.As hoped we saw the lights several times whilst on board which was fantastic, exciting and what we had hoped for having chosen a cruise to see the lights as maximising our opportunities to do so. It was hilarious the first formal dining night when the tannoy went in the middle of late dining,everyone left the dining room, running in all directions not knowing where the ships bows were or how to get there in order to see the lights. Evening dresses, high heels and if you were lucky your coat,boy was it cold, but an adventure and fun.Dinner was quite late. We saw the lights on board four times.The last two times it felt so close it was almost touchable.(It was a sobering thought that although we had had a thorough life boat drill there was a great deal of confusion amongst passengers when the tannoy went, I noticed several passengers checking where their lifeboats were again the following day. The scenery was jaw dropping on this cruise,the air was so clean and the light perfect for painting and photography. The itinerary was so well designed everything just became more and more stunning and interesting. We were never cold in all our layers,and we enjoyed the friendship of the passengers and helpfullness of the crew throughout the cruise.The onboard lecturers on Photography and Astronomy were helpful,interesting and well chosen.It was a pleasant surprise to have a free coach shuttle when necessary,tourist information on board at some ports and efficient,trouble free customer friendly tendering at Svolvaer,the Lofoten Islands. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
To be fair right from the start, there is nothing wrong with the ship itself - it seems well kept and clean - decks areas are well maintained and bright and clean, public areas are well decorated, clean bright, and pleasant, and the cabins ... Read More
To be fair right from the start, there is nothing wrong with the ship itself - it seems well kept and clean - decks areas are well maintained and bright and clean, public areas are well decorated, clean bright, and pleasant, and the cabins (ours at least) are clean and well maintained (see first point below however).The itinerary also was well chosen and enjoyable - all our trips were extremely enjoyable, seemed well organised, and were not outrageously expensive.So whats the problem(s)? A number of points which cumulatively completely ruined our cruise, as follows ;-1. BEDS. The mattresses on our beds were so ridiculously hard that a nights sleep of any sort was next to impossible - we prefer a firm mattress, but these were police cell grad or worse. Each morning we rose feeling dor tired and with aches all over our bodies - this itself was enough to make the cruise miserable.2. FOOD. Without going into great detail the food was very poor and clearly down to a price - more like school canteen standard (and that's being kind). To make this worse the staff seemed to think that we were all in an eating race - each finished plate was whipped away as the last fork-full was in the mouth, and the next course was there (we were on the second sitting so there was no need for this). We've never eaten a meal so quickly, and asking then to slow down just meant that your food stood in the holding area for longer and thus arrived colder (apart from the ice cream which arrive melted).A complaint about the food produced the restaurant manager who (unusually) had a good command of English and mouthed apologies and soothing assurances of better to come - however nothing changed proving that he had no authority to make changes, no ability to do so,or no desire to do so (all all three).Evidence of this was that as the week progressed it got increasingly difficult to obtain a table in the alternative buffet restaurant as more and more guests seemed to be attempting to escape the main restaurant. Just why they have formal nights escapes me, as this presupposes that dinner is an experience to look forward to, rather than to be tolerated as an unfortunate necessity for life. My wife summed it up beautifully - "the first holiday that I've ever had and not put on weight".3. STAFF. Whilst the deck staff are in the main pleasant with a reasonable command of English, the same cannot be said of the restaurant and bar staff (with a few notable exceptions). They are unhelpful, sometimes to the point of rudeness, with a very basic knowledge of our language, and when asked for anything or questioned, quite aggressive in their refusal.At breakfast and lunch (open sittings) we were not asked or invited to sit at a particular table - we were told to - yes really ! A request for an alternative table was either completely ignored or bluntly refused.The only way to communicate with the staff would seem that the guests should have a good knowledge of Russian, Estonian, Latvian, and Polish. Did I just say "guests"? Not sure if anyone's ever told them that that's what we are.4. DRINKS. The wine list is ludicrously over-priced (you can drink cheaper on Cunard) - I resent being asked to pay these prices for quite mediocre wines. as an example the cheapest bottle of wine on the list is the house red, which is a really quite poor wine at the unbelievable price of £14-90p !A glass of wine in the bars which was listed on the price list as "25cl" tended to vary in amount according to who was serving it, and always less than that as far as we could see.TO SUM UP. The whole ship seems to be run for the convenience of the cruise line and the staff, rather than for the convenience of the paying guests.OUR RECOMMENDATION. If you are looking for a cheap cruise, forget Marco Polo - go instead for Fred Olsen (preferably Balmoral) - they are not much more expensive but the staff are helpful and understand English, the food's good and served properly, the drinks are very reasonably priced, and you can get a good nights sleep. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
We arrived at Tilbury at 3.30pm on Wednesday 6 April 2011, quickly unloading our three suit cases at the baggage handling building. We were then told where to park and went straight into the Reception building where we were immediately ... Read More
We arrived at Tilbury at 3.30pm on Wednesday 6 April 2011, quickly unloading our three suit cases at the baggage handling building. We were then told where to park and went straight into the Reception building where we were immediately processed (X-ray machines photo annd boarding card etc.) We were met at the gangway by a senior officer who instructed one of his staff to show us to our cabin, insisting on taking the hand luggage with him. As we arrived at cabin 205 our suitcases were already waiting. We have never known luggage to be delivered so promptly. We entered cabin 205 and were pleasantly surprised by it. It is true it was small with two single beds and a small chest of drawers in between with a mirror, plus a large wardrobe which housed a modern electronic safe. The shower room was of a standard size. We would like to call the cabin bijou as it was completely functional with plenty of space for our needs for a short cruise. Incidentally the lock on the door of the cabin was the old fashioned key rather than the more modern card type. We unpacked and listened for the announcements that we should all meet in the Marco Polo lounge at 4.45pm for muster drill. We found this slightly different as after initial instructions we all went out on deck to meet our lifeboat and to be inspected by the captain to ensure that we knew where to go in case of emergency. We took the early sitting for dinner at 6pm. Second sitting was 8.30 allowing plenty of time to sit and chat after dinner in the Waldorf restaurant. Our table number was 34 a table for six people and our waiters were Freddy and Dawson who looked after us extremely well. Nothing was too much trouble, they even joked and laughed about everything. The food throughout the cruise for dinner was excellent, beautifully served with up to five courses should you require it. Freddy often asked whether we would like an extra helping. We declined but he would have willingly brought more food. We cannot praise them both enough for their caring attitude in making our dinner experience perfect.We chose to have breakfast and lunch in the self service bistro Marco's. The food was very good. A lot of it seemed to be quality home cooking, eg tapioca, bread and butter, apple crumble puddings. Main courses such as sausage and mash, pork cutlets, beef stew and fish were available in a variety of dishes. There was also a pizza bar on the deck outside serving pizzas, beef burgers and chips. We likened it to quality cafeteria style with paper knapkins and self service cutlery rather than tables laid formally. Tea and coffee was available all day but only in mugs. The station inside with a good selection of teas was inadequate for the number of passengers and had long queues at busy times, although there was a coffee station by the pizza bar outside that wasn't as available and had less selection. If it had been raining this could not have been used. During mealtimes waiters served tea and coffee in addition. The hot water and coffee were served out of two large stainless steel urns but only had ground coffee. Decaffeinated was available in sachets only. There were no sachets of regular instant coffee and no hot chocolate, horlicks or other bedtime drinks available at night as there often are on other cruise ships.The entertainment was of an excellent standard, but there were no cinema or gambling facilities. There was the usual yard of gold and silver chain available but no art auctions. The shops were pleasant and adequately stocked. Duty free prices were good for drink and tobacco products, although perfumes and after shave seemed expensive even with a 20% special offer on certain days. Bar prices were just over public house prices and in some cases cheaper. Wine started at a reasonable £14 per bottle and was cheaper to buy than by the glass.We felt this was a no frills cruise. There were photographs taken if required but were never pushed. The words "No thank you" were met with a smile and readily accepted. As with all cruises photographs were not the cheapest product, but remain a good momento of your holiday with a DVD available at £22. Incidentally this DVD ran all day long on a TV channel in your cabin as well as on screens around the ship. The general condition of the ship is excellent but does not allow for wheelchair use very readily, as there are lots of stairs and bulkheads to negotiate between areas which would make it difficult to get round the whole ship. The general attitude of the staff was extremely good. Everyone replied to the best of their ability when asked a question and were friendly and polite, always insisting you go first. With this cruise around Britain, passengers were ferried ashore by tender at four out of the seven ports visited. In our opinion if the water was choppy, unless you were good on your feet it seemed dangerous and there was a number incidents of people being injured.So to sum up we found this to be a basic cruise which was good value for money with no frills. There were no cocktails served at the welcoming formal night just sparkling wine or orange juice. There were paper knapkins at breakfast and lunchtime, there was no customary chocolate on the pillow at night, nor replacement of cabin toiletries or in fact clean dry towels every day. Generally speaking the positives far outweighed a few negatives. We thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would recommend it and we will definitely cruise again with Cruise Maritime Voyages recommending the Marco Polo ship. We have yet to try her sister ship the Ocean Countess.We hope you have found our review of a helpful nature. Of course there are lots of things that we have not had the space or time to comment on as with most cruises. We have tried to pick out some interesting facts to give an overall picture. The ports of call on this trip had plenty of excursions available to suit all tastes and capability and did not seem that expensive. We preferred to be independent travellers exploring on our own. All the ports are well documented in guide books and do not need our inexperienced opinions on them. We visited Inverness, Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Dublin, St Mary's on the Scilly Isles, St Peter Port in Guernsey and Honfleur. We had chosen this cruise because of the ports on the itinerary and were not disappointed. They were all delightful and we enjoyed each one. Reviewed by Peter and Pippa (rent15c), age group late 50's. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
After our arrival at the Tibury cruise terminal we were processed relatively quickly, and onboard for lunch. The crew were very welcoming, and showed us to our cabins. Luggage was already delivered to our cabin door. We had lunch in the ... Read More
After our arrival at the Tibury cruise terminal we were processed relatively quickly, and onboard for lunch. The crew were very welcoming, and showed us to our cabins. Luggage was already delivered to our cabin door. We had lunch in the buffet restaurant, which was quite busy, but manageable. On the whole we found the food was of a good standard, but layout was very frustrating with one long line so you had to join a long queue and wait till you got to the item required. The tea/coffee station was very busy, and would tend to run out of cups when you got to the front of the queue. The outdoor one was better, probably as not everyone knew it was there!Our cabin, 808 was a good size, but the large windows are partially obstructed by the lifeboats. We had been upgraded from a much lower grade, so appreciated that, but would not pay the extra money especially for a long cruise. Food in main restaurant (Waldorf) was a fairly good standard, but in comparison to Princess and P&O we would say it was not up to their standards. Service was excellent and waiters very accommodating.Entertainment - We had 3 shows, first night was with an around the world theme, which contained many unfamiliar songs, although very well sung, we would have liked a few more familiar ones - otherwise it was professionally done. The second night we had a show based on the musicals. This time full of well known songs and was very well performed by the onboard entertainers.Third night was a queen tribute show, but as we are not queen fans we gave it a miss. Also we had to vacate our cabins by 7am which was quite a strain. Ports of call - Amsterdam. Ship docked very far from the city, and we had a long shuttle ride, plus 15 minute walk from the drop of point. Lovely city but to be avoided on Queens Day - which was of course on April 30th. Best thing to do would be the trip to the bulbfields to avoid the excessive crowds. We were warned that it would be busy, but nothing prepared us for the noise and huge groups of young people swarming through the streets. We took to the canal for an hour, but they were all on board boats as well!!Antwerp - This was a lovely place, with many historic buildings and a castle to explore. Lovely cake shops, and many sidewalk cafes. The ship docks right in the city centre which is always a good start.Overall, we have to say the Marco Polo does not have the wow factor of the larger ships, but it has a homely atmosphere, and very attentive crew.The cabins do not have tea/coffee making facilities, and kettles are not allowed on board. Also the tv signal is a bit hit and miss.The best part for us is the Tilbury departure port, as we live 15 minutes drive away, and that would influence our future trips with Marco Polo. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2011
LAST MINUTE DEAL - Didn't know what to expect.ARRIVAL - Directed to park the car and went straight through to book in, had photos taken cases taken without any problems. Escorted to our cabins and within an hour our cases ... Read More
LAST MINUTE DEAL - Didn't know what to expect.ARRIVAL - Directed to park the car and went straight through to book in, had photos taken cases taken without any problems. Escorted to our cabins and within an hour our cases arrived.CABIN INNER - Good size large wardrobe plenty of hangers and was able to store case without falling over them, well lite, plenty of soaps etc.DRILL - was done on first day so over and done with leaving the rest of the holiday for enjoyment.SHIP - very clean and well kept windows were constantly washed and painting of ship at every portSTAFF - cannot do enough to please, they go out of there way to make you feel welcome a lovely friendly atmosphere aboard the ship, all staff of all nations get on very well.ENTERTAINMENT - largest I have seen and very well thought outFOOD/RESTAURANTS - food excellent very good choiceOVERALL - We have been on 6 cruises and this has got to be the best value for money, staff are friendly and work very hard at keeping the customer happy, pity the customer couldn't do the same. I have heard complaints over the most stupid things. CUSOMERS - also need to be aware of their abilities especially when going on trips regarding TENDERS. Was always announced that they needed to be fit an able, people insisted on getting on TENDERS when they were on WALKING FRAMES, WHEELCHAIRS and carrying walking sticks, staff sometimes 4-6 had to lift them on and off, this was a Health & Safety risk and held up the more able people. I have nothing against Disability but there comes a time when you have to admit you are unable to do something. Also they were a risk in the Self Service are with Walking Frames helping themselves to food especially when there was a Restaurant where they could be served. We were very lucky to have been on a cruise when the weather was good if it had been bad weather and the SHIP was being swayed then there would have been a lot of accidents with customers on Walking Frames.FURTHER CRUISES - I would definitely go on another cruise with this company as they know how to look after their customers. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
Hi, we have just returned from a Marco Polo cruise of the fjords in Norway, which were beautiful.We have travelled on Cunard and Thomsons cruises in the past, so we have a bit of an idea about different standards.Marco is a small vessel, ... Read More
Hi, we have just returned from a Marco Polo cruise of the fjords in Norway, which were beautiful.We have travelled on Cunard and Thomsons cruises in the past, so we have a bit of an idea about different standards.Marco is a small vessel, holding around 800 passengers, our outside cabin was small and nothing special, clean however, but just like an overnight ferry to Holland or somewhere, not luxury at all. It was noisy and vibrated a lot, possibly as the ship is so small? The entertainment wasn't bad to be honest.The atmosphere is very casual, a little too casual to be honest, and only 2 formal nights, where a tuxedo wasn't required.The food was fairly awful to be honest, one night, an Indian theme, was fine, all the other food was poor, the coffee was dreadful, and the breakfast was sub standard.We met some nice people though, as we were shoved on a table for 8, after requesting a table for 2! we also requested an early sitting, and a double bed, we got neither.Overall, not a luxury cruise by a long shot, just like a channel ferry, we will go to the fjords again, but not on this ship! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We arrived at Tilbury much earlier than expected, but our baggage was taken on board straight away and the terminal was more peaceful than an airport. We were welcomed by our cabin steward and shown to our upgraded cabin and in no time ... Read More
We arrived at Tilbury much earlier than expected, but our baggage was taken on board straight away and the terminal was more peaceful than an airport. We were welcomed by our cabin steward and shown to our upgraded cabin and in no time were having lunch in the bistro. Food on board wasa good - we mostl;y ate in the restaurant where we had excellent waiter service and a wide choice of food. We sat at the same table for dinner with 6 ladies whom we got to know well over the holiday. The ship (Marco Polo) was a lovely 820 passenger vessal with mainly Eastern European or Indian crew and a Greek captain. Everyone was helpful. We visited Invergordon, and Orkney (for prehistoric Skara Brae and other sites), but the gales prevented us landing on th4e Hebrides, which was a disappointment. However, we ended up in Belfast and went to the Giant's causeway instead, so that was good. Then Dublin (Book of Kells and Guinness), next our favourite place in Britain, the Isles of Scilly, then Guernsey (walked round Herm), Portland Bill and back to Tilbury. All in all, a most memorable holiday and one which did us both the world of good. An unexpected bonus was the presence of Chris Dean's Syd Lawrence Big Band for the whole tour. The entertainment every night was very good. Recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
This was our first cruise aboard the Marco Polo. To be honest we were somewhat apprehensive, as there had been several poor reviews of the ship since we booked last November. However our concerns were unjustified and we thoroughly enjoyed ... Read More
This was our first cruise aboard the Marco Polo. To be honest we were somewhat apprehensive, as there had been several poor reviews of the ship since we booked last November. However our concerns were unjustified and we thoroughly enjoyed both the ship and the trip around the Norwegian Fjords. Embarkation was a doddle, on arrival just drop your bags off at the Terminal and head for the long stay car park about 500m away and get the shuttle bus back to the Terminal to check-in. The whole process took no more than 20 minutes from arriving to unpacking - much easier and far less stressful that at any airport. We had been given a cabin upgrade on arrival, and our cabin was comfortable and tidy, though probably not as spacious as those on some larger ships, it was perfectly adequate for our needs, there was plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, and empty suitcases could easily be stowed under the beds and out of site. The bathroom was clean and well stocked, and everything worked. To be honest, there was a bit of hum from the engines which you could hear when it was quiet, so if you are a light sleeper then remember to take your earplugs. On our 2nd night there was a slight rolling around, as the sea was described as 'moderate', and we heard that a number of passengers had suffered as a result. However, we were located in the centre of the ship and although we felt the ship's movement, it wasn't a problem for us, though others might be more sensitive to this. Again, this is something you can expect on a smaller ship. We found the Crew to be very keen on hygiene, in every part of the ship, not just in the restaurants. There are several Bars, plus Library, Games Room, Gym, Card Room, plus the main Theatre where shows are held every evening. We found all the staff to be friendly and helpful. We had opted for 2nd Dining in the main Waldorf Restaurant, which was immaculately presented. We had all of our meals there except a couple when it was warm enough to eat out on deck, where we used Marco's restaurant instead. We found the standard and choice of food to be quite acceptable, especially the self-service breakfasts, where there was a huge choice of fruits/cereals/breads and pastries, hot food, plus eggs cooked to order. Porridge and Smoked Salmon were available to order. The Lunches and Dinners consisted of 5 or 6 courses each, and there was always at least 3 choices of each course, plus a vegetarian option. The portions were not huge but were sufficient. (you could always top up in Marco's if you wanted!). Some of the previous reviews had mentioned that the food was not always hot, but you have to remember that ships are catering for several hundred people at a time, it's not like having a dinner for 2 in some candlelit bistro, so there always has be a small delay from the food leaving the kitchen to arriving at your table. Anyway, we didn't have any problems with the quality of the food. The staff were always polite and attentive too. Water was always served with the meals. The food served in Marco's (Self-service), was similar to that offered in the main Dining room, and occasionally some of the dishes would run out, and you may have to wait a few minutes for it to be replaced. There was also generally a queue, especially at opening times, so unless you're desperately hungry (unlikely to be honest), we always though it better to wait for 30 minutes or so whilst the queue died down, before getting any food. There is also another servery out on deck, where they serve a couple of simple dishes each lunchtime, maybe pizzas, sausages, fish & salad etc. This food here was always piping hot as it was generally cooked on the spot. There was free Tea & Coffee from 2 separate vending machines until 10pm, we never saw a problem of running out of cups, as has been mentioned on other reviews, and saw staff regularly filling them up. Our only complaint was that the Teabags (Lipton Yellow) were rather weak, which necessitated a couple of bags per cup, therefore taking longer to get a drink. The tables both in Marco's and also outside on deck did tend to fill up pretty quickly, but there were lots of tables for 4 with only 2 people, so it was always possible to get a table, but not necessarily to yourselves. We also found that people often stayed at their table throughout the mealtimes, even when not dining, which obviously deprives others of a table. The Entertainment staff were brilliant, to be honest I'd be happy to watch some of the shows that they put on at my local theatre. There were spectacular shows each evening, mostly West End style Sing and Dance numbers, plus a comedian (Andre) for a couple of nights who was a cross between Tommy Cooper and Jim Davidson, very funny. Late at night in Scott's Bar, there was a follow-up themed cabaret act, either 60's, Elvis, Abba, Rock & Roll etc. which was also highly enjoyable, plus a resident singer. In other Bars there was a piano player and violinist every evening. There were also various things going on around the ship throughout the day - talks, quizzes, demonstrations etc. So you were never bored. One criticism is regarding the drinks prices, which are really overpriced. Draft Beer was the equivalent of £4,20 a pint, and a 250ml glass of wine was £5. A bottle of House Wine was £14,90, and cocktails around £4. However, the same criticisms are levelled at most if not all of the Cruise Lines. The same goes for the Ships Photographs (£10 for 1, £20 for 3) and Cruise DVDs (£20), although we were not pestered by photographers as we have been on other Ships. We didn't do any organised excursions as we prefer to do our own thing, and you never know what the weather will be like in Norway. Some who had booked for for scenic journeys up into the Mountains were disappointed as there was low cloud and drizzle at the time. Again, we thought most were overpriced. We did our own trip on the railway at Flam, costing 300 NOK (apx. £45) for the return trip, less than half the cost of the organised tour, though we didn't have coffee & cake. So our overall impression - The scenery in the Fjords was truly wonderful, though the weather could have been kinder to us we thoroughly enjoyed our 8 night holiday. In the end we were pleasantly surprised by what the Marco Polo had to offer. So as long as you are aware of the ship's capabilities and think 4* Hilton not 5* Ritz, then you should be pleasantly surprised too. Would we book on the Marco Polo again - yes. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
The staff on the Marco Polo do everything they can to make the experience an enjoyable one. To say that they work hard is an gross understatement. I saw staff on stage entertaining to a very high standard one moment, and serving drinks on ... Read More
The staff on the Marco Polo do everything they can to make the experience an enjoyable one. To say that they work hard is an gross understatement. I saw staff on stage entertaining to a very high standard one moment, and serving drinks on another deck just moments afterward. Whatever they are paid should be doubled !The Fjords were stunning and we were very impressed with the choice and variation of ports of call.Norway can be very expensive, but you can save money by shopping around for trips while visiting places rather than booking ahead or on board.Food was of a high standard with a good selection and service also very good.Cabins are basic but comfortable, and who goes on a cruise to sit in a cabin anyhow ? Read Less
Sail Date: May 2011
We were a little dubious about sailing on the Marco Polo as we had read several unfavourable reviews. We were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was organised, straight into cabin. The cabin was compact but fine - bigger than some we have ... Read More
We were a little dubious about sailing on the Marco Polo as we had read several unfavourable reviews. We were pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was organised, straight into cabin. The cabin was compact but fine - bigger than some we have had. The entertainment was great. The food was good - not 5-star but then we didn't expect it. The staff were generally very pleasant ahd helpful. All areas were clean. As it was a smaller ship (800 passengers)there wasn't far to walk to anywhere and you were soon able to find your way around. One problem we had was with the cabin - the engine noise was bad. By the end of the holiday we had got used to it. Best to try and book a cbin no. not be given one! The other problem we had was the weather which the cruise line couldn't do anything about but they turned things around very quickly when we had to divert to other ports because of the stormy seas - we were in Scotland at the time! We would certainly book on the Marco Polo again and it certainly was good value for money Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Although the cabin was small it had everything needed and who wants to spend time in the cabin anyway? Whilst not being gourmet standard the food was good and varied with a range of options ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Although the cabin was small it had everything needed and who wants to spend time in the cabin anyway? Whilst not being gourmet standard the food was good and varied with a range of options for each course and we didn't pay gourmet prices. All the excursions were well organized with a local guide and a ships representative and ran smoothly. The one exception was caused by the local guide who did not take the advice of the ships representative. This was immediately sorted out by the cruise line who made a more than adequate reduction to the cost. We found all the crew friendly and helpful. We made some good friends and would recommend the Marco Polo to anyone who wants a friendly relaxed and happy cruise. One of the BIG pluses is that there are no screaming kids! All in all the best of the cruises we've been on and we hope to travel on her again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Go on this ship if you enjoy school dinner type meals, chemical tasting drinks small cramped cabins with no soundproofing whatsoever, no space inside on cool or wet days. Poor entertainment, singers apart from one who could nor sing and ... Read More
Go on this ship if you enjoy school dinner type meals, chemical tasting drinks small cramped cabins with no soundproofing whatsoever, no space inside on cool or wet days. Poor entertainment, singers apart from one who could nor sing and dancers that seemed to do similar dances each night but in a different costume.This ship is very old and felt very unstable in high seas very bad for any passengers who are elderly or disabled. The waiters in the main dining room however did give really good service in spite of the tables being so close together in the dining room.In spite of all this we did enjoy our holiday thanks to meeting some nice people, having a good table of eight each evening and the weather being sunny and warm most of the time.We did take a couple of trips one of which was allocated two buses, one bus they overfilled resulting in a dozen people getting onto the first bus and having to get off again in-spite of 3 staff and tour members counting and checking tickets. Would we go on this ship again!!!! No Never. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2011
Secured a last minute booking on this cruise - then read some uncomplimentary Internet reviews and thought "oops - what have we done?". Well, were they wrong!I was expecting hard, uncomfortable beds, but the beds were very good, ... Read More
Secured a last minute booking on this cruise - then read some uncomplimentary Internet reviews and thought "oops - what have we done?". Well, were they wrong!I was expecting hard, uncomfortable beds, but the beds were very good, not hard at all. The cabins were on the compact side, but quite adequate with plenty of clothes storage. The cabin stewardess was very attentive and quick to provide extra pillows, etc on request. We had no complaints whatsoever with the food. We ate in the Waldorf Restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner and could not fault either the food served or the service. We ate afternoon tea in the Marco's Bistro. This also served main meals, but why use self service when you can eat 5 courses served by charming waiters? Our only regret on the food side was that there is no tea making facility in the cabins and that tea/coffee was only available between 7am and 10pm. You only realise you need something, of course, when you can't have it! The entertainment crew on the Marco Polo work really hard and there was a very comprehensive daily programme of events - lectures, games, quizzes,etc. In the evenings the show team put on some very professional shows.Marco Polo is a small ship compared to some (800 passengers approx) and not in it's first youth, but it radiates friendliness and confidence.There are plenty of comfortable areas to sit and relax and I don't consider the bar prices to be at all unreasonable.Marco Polo's ports of call were Floro, Leknes, Honningsvaag for the North Cape, Alta, Tromso, Andalsnes and Bergen. We were scheduled to visit Molde, but this was cancelled due to a Norwegian Pilots Work to Rule. We went on a few of the ship's organised tours which were admittedly overpriced in comparison with the independent ones we undertook, but very good. I think that is true of all cruise ships though. The North Cape was disappointing (smothered in tourists just like us) but the other places were all attractive and interesting and Andalsnes and Leknes particularly beautiful.We had some rough weather in the North Sea at the start of the cruise which caused some passengers grief. However, I, a bad traveller usually, had no trouble after taking a precautionary sea sickness tablet. We had marvellous weather from then on with blue skies and constant sun. The thermal underwear we took was quite superfluous. Norway is a truly beautiful country and this was a wonderful time of year to see it. My only regret is that I had to get off the boat at Tilbury and not continue on with the lucky people who were staying on to go on the next cruise to Iceland. I would have no hesitation in recommending the Marco Polo to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
MARCO POLO : 7 to 17 July 2011 Round Great Britain from Tilbury, London Boarding & disembarking : Excellent - the boat was ready for boarding at the specified time and luggage was handled efficiently. On return to Tilbury we ... Read More
MARCO POLO : 7 to 17 July 2011 Round Great Britain from Tilbury, London Boarding & disembarking : Excellent - the boat was ready for boarding at the specified time and luggage was handled efficiently. On return to Tilbury we disembarked on time - luggage was ready for collection. Parking : Easy (£9per day). Arrive - unload to porters at terminal - park 1 minute away - shuttle bus back. On return - collect luggage - load into shuttle bus. Itinerary and timing : Excellent - this 10 day cruise travelled all of the first day and overnight for the first stop at Invergordon (just north of Inverness). For the subsequent days it sailed evening to morning ensuring long day stops at Kirkwall in the Orkneys - Stornaway in the Hebrides - Tobormory on the Isle of Mull - Dublin - St Marys in the Scilly Isles - Gurnsey - and HonFleur on the French coast. Crew : Mainly Greek officers (of whom passengers saw little). Waiters and other "above decks" staff - seemed mainly east European, the balance being Asian. While the east Europeans were polite and helpful, their manner often seemed forced and unnatural. The Asians were usually smiling and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. Our east European chambermaid did a splendid job and was always cheery and smiling. Staff at Reception, Trip etc desks were pleasant & helpful. Cleanliness : High standards. Our cabin was very well maintained and restaurants, corridors etc were clean and well presented. Cabin : Standard cabin on Baltic Deck (outside with two portholes). Compact and in good order with adequate wardrobe & storage space, a small safe and narrow but comfortable twin beds set at 90o. Thin walls - air con OK - fair bit of engine etc noise. Bathroom with compact shower (with curtain), good sized handbasin and lavatory - soaps and smellies provided. Chambermaid looked after us very well. Food : Disappointing - only adequate. Waldorf Dining Room attractive and well laid out though crowded. Comprehensive buffet breakfast offered all that was needed and did not vary. But awful toast - thin bread like warm rusks!! Pleasant waiter service for 5 or 6 course dinner (two sittings) - decent choice each evening - fancy descriptions, small portions and nicely presented but not all that well cooked - mainly we suspect because of the number being served at the same time. Fish tended to be overcooked, but the lamb hock served one evening was superb. Marco's Bistro is casual and more of a canteen - self service for breakfast and dinner though with reduced choice. Drinks : Dinner wines over priced - house wine about £15 with others starting around £20. Other drinks in restaurants and around the ship were reasonably priced. Complimentary coffee & teas were available most of the day (self service). Going ashore : Where it was possible to walk ashore a regular bus shuttle service took passengers to & from the town. When moored offshore the ship's tenders (lifeboats) provided a regular shuttle service. Both services worked well though tenders got crowded. Trips We did three trips (each approaching £40pp) and were satisfied. Coach drivers and couriers were pleasant and informative. Entertainment : We only took in some of the evening shows in the two venues and enjoyed them. The entertainers clearly enjoyed their work, were competent and produced a varied programme. Dance opportunities were very limited (other than a bit of "bopping" on the small dance floor in the Scott's Bar). Given the age profile of passengers more ballroom dancing (both in the evening and during the day) would have been appreciated. Facilities : As this is a small ship able to get into relatively inaccessible places we did not expect too many facilities. As we were blessed with mainly very good weather and flat seas throughout we did not need them. There seems to be just about adequate indoor seating in several locations for the rainy days and a small library and card/games room - also a very small gym (mainly used by crew) and a small ping pong etc room. The small (outdoor) swimming pool is surrounded by relaxing passengers on good weather days, and hot tubs are available on the upper deck. And, of course, there are a few shops! Difficulties encountered : Only one problem marred the trip. This involved the return to the ship by shuttle bus from Dublin. Some crew were allowed shore leave at the various stops and they travelled with passengers on the bus or tender shuttles. In Dublin several crew and many passengers were waiting for the return bus. After quite a scrum both crew and passengers filled the (two deck) bus. Young and fit crew took seats while elderly passengers were left to stand. Two young crewmen did not appreciate me telling them to give their seats to passengers, but reluctantly did so. We took this up with an officer who said the standing order was that staff should always give seats to passengers. We were assured that this would be brought to the Captain's attention, and that action would be taken. I was promised feed-back but have received nothing so I assume nothing has been done. As non-smokers we were concerned about smoking being permitted in one outside aft area but it was a not a major problem. Summary : We are only occasional cruisers and this one did exactly what it offered. We wanted to sample hard-to-see places around UK - and we did. We were very lucky to have amazingly good weather with lots of time spent in the sun on the open aft decks, met pleasant and interesting folk and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. But we wonder how enjoyable it would have been in bad weather (the ship bounced around a bit on the return trip up the Channel), and how enjoyable the experience would have been if restricted to spending far more time indoors. I suspect we would have gone mad. Reasonable value for money. Our tips for future passengers : In Tobermory the distillery shop has its whiskys at sensible prices - try Black Bottle - a lovely blend for just £13. And try the good coffee on the terrace of the Western Isles Hotel with its super view over the harbour. In Gurnsey the 7 & 7a service bus leaves St Peter Port and travels for over an hour round the perimeter of the island for just £1!!!! Best value ever!! HonFleur is lovely so spend the time in the town (especially if it is market day). Will we use the Marco Polo again? : Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2011
We cruised on the Marco Polo about 5 years ago when it was owned by Orient Lines. It was obviously not top class, but quite acceptable for the price. Now under Cruise and Maritime (Story Cruise Ltd), it has clearly gone downhill. ... Read More
We cruised on the Marco Polo about 5 years ago when it was owned by Orient Lines. It was obviously not top class, but quite acceptable for the price. Now under Cruise and Maritime (Story Cruise Ltd), it has clearly gone downhill. The same moderate cabins with their very poor soundproofing exist, but the standard of the food has markedly fallen. Breakfast and lunch for us are generally just fruit and salad, but the choice and quality of both were minimal. Dinner is therefore important to us and our food of choice is fish. Here the quality of the fish and its cooking were uniformly abysmal. Cleanliness on board also left a lot to be desired and constantly searching for a clean glass or a cup without brown stained cracks was not very encouraging! Service from our cabin and dining room waiting staff was excellent, though many of the crew (largely eastern European), wandering about the bars and restaurants looked thoroughly bored - not unreasonable, but they should try to hide their boredom! The lack of interest extended to the (Greek) Captain who never spoke to us apart from a few words at his welcome cocktail party. The cruise was a circumnavigation of Britain, obviously passing many interesting features both on the mainland and nearby islands. With a few very minor exceptions from the Cruise Director, none of these highlights were ever mentioned. A typical example of the many 'silences' was leaving Tobermory with a superb view of the westernmost point of the British mainland near the lighthouse at Ardnamurchan Point, with the Cuillin Hills of Skye in the background towering above the islands of Eigg, Muck and Rum. This total lack of interest in the cruise was in particular stark contrast to an earlier cruise on Balmoral (Fred Olsen) where the (Norwegian) captain was constantly on the intercom talking excitedly about what could be seen around us. Now, some people may not be interested in their surroundings, but for many people, such as us who choose cruises based on their itinerary, the 'oversight' was inexcusable. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
After reading a few mixed reviews for the Marco Polo, we were a little dubious to say the least. We could not have been happier. The ship, although this is not a luxury 5 star liner, I can only compare her to Royal Brittania! She is a ... Read More
After reading a few mixed reviews for the Marco Polo, we were a little dubious to say the least. We could not have been happier. The ship, although this is not a luxury 5 star liner, I can only compare her to Royal Brittania! She is a truly wonderful old lady, a little noisy, but her elegant Art Deco furnishings are a delight. Our room, although small and compact, was all that we needed. The single beds, were the most comfiest beds we have slept in - we are convinced they were memory foam matresses! (Much better than P&O's beds!!!) Having Rod Stewart and Frank Sinatra singing seductively via the in-house radio, wonderful 1920/40's music was heaven. We chose the 8.30pm dining, and were seated with a lovely couple, and "Rocky" our waiter could not have done enough for us, and he always had a friendly and welcoming smile. Although the weather in Amsterdam & Antwerp could have been a little kinder to us, we had a fantastic time, and I would recommend Marco Polo to anyone - I have since booked another trip for August 2012 aboard her sister ship "Ocean Countess" and I am sure she will be able to match or maybe even better the Marco Polo. Well Done to Cruise and Maritime, I hope to sail aboard the Marco Polo again in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Just returned from the magnificent Norwegian fjords onboard Marco polo. Most enjoyable cruise from start to finish. Obviously the fjords are fantastic and the weather was great too but the ship was fantastic, food, crew, cabins and the ... Read More
Just returned from the magnificent Norwegian fjords onboard Marco polo. Most enjoyable cruise from start to finish. Obviously the fjords are fantastic and the weather was great too but the ship was fantastic, food, crew, cabins and the cleanliness was exemplary, they never stopped cleaning and were all so helpful and friendly. There were six of us, varying in age from my mother-in-law, nearly 90 to my son's girlfriend of 23 and we all really enjoyed it. Food was excellent in both restaurants, cocktails at £3.85 very good value as my daughter, who lives in London, says she pays a lot more than that there! I think the four of them tried each and every one! Many thanks to their cabin steward (457) for putting up with the four of them and also to Leonid, our steward (818) always smiling and helpful. The shows were also very good and the violinist Olga exceptional and Marco, in Scotts bar never stopped rushing around with drinks and cleaning tables. The embarkation and disembarkation were faultless and very easy too. All in all a wonderful cruise and we will definitely be back. Thanks to all. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
My mother (86) and I have just returned from the Majestic Fjordland cruise. The cruise lived up to all our expectations. The Fjords were wonderful, the clean air and views spectacular, the peace and quiet was lovely. We were apprehensive ... Read More
My mother (86) and I have just returned from the Majestic Fjordland cruise. The cruise lived up to all our expectations. The Fjords were wonderful, the clean air and views spectacular, the peace and quiet was lovely. We were apprehensive about being allocated a cabin on the lowest deck, but it was fine, enough room for everything to be put away and with all mod cons. The ship was well maintained and kept scrupulously clean by the crew, you did not think that it was an older ship. My mother is a bit of a fussy eater and I was concerned that the menu would not be to her taste, however the variety of food, presentation and quality was faultless. The waiting staff couldn't have been more helpful. Drinks in the restaurant and bars were reasonable, the house wine was most acceptable (£5/250 ml carafe), the cocktails in the bars were £3.85 and the tap water in the cabin is perfectly drinkable. The entertainment was varied and there was something to suit everyone, if you chose to get involved. The embarkation and disembarkation process was handled very well, a lot less bother than flying. I would recommend the Marco Polo to anyone as a vessel and hope to travel aboard her again. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
do not beleive the reviews on here about the Marco Polo - I can only assume that the prople writing them have low standards or have not been on a proper cruise before. We were really looking forward to a short bank holiday break - ... Read More
do not beleive the reviews on here about the Marco Polo - I can only assume that the prople writing them have low standards or have not been on a proper cruise before. We were really looking forward to a short bank holiday break - and having done short cruises before with NCL and RCCI and read the Marco Polo reviews thought this seemed like a good idea. How wrong we were. it is a rare thing to be able to say that the best thing about a cruise is the inside cabin (and even that was not anything special). the food was terrible - again, not usually a problem on a cruise ship. coffe was watery - the coffee machines on deck were filthy and old - the coffee cups were not all filthy - but you had to pick up a few first to find a clean one. i hate to think what things are like behind the scenes if the "on display" areas are this disgusting. breakfast: a few stale croissants and other stale pastries - the chococale criossants had some horrible strange congealed filling. the sausages were inedible. the eggs undercooked. usually on cruise lines there is a huge choice at breakfast - not on the marco polo. I ended up having one slice of cold overcooked toast and some baked beans and then ate properly when we got off the ship - which we couldnt wait to do. in amsterdam (first stop) the ship did not dock at the cruise terminal - but at a port some 20 minutes away which seemed to be a cargo port for the adjoining nissan factory. we had a long queue to get off and then had to wait for a coach.  we discussed not getting back on the ship in Amsterdam - and if we had all our luggage with us, we would not have bothered getting back on. we had dinner at both the buffet restaurant and the main dining room (hoping after the first night in the main dining room that the buffet might be better) - both were terrible - the buffet being slightly worse. the only thing edible that evening at the buffet was some boiled potatoes and some sort of cabbage and tofu stir fry. and a bread roll. the highlight (or rather lowlight)of the main dining room food was one of the starters - some sort of cheap tesco value raw tomato stuffed with what was described as "meat" but looked like cat food. i have never seen anything like it in my life. the fish pie looked and smelled like vomit on a plate. it was poor quality ready meals all round at dinner. the boat seemed to list the whole time and i think probably lacks any kind of stabilisers as it was an extremely rough ride. the facilities were terrible - they had obviously tried to make some effort with the inside spaces - but silk purse and so's ear stuff really. the pool was jawdroppinggly bad - filled with cloudy water. Quite frankly the boat should be scrapped. Only the british would put up with these low standards. the only saving grace was that we were not on it for any longer. we couldnt wait to get off. save your money and go on a proper cruise - and for those people who think its the best thing since sliced bread, you really need to get out more. I have only rated this "1" star as there is not the ability to rate as zero. you couldn't pay me to go on this ship again Read Less
Sail Date: August 2011
Hello. We have just come back from a short cruise on the Marco Polo. This is our second cruise on the Marco Polo. The Long term parking and check-in at Tilbury is really quick and easy.The staff very helpful with all aspects of the ... Read More
Hello. We have just come back from a short cruise on the Marco Polo. This is our second cruise on the Marco Polo. The Long term parking and check-in at Tilbury is really quick and easy.The staff very helpful with all aspects of the boarding process.The ship is small,but has every thing you require.The food is very good and the drinks are of a reasonable price.The cabins are teat and tidy and kept clean as is the whole ship.The entertainment is limited but is ok.The shore excursions will very well done, no problems.The access for wheal chair user's is not as good as the more modern ships, but you can still get around. The disembarking was one of the quickest we have seen,well organised.We would recommend the Marco Polo to the seasoned cruise traveller. Graham & Julie Gilbert Read Less
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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