Sail Date: November 2014
First may I start this comprehensive review trying to right a few wrongs as portrayed in the UK News media As this was the cruise that got stuck on a sandbank in Norway!As usual it was portrayed as the great emergency but the marvellous ... Read More
First may I start this comprehensive review trying to right a few wrongs as portrayed in the UK News media As this was the cruise that got stuck on a sandbank in Norway!As usual it was portrayed as the great emergency but the marvellous Captain too k to the stage n the Theatre and calmly explained in full detail. How the cross winds changed significantly just as he was docking he actually did some incredible manovering and still managed to get tenders off so people could still visit this port! Well done CMV! There was much illness on this ship due probably. In no small part from the Norwegian and Arctic Circle. Severe cold temperatures ( to be expected in NOV) and the really hot germ laden temperatures inside the shop! My wife and I and another couple have cruised over 50 times together and this cruise was very much. A mixed bag! Our cabin attendant was delightful and was there for whatever we may have needed from her. Our waiter was under so much duress our dinner service and. Breakfast seemed especially rushed and not as pleasurable as we have experienced on other cruise lines. The reception staff were very curt and short wit h guests, however the bar staff especially in the captains club lounge were superb! Attentive and very polite. Julie made many customer service announcements which were often very funny! The food in the Marcos Bistro was appalling except. For the soup and there was never enough seats for lunch time! The ports were interesting and although we didn't sight the northern lights on the excursion we did manage a wonderful clips e outside of Scott's Bar late one evening. The team shows were okay,but the cruise Director Richard was marvellous,he kept. Us all entertained and his Victoria wood Caberet was most enjoyable,still he does feel the need to include some rather colourful language which with his talent is really such. A shame! The guest Acts were as different as chalk and cheese One was a little old man one man band act but unfortunately he had to resort to getting up a member of the audience to dress him up also as a one man band poor guy we felt so sorry for him! As people were laughing at him! The unforgivable thing was that he did a racist joke regarding some Chinese lady passengers but he was so old he couldn't even see for himself how Un PC and simply unacceptable this was in this day and age we walked out of his second show as it was just a sing a long including we shall not be moved & long way to Tipperary etc really patronising the. Older passengers or what!!, The other UK act was COMPLETELY different,he did two totally different shows his first featured greats like Eric Morecambe, Tommy Cooper Dave Allan to name just a few and his second show was more modern Featuring Ozzy Osbourne ,Michael MacIntyre, Alan Carr etc he did not swear of use racism sexism etc not once so prooves one can be genuinely funny without resorting to smut! He was called Gee I think? We went to the repeat cruise booking office onboard and found that CMV have a brand new ship called Magellan for 2015 so we are going to rebook a bigger group We just hope we get as good a captain &cruise director and comedy impressionist. Again !!! Keep up the good work CMV!   Read Less
Sail Date: August 2014
My husband and I travelled down to Tilbury the day before we sailed, we stayed at the Thurrock Hotel? What a delight that was comfortable welcoming and so relaxing. We traveled to the cruise terminal and checked in to sail on the Marco ... Read More
My husband and I travelled down to Tilbury the day before we sailed, we stayed at the Thurrock Hotel? What a delight that was comfortable welcoming and so relaxing. We traveled to the cruise terminal and checked in to sail on the Marco Polo. Painless quick and absolutely no hassle. Baggage dropped off and was outside our cabin before we even boarded. Whist the ship is not a luxury liner it was more than big enough for us. Excellent food brilliant staff and excellent entertainment. It holds 800 passengers and is adult only. We did not book any excursions through the boat as had chosen to see St Petersburg with a Russian tour company. What a great move this proved to be as much cheaper than the ship and an excellent two day tour. The ship provided shuttle buses at all other ports of call so easy to do your own thing. The cabin was big enough for the two of us although the walls were very thin.it was kept very clean everyday by our cabin steward. The choice of food was varied and always something to tempt you. Three different dining areas from formal to buffet style to outside sandwiches and snacks. Tea and coffee available all day as and when wanted. As this was adults only there were no children's clubs but different games and activities for the adults to keep you busy all day long.A different show each evening in the main show lounge, classical piano and violin in the Captains club and quizzes, game shows and disco in the Scott's bar. disembarkation was. Little drawn out but perhaps because of customs and emigration could have been quicker. A trip of a lifetime,good company hectic schedule of sightseeing but able to relax in the 3hot tubs on the days we were at sea. Please don't hesitate go on this cruise it is brilliant. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
My friends from the Netball world were looking for a Xmas night out and saw the Marco Polo advertise an overnight event. Having been on the Marco Polo myself cruising to the Amazon 5 years ago it was lovely to remind myself of the good ... Read More
My friends from the Netball world were looking for a Xmas night out and saw the Marco Polo advertise an overnight event. Having been on the Marco Polo myself cruising to the Amazon 5 years ago it was lovely to remind myself of the good times. My friends thought the cabins small but adequate. We did have a wonderful evening but just felt everything was a little rushed. We wanted to look around the ship but found we only had time to get to our cabins, get dressed for dinner, pre dinner drinks in the Captains Club and then down to the evening meal. The meal was tasty and well presented but both our wine waitress and our waiter were unfriendly with little time for any banter. Sometimes the plates were placed hurriedly down and they were clearing the plates before we had finished. However the evening was not spoilt and we took in the Cabaret and before we knew it, it was 1 o`clock. As we had to vacate our rooms at 8am we were up and queued for breakfast. Again this was a nightmare as so many guests wanted to be seated and the buffet style breakfast was difficult to manage. We gave up wanting a cooked breakfast!! The fruit was lovely and orange and coffee welcoming. Overall we had a lovely experience but would have wanted more time and less people and hopefully friendlier staff. I think unfortunately we chose the wrong Saturday as Marco Polo was sailing the next day and it was a short turn around for the Staff. That does not excuse a the lack of a smile from the crew!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2013
This was advertised as a Christmas and New Year Cruise aboard the Marco Polo. We booked this cruise on the basis of our first experience on this ship in September 2012 when we enjoyed the 'Round the Islands Cruise', we could not ... Read More
This was advertised as a Christmas and New Year Cruise aboard the Marco Polo. We booked this cruise on the basis of our first experience on this ship in September 2012 when we enjoyed the 'Round the Islands Cruise', we could not have wished for a more comfortable and enjoyable time with first class service and food. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of this one. Not an enjoyable cruise by any standards. This ship isn't furnished or fitted for very bad weather, furniture is not fixed and in very bad weather, as we experienced, and all furniture in the public areas was flying everywhere, and I do mean flying, and some passengers were seriously injured as well as many minor injuries. In the 'Gym' the majority of the equipment was out of order. Other activities, such as quizzes and other games and activities were good. The service was absolutely disgusting, On our first night, Sunday 22nd December I ordered soup which did not arrive even though I complained. Waiters dress appearance was poor with collars unbuttoned and ties pulled down. long wait to order wine (25 minutes on first night), better after complaining. All food, without exception was poorly presented and just warm with some main courses leaving much to be desired. (Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce was one of the main courses on three occasions, irrespective of what they called it) Service in the 'Captains Club, the main bar, was slow and the waiters appeared not to care less; some were downright rude. When I complained of the service and treatment I was told by one of the management team that 70 percent of the crew was new and had received 5 days training ashore before joining the Marco Polo for this cruise were mostly from Eastern Europe. This was marketed as a 'Christmas and New Year Cruise' No real Christmas celebrations were organised, no Christmas decorations, not even a Happy Christmas banner and virtually no decorations. Not even a decent Christmas dinner in the evening, our table had not been laid and we had to complain that we had not had our main course when they started serving tea and coffee Except for two occasions, the 'Cruise Director' was nowhere to be seen, and when he was seen he was scruffily dressed, not befitting that of a senior representative of Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Our cabin, a Junior Suite, was ok but the furnishings were poor and so was the plumbing. Our Cabin Steward was superb. Entertainment was excellent and very professional. Disembarkation was swift and one of the highlights of the voyage. So many passengers were dissatisfied that a large percentage, including my wife and I, had gratuities removed from our final statement. BAZZER   Read Less
Sail Date: October 2013
We went on the Baltic capitals cruise and had read lots of the negative reviews but it was cheap and convenient so we were keen to give it a go. This was 5th cruise line we had tried so we wanted to make our own opinions. We had an easy ... Read More
We went on the Baltic capitals cruise and had read lots of the negative reviews but it was cheap and convenient so we were keen to give it a go. This was 5th cruise line we had tried so we wanted to make our own opinions. We had an easy embarkation (excluding Dartford tunnel journey to Tilbury) and loved the relaxed atmosphere onboard . Staff are fabulous Cabin was as expected very nice and we were very pleased all round and were thinking this is a cruise line we would use often again. Prices were cheaper than most and food was good enough and generally impressed. The ship is not the flashy type but it felt like it was grand from another era. First few ports were good Copenhagen Warnemunde the fabulous St Petersburg and Helsinki but then the big storm St Jude hit. We were unable to dock at Nynasham for Stockholm and there had been a collision blocking the Kiel canal so we were unable to use that route home. We were warned via the captain that things would become uncomfortable but we were totally unprepared to the absolutely terrifying night ahead. I enquired at reception at about midnight whether this was the level of storm expected or would it get worse because I didn't think it too bad and would not need seasick pills at that time. He said we do not know an hour later I was the most scared I have ever been and had to hold on to the chest of drawers to stay in bed. All of the drawers were sliding open there were terrible crashes and bangs and although we were on the 5th deck and in calm times about 3 decks above sea level the waves were coming up to our port hole. Now this would be awful to be caught out in but our captain chose to leave port and go out in that storm. It showed total disregard for both our safety and his crew and whilst he may have been confident in the safety of the ship travelling through those seas it only needed an additional problem like hitting debris or another vessel, a fire, engine failure or something else and we would all have perished. There would have been no helicopter evacuation or RNLI .There was no way of getting lifeboats off or even being out on decks. We heard the next day a lifeboat became loose in the storm but they were unable to reattach until next day due to conditions. In Denmark 120 mph winds (highest ever) were recorded and we were just off Denmark! If the captain had announced the next day that he was sorry that conditions were worse than expected even if not true we would have been happier but we felt it was foolhardy to choose to travel on those seas and it felt to me like my life was less important to CMV than getting back to Tilbury on time presumably for financial reasons. Incidentally we were offered 10% off our next onboard bill and 50% off our next cruise if we booked by 31st October but the 50% off part would be available to all in the November sale anyway so we were just offered it a day early. Really disappointed when we thought we had found a treasure that really suited us but the companies priorities were reckless. I was aware that it was October and could be stormy but I stupidly trusted the company not to put me in fear for my life. I was wrong to place that trust. Difficult to place overall rating stars because the actual cruise was above average but for this policy when the storm hit. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
Marco Polo Canaries From Tilbury 20/12/12 -- 03/01/13 Moaning seems to be a British pastime so I thought I'd post a positive review for a change. One of our fellow passengers summed up the ship on the penultimate day of the cruise. ... Read More
Marco Polo Canaries From Tilbury 20/12/12 -- 03/01/13 Moaning seems to be a British pastime so I thought I'd post a positive review for a change. One of our fellow passengers summed up the ship on the penultimate day of the cruise. He said 'It's a Ronseal ship -- it does exactly what it says on the tin' Embarcation and disembarcation both went very smoothly as you'd expect on a ship with approx 850 passengers. We had a basic cabin which was kept spotlessly clean by the ever cheerful steward. Food was good. Breakfast and lunch, in the buffet was OK with plenty of choice, if a bit 'samey'. In the restaurant the quality was better but it was an open sitting so you couldn't choose where you sat. We ended up once with man who bored us to death with his tale of his wife who left him for a Turk called Abdul and the second time with the 'We've been on the Oriana/ Ventura/ Vision of the Seas' type complaining about no chocolate on the pillows and lack of lobster. After that we had breakfast and lunch in the buffet. The making of the cruise was our dinner table. The eight of us got on like a house on fire which coupled with the excellant service from the wine and table waiters and the choice of good food made the cruise for us. One of us told the waiter that she didn't like digestive biscuits with her cheese so every night we were given an extra plate of TUC crackers. It's that attention to detail which you remember. The food was good, we didn't leave much. The entertainment varied, Guest comedy magician Andre and singing/comedy act Sister Sister were superb. The ship cabaret varied from a brilliant 'Joseph' to a dire Queen tribute. We had the resident performers singing in the Lounge every night. Generally it was very enjoyable but on one occasion the show was 'Divas' where the three girls' performance was as rocky as the ship crossing the Bay of Biscay. My table companion said he had had more enjoyable times going to the dentist. There were also guest lectures, crafts, games, quizzes and a very popular choir workshop held every morning. Drinks were reasonably priced with no 15% service charge added to the bill everytime you ordered a pint. We had a very enjoyable time. There are some negatives. Our first thoughts were 'fantastic no children' and we settled down to enjoy a relaxing fortnight. Unfortunately old people in spades over compensated for the lack of children. It will take ages to get the sound of the constant tap tapping of sticks out of my head, at times it sounded like Blind Pew on Treasure Island. Children run around, old people cause different problems, stopping in the middle of the dinner queues or worse turning round and going backwards in them, hogging tables for four in the buffet reading their book while people are looking for somewhere to sit or alternatively just being plain rude, talking loudly through shows and announcements, pushing in the front of queues for cutlery saying 'I only want a fork' and if you dare criticise, giving you the 'if it wasn't for us you'd all be speaking German look'. We paid under a grand each for 14 days with carparking so it was excellent value for money especially as we were away for both Christmas and New Year. We would certainly go again. Well done Marco Polo -- not 100% but certainly 80 -- 85% overall (despite the lack of lobster) Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
The ship was okay. Very clean and the staff helpful but I was left with a very poor image of the Company - Cruise and Maritime. Christmas was a big non event. The ship was barely decorated for Xmas. New Year was slightly better but not ... Read More
The ship was okay. Very clean and the staff helpful but I was left with a very poor image of the Company - Cruise and Maritime. Christmas was a big non event. The ship was barely decorated for Xmas. New Year was slightly better but not much. The ship advertises for the 60+ age group but realistically it is aimed at 80+ and all the events on board are aimed at this age group. To say we were disappointed is an understatement. I have not approached the company as I do not want recompense for my trip. I just want others to know what it is really like. The entertainment was average to poor. Imagine on New Year's Eve at 55 years to be given a song sheet from the first World War. A woman in our group nearly cried! I was not the only person feeling like this. I was told that 26 people had left the ship at various destinations on route. Some were ill but I was led to believe that most just could not stand it any longer. I met many people on the cruise and very few had a good word to say about it. Some may argue that I am moaning for the sake of it. No - I still work and work hard for my money and my time out, as does my partner. I have never been on a holiday before and not only wished the days to pass quicker, but did start to feel depressed and would have preferred being at work. If you are looking for a holiday with good food and entertainment, LOOK ELSEWHERE! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2012
MarcoMarco Polo Northern Lights 17 2 2012 to 2 3 2012 We got a lift to the ship which is relatively small. We boarded at the specified time though I did feel as if we were hanging about. They would have taken our bags early, so that ... Read More
MarcoMarco Polo Northern Lights 17 2 2012 to 2 3 2012 We got a lift to the ship which is relatively small. We boarded at the specified time though I did feel as if we were hanging about. They would have taken our bags early, so that we could do the tourist thing locally while we waited for our boarding time, but at this time of the year there was scant to do locally. Initially we were seated for dinner with another couple, but they wanted a later dining time, so we changed to a larger group. Fellow passengers were enjoyable. - Mainly helpful staff except for the getting my dietary needs catered for. There were no children on board which was nice as ours are finally old enough to stay home alone. I was really looking forward to the meals as they advertise that they cater for special diets. I have to eat low salt and low cholesterol. It became clear that the staff had scant understanding of special diets. They did not have ingredients on board and failed to purchase in port - The head waiter was a nightmare He would argue that there was no salt or butter in items when clearly there was. - It took until day 10 of the cruise before there was any attempt to reduce the salt content and even this failed frequently. After numerous complaints eventually I was given the menu in advance, but if you take all the fat and salt out it made it very bland and I had to skip so much that I would end up feeling hungry. They did not have the ingredients on board to spice it up and many of the ingredients were pre salted, or was full of saturated fats. - All the passengers were complaining that the food was luke warm. I didn't put on weigh which was a plus, but frequently felt hungry. I had to supplement my meals with some nuts that I had brought with me to make shore visit easier. When I formally complained they pointed out that they were a 3 star cruise and told me that I had received specially prepared omelettes, which was not the case. Every one commented on the coffee being vile . We were also disappointed that we missed two ports. It seems that the itinerary was somewhat ambitious for the time of year. - We paid extra for an outside cabin and we were unable to see out of the portholes for much of the cruise as they had to be obscured to prevent leaking in case the glass broke! - We also had requested a double bed, but they then said there were no doubles available and it was impossible to move the beds The showers would fluctuate to such an extent that we were scalded, or too cold and the water was shut off for maintenance on one occasion., but at least they warned us. Our toilet smelt of drains; initially they just sprayed the cubical rather than giving it a it was frustrating having to keep complaining. Sea sickness was bad on this cruise , but the weather was very bad. Luckily I had a sick bag in my handbag for the woman who was seated behind me in the theatre! The layout in the theatre was bad as we could not see the shows unless we were seated in the first two rows. The tip here is to skip the sugary fatty desert and get to the theatre early. The shows and talks were good We requested a visit to the bridge and this did not happen. We only saw the captain once. He wasn't there for his fizzy wine party. We noticed that the nicer seats in the restaurant were reserved for staff. The tours were very expensive and it was easy to explore Amsterdam on foot made it to the flower market where we bought a plant to hang near our porthole which then got obscured . We had checked and customs allow certain plants and bulbs back into the UK. On Sunday in Alta it is better to book the tour early as Norway shuts on a Sunday. We were in Alta for the Sunday morning and knowing the town was closed we got the courtesy bus half way into town and then walking up in deep snow to a vantage point where we could see aircraft coming into land just in front of the ship. - My husband is self employed and needed the Internet. It was very expensive and they warned us not to use it as it cut out frequently. He ended up in cafes ashore that had free Wi-Fi. I like to browse the shops (expensive) so that worked well for us. Security got very anxious as he turned up at the last minute on time, because he was in a cafe near by. They were worried that he had somehow sneaked back on board. The TV news often failed as we were frequently out of satellite area. We particularly Enjoyed the Ice Hotel tour at Alta thought it would have been better to do that on the Sundays and to book the last tour. but we were too slow to book. Meeting the architect who designed it was interesting. If you want good photos then wait until every one is getting back on the bus, so that it looks as if you have the place to yourselves, though people were good at moving out of the way for the photos. We also did lots on museums setting off on foot . I prefer tips to be included rather than added afterwards especially when you don't want to tip certain individuals. The Northern lights: we discovered from the guest lecturer that the Lights are all digitally enhanced on most TV, magazines and advertising but we still were pleased to see them even thought the colours were not as dramatic as we were expecting. The tannoy wakes you if you want to see the lights and it's a bit of a performance getting all the ski clothes on and sometimes the lights faded before we got up there, but at least we were lucky to see them. I fell over more times on this trip than when I go skiing it is very icy and I did have the right shoes! Communication between the booking and what actually happens was poor. Disembarking was much slower than advised: not fair for the person picking us up. There was also confusion as some guests had been told there were four formal nights when there were only two. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
As we live in East Tilbury I have often watched the "Marco Polo" Sail up the river thames, and when I saw an advert to sail on the Marco Polo from Tilbury to the Amazon and back,I had to book, plus six weeks away from England in ... Read More
As we live in East Tilbury I have often watched the "Marco Polo" Sail up the river thames, and when I saw an advert to sail on the Marco Polo from Tilbury to the Amazon and back,I had to book, plus six weeks away from England in the winter, that sealed it I booked a year in advance. My wife Carol and I had not been on a cruise before, and during the year before we sailed we kept reading the coments people posted on cruise critic, sometimes with concern. My wife Carol and I were very impressed with the service provided by the staff and found it a very friendly boat. The food and dining was very good, we had our evening meal in the Wardolf silver service restraunt and breakfast and lunch in the self service bistro. We enjoyed the entertainment and there were plenty of activities laid on for the days at sea. The crew were also very organised when it came to getting the passengers off on the tenders, with minimal delays by alocating passengers to a tender service, when we were anchored just outside of a destination. Purchases on the boat such as water, wine and excersions we thought were a bit pricey, but then you have to bear in mind that the overall cost of the cruise was a lot less than it would have been on one of the larger ships. Another advantage of being on a smaller vessel is that we found it easy to make friends and when ashore we kept bumping into people on our cruise. It was very much like being in a small village which did add to the pleasure of the trip. Unfortunately my wife suffered with acute motion sickness, during all her time on the ship and we were repatriated from Barbados back to the UK. She cannot thank the medical team and the customer liasion people for the help and assistance they gave while she was feeling so unwell. Overal we would recommoned the Marco Polo for a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2010
Both in our 70s, with experience as group travel organisers for over 60s.We were spoiled perhaps, last year we travelled the full Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten on their smallest ship, Lofoten. Less than 100 return passengers, plus local ... Read More
Both in our 70s, with experience as group travel organisers for over 60s.We were spoiled perhaps, last year we travelled the full Norwegian coast with Hurtigruten on their smallest ship, Lofoten. Less than 100 return passengers, plus local port to port traffic, first class food, individual attention from the Chef to a diet need. Hurtigruten also have swish tower block ships if you like that. But this is about Marco Polo. Judging by the literature, and a full review here, its a cut price play at being the Queen Mary 2, with the smart atmosphere being the main game. We wanted just a relaxed fortnight going to interesting places, without calling in at Moss Bros on the way. In fact, though some drag the kitchen sink to Tilbury, and in the main restaurant some dress like a Traveller wedding, and the waiters and guests are hard to distinguish, this can be avoided. Service in the restaurant is appallingly slow and the food no better than in the Marco Polo lounge, a self service facility with no dress code, the chance to view and select your meals, and an excellent barbecue most nights. It adjoins the pool deck, which means open air (sorry Newmarketl al fresco)dining when the summer allows. Given the average passenger is over 60, the diet is a bit unadventurous inevitably (no garlic !! and only a rare curry powder curry)but plentiful, and you can eat virtually all day. Tea and coffee always available on the pool deck, but curiously, the shortage of cups mentioned here continues, passengers smuggle them back to their cabins to be sure of getting one next time, and the problem is extreme by the end. So bring your own mug. Cabins excellent,though a lingering smell of diesel on the bottom deck, days after bunkering.Insulation poor, at least in inside cabins. Watching the late film will get visits from elderly neighbours. Service over the top, indeed almost all staff are friendly and helpful. Entertainment good, at least x channel ferry standard, and better than that in the Captains lounge (another bar). 2 buskers in another lounge covering old time joys are not Acker Bilk, and should stick to busking. Time ashore. Inevitably limited just a tasting. Information about shuttle and cit buses bit limited, and non existant in Copenhagen, perhaps to encourage sales of excursions. Visa problems make it inevitable to excurse in Leningrad. Library excellent. Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth. Tips. Not sure the "tip pool" works, so you can top up by leaving envelope at reception addressed to cabin staff etc, and telling them its there. Bar prices reasonable, and offers most days, naughty persons might even buy the local firewater ashore and smuggle it in.(but beware Scandinavian prices, and only buy Stolichnaya vodka, in a proper shop.) Newmarket service as agents. Say 8/10 A big leap forward for them, its usually coach tours and newspaper days out. How they accommodate a full ship in winter, without the open decks we wonder. So, you get what you pay for, Cunard charge double for the same itineraries,don't expect Cunard swank, though if fancy dress is you you can pretend, and even shake the Captains hand. 792 times (not us), poor guy, looked a bit frazzled. Keep after Newmarket if you don't get documents, and do take your own mug. Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
Having cruised once before on P&O Line on the med and experienced wonderful food and great entertainment but much boredom on sea days, I was pleased when I saw the Marco Polo British Isles Itinary. It ticked all boxes for visiting some ... Read More
Having cruised once before on P&O Line on the med and experienced wonderful food and great entertainment but much boredom on sea days, I was pleased when I saw the Marco Polo British Isles Itinary. It ticked all boxes for visiting some wonderful islands around our coast. Places we would never otherwise visit like Stornaway and The Scillies. I knew the ship was small and read reviews before booking. But the one thing deemed most important to my hubby was good food and I was sure it would be. Wrong! Eating in the restaurant was soon abandoned. It wasn't worth the effort of dressing up.The food in the self service on pool deck was no better but at least we could help our selves and go casual which after busy sightseeing everyday suited us. The food is very eastern european and I am sure they have a contract with Lidl! Their take on English food doesn't work. very tough meat and combinations which don't go together. No tea/coffee making facilities in cabins. Just water at £2.50 a bottle ( the tap water is undrinkable) We learnt to buy water and soft drink on our shore trips.Tea and coffee is available all day outside on pool deck but otherwise it's buy from the bar between meals. The entertainment was rather amateur and hubby couldn't bear watching rather large Russian dancers prancing. P&O entertainment had spoilt him! The other passengers we spoke to felt the same about the food-boring and lacking variety. Milk was always uht ,my bug bear as love my tea. Our cabin had constant engine noise and the beds were hard. Hubby bought ear plugs and I slept on top of duvet for comfort, so we got around those problems. Everywhere was claen and the staff were polite and helpful. The excursions are always expensive but we thought most were worth the money as we had a wondeful time on nearly all of them. Monet's Gardens were the most disappointing as our guide did so much talking before we got inside that she had left us too little time to get round! The port for Monet is Honfleur and much more worth doing. Lovely Normandy town. All in all the cruise was worth it for the excellent ports of call which larger ships don't seem to visit. If cruise and maritime did P&O Dining and entertainment then all would be perfick! Read Less
We took the Antarctica 8 day excursion on the MV Marco Polo on January 31st of 2003. This is a bit of information on the Zodiac landings from the ship; it is written in an effort to help those who are on their first excursion and might ... Read More
We took the Antarctica 8 day excursion on the MV Marco Polo on January 31st of 2003. This is a bit of information on the Zodiac landings from the ship; it is written in an effort to help those who are on their first excursion and might have apprehensions about this adventure. There is an excellent review of the entire cruise included in this database by Chuck Traveler in the review section under Marco Polo, and it helped us tremendously when we took this cruise. The Marco Polo can accommodate over 800 passengers but only takes around 425 for this trip. This is done to allow all passengers the maximum amount of time for the shore excursions. There are currently six Zodiacs that take the passengers, the naturalists, etc. to the landings. The Zodiacs have Yamaha, Honda, or Mercury engines and seat 14 people. You sit on the side pontoons of the boat and hold on to ropes on the side if you think that you need it. We felt completely safe at all times in and out of the Zodiac. Our pilots were knowledgeable and very competent. The passengers are divided into five colors (around 75-80 in each color); each color group is divided into three cohorts (A,B,C). They give you a badge that you must wear which has your color and cohort. Colors and cohorts are assigned a time to disembark for the shore excursion. Colors and cohorts are alternated in time so that everyone gets to go at a different time for each excursion. You need to get dressed in your cabin beforehand. Dress rehearse this at home so that you know what you are going to put on and how; it takes a bit of time. Because of the changeable nature of the climate and weather we dressed in the following: (avoid as much cotton as possible) regular underwear; a thin insulated sock; a woolen sock; long underwear—upper and lower; a flannel shirt and pants; optional sweater or turtleneck; a pair of nylon waterproof pants and top (top is often not necessary); 16"-18" wader boots—these are essential because of the water in which you will walk and the penguin guano you will get on your feet; your groovy red parka that they give you; a thin pair of under gloves (we eliminated these on some excursions because of our weather); a pair of warm gloves—not mittens—too difficult to take pictures—we took Gortex; a lined ski mask—really important; a stocking cap; and ski goggles—these we eliminated after the first excursion because of the hassle and the problem with moisture—some did wear them, however, and we were glad to have them. We packed a second set of socks (both thin and wool) and long underwear so that you can alternate for each excursion—you do sweat a great deal underneath. We also took an extra set of gloves in case the good ones got wet. You should take a daypack or regular back pack with whatever you need but with: sun block (if there is anything else showing on your body); your extra socks and gloves; extra film; a cloth or two to wipe your lenses, camera, binoculars, etc.; Ziploc bags to protect things. We did not put our camera in a bag, but some people did. Be sure that you bring extra batteries for your camera; the cold shortens the life of the battery. Be sure that you go to the bathroom however many times that you need to, because there are no toilets on the landings. However, in the Polo waiting lounge, you can go before you disembark. The excursions are only an hour, and you can hold it that long. The group is asked to go to the Polo Lounge on Deck 8 and wait until the color and letter are called; you are asked to get there 10 minutes before your time. We were always there around 20 minutes before the time. (Sometimes the process gets ahead or behind times.) When the group's time is called, a crewmember escorts the group down to the gangway where each person has a life jacket put on them. It is necessary to keep your camera, binoculars, daypack, etc. off of your body until the life jacket is put on. It just holds up things if you have to take them off. You then stand in line until your Zodiac is ready to receive you. When it is your time to disembark, you are led out to the gangway and down a set of steps. You step onto the pontoon of the Zodiac and onto the deck. There are adequate personnel there to assist you so that you feel confident in your boarding of the boat. Once in the Zodiac you sit down with your other passengers, and you begin your trek. You cannot stand up to take photos without permission; it is important that you observe this because of balance. You can ask to permission to stand up, and your pilot will slow the Zodiac down. This was done several times and is a standard procedure—don't feel guilty doing this since you will want pictures from the Zodiac that cannot be taken sitting down. You will have several types of excursions; these can change because of weather and ice conditions. This is what we did on our trip: Deception Island -- this was done by the ship sailing through Neptune's Bellows into the caldera of the volcano. We sailed around the inside of the island; be sure that you get up early for this and go to the bow of the ship—it is worth it—cold because of the motion of the ship—wear some of your expedition gear and go out before breakfast. Some ships stop here so that the passengers can swim in the volcanic warmed water on the shore. The Marco Polo has eliminated this because passengers over the past years have considered the Zodiac excursion at Culverville Island more valuable. Culverville Island—this is the first time we were in the Zodiac. It was a ride only; there was no landing. The pilot and guide took us around the island to see the rookeries of Gentoo penguins, the leopard and elephant seals, the different species of birds, and the many icebergs, bergy bits, and growlers (smaller and smaller still ice floes). It is a great beginning in preparation to an actual landing and gets you used to the whole process. You will take many more pictures than you think you will—get used to changing film with gloves on. Cruising the Lamaire Channel -- a great shipboard experience. Once again get up early before breakfast, get on your cold gear and go to the bow of the ship to watch the process through the Channel. This is a rather narrow channel between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island. There is a formation that is called Una's Tits at the beginning of the Channel; if the weather cooperates (which it did for us), it is a marvelous view of two pointed mountains that were aptly named by the whalers of an earlier time. Through the Channel, you will encounter Minkey Whales, Humpback Whales, Weddell Seals, multiple birds (don't ignore the birds—there are many and are part of the fauna of the area), and much ice. The ship will send a helicopter out before you go through to make sure that the Channel is open for sailing—that in itself is a neat sight! You might also get to see or at least hear a calving of an iceberg. We heard two but never saw them. Once through the Channel, the Captain makes a circle and turns back for a return trip the other way. If you missed the whales the first time, chances are you might get to see them this time. Sometimes they are on the starboard side and sometimes the port side. It is neat to see the passengers run from one side to the other (doesn't tilt the boat, however). Port Lockroy -- This was the first real Zodiac landing for us. We took our boat to this three-island British Antarctic Territory. Only a certain amount of people are allowed on land at a time and thus the time and personnel constraints placed on the ship's crew. The British naturalists on the island assign the ship to one island or another; we were assigned to the middle island and landed on a rocky incline that we had to climb up. Again, there are plenty of people there to assist. Age is really no consideration for these landings; we saw people from their 20s into their 80s do it, so don't worry. There are several areas of interest on this island: old whale bones that make great photographs, the Gentoo rookeries, the birds—especially the Petrels which are huge and swoop around the area. The ship's naturalists ask you to stay 15 feet away from the penguins, but the penguins don't know this; you will see them up close and personal. You will never forget the smell and the sounds of the Gentoos; both are very unique. It will be neat because you will be able to see the chicks attempting to feed; they chase the adults until the adult gives up and allows the chick to stick his beak down the adult's throat. Be sure that you watch for the ritual of the male penguin bringing stones to the nest; also, don't be surprised if you see a Skua attack a chick. We did not witness this but saw the aftermath of it. You will have so many pictures of penguins in motion that you will not remember that you took them. Your hour on the island will be over very quickly, and you will have to return to the "pier" to board your Zodiac back to the ship. However, before you do, you must have your boots scrubbed and cleaned by the ship's crew. This is because of the penguin guano in which you will be walking. These noble crewmembers should get a medal for what they do in the interest of keeping the ship's floors clean. You then get into your Zodiac as you did before and are zoomed back to the ship. You climb out with much help and ascend the ladder to the gangway. Take off your extra things around your neck since the crew will take off your life preserver. You are then led to an area where other crewmembers take off your boots and put them in a plastic bag. Keep them in the bag; no matter how much the shore crew scrubs, they won't get all the penguin guano off the boots. You are also offered tea or hot chocolate on your arrival. The British naturalists come on board the ship to take a hot shower and have a really good meal (Marco Polo provides this to them). They also set up a post office at the Shore Excursion desk where passengers can buy British Antarctic Territory stamps and have postcards franked and sent from the compound. We did this and sent one to ourselves to see how long it would take. It is supposed to take around a month. The cards are eventually sent via some ship to the Falkland Islands, to England, and then wherever. The naturalists also sell several first issue stamps. They give a short talk that evening to the passengers on their life at Port Lockroy; you get a chance to ask questions. Paradise Harbor and Waterboat Point -- This is a landing that you will step out onto the actual Antarctic Continent and Peninsula. There is a Chilean station here that has constructed an actual small dock and concrete walkways. See the Waterboat here; we didn't get to see it. It was snowing a great deal when we were here; this added to the aesthetic of the moment. There are as many Gentoos here as there are on Port Lockroy —maybe more; there is also a glorious huge glacier towards the east. The penguins and skuas have made it a necessity to nest and live in a religious icon that rests on a hill. As you ascend the island, you come to the Chilean compound where the crew lives. They will invite you into their dwelling to see how life on the Continent of Antarctica is conducted. Sign the logbook and don't forget to climb up to the lookout on top of the compound. Ask before you go into the house, however. Towards the south there is a souvenir shop that the Chileans have set up. This has some neat things that you can buy (they are made in Chile). You can get post cards that are stamped with the Chilean Antarctic Expedition stamp, a patch that you can put on your other arm of your red parka; a cap; Chilean wine; and much more. They will take USD. After seeing these things and more Gentoos on the eastern side of the area, you will return to the dock and go through the ritual of the washing of the boots again. You then are transferred back to the ship. Half Moon Island -- This is a small island in the shape of a half moon in the Shetland Islands and is your last landing. You have an additional challenge on this landing since once you arrive at the beach you have to swing your legs over the side of the pontoon and step into the water in order to ascend the beach. Once off the boat you walk up a fairly steep incline to where the Chinstrap penguins live. On your left is an old whaling dory that has been washed up and abandoned. It also makes a great picture. The Chinstraps live on several hills on this island. They make a different noise (kind of like a duck and a turkey combined) but have the same enduring qualities of the Gentoos—including projectile pooping—watch out. There are several trails that you can follow, but you must be careful to watch where you are walking; it is easy to lose your footing and fall—we saw several do this. It is a mess when you do this as you might imagine. We saw fur seals, giant petrels, and Antarctic Terns. The terns chase the petrels like sparrows chase crows since the petrels raid nests. Whales can be seen in the channel towards the west where there is another huge glacier. The icebergs and bergy bits are especially neat around this island; penguins and seals can often be seen on them. This is where your binoculars come in handy. It was really beautiful on our excursion here; the sun was out and the tops of the mountains on the peninsula were visible. It was so comfortable that we took our ski masks off. However, as we left after the washing of the boots in the ocean with help from the crew the weather abruptly changed. A cloud descended on the harbor and partially obscured the ship. A wind came up and it was really brisk and bumpy going back to the ship. Needless to say, we put the ski masks back on. When we got back to the ship and ascended the gangway for the last time, the crew took away our color/cohort badge; it was rather sad. We hope that this will ally your fears about these excursions. They are a thing that you will never forget. tcad1@yahoo.com May 2003 Read Less
The prices for Orient Lines' Marco Polo always seemed too good to be true, so we stuck with the better known, larger cruise lines with newer ships. But then we saw a special offer on a cruise to the Baltic Capitals and decided to ... Read More
The prices for Orient Lines' Marco Polo always seemed too good to be true, so we stuck with the better known, larger cruise lines with newer ships. But then we saw a special offer on a cruise to the Baltic Capitals and decided to take a chance. We also opted for the two-night pre-cruise stay in Copenhagen. The hotel you get to stay in is based on the type of cabin you book. Since we had a lower priced, outside cabin, we didn't expect much. Therefore, we were pleasantly surprised to be staying at the Radisson SAS only a short walk from Tivoli Gardens. We had a beautiful view of the city and canals and a wonderful down comforter! The cruise line included a complimentary bus tour of Copenhagen one morning and it gave us a nice overall view of what the city had to offer. When we arrived at the cruise terminal, there was the Marco Polo dwarfed by a much larger Princess ship beside it. It was pouring down rain, but the cruise line had picked up our luggage at the hotel for us and put up a tent to protect us from the weather as we boarded the ship. We also had pre-boarded at the hotel so we didn't have any lines to wait in. Our cabin had two windows (not portholes), a decent sized closet, TV set, and small chest of drawers. We also had fresh flowers and a bucket of ice and carafe of water, which was replenished several times a day -- at no extra charge! Other cruise lines charge for bottled water in the cabin, so this was a pleasant surprise. The bathroom, while not large, was actually bigger than the one we had on the Dawn Princess. We were on the Upper Deck so it was very convenient to just walk around the corner of our hallway and go outside where we found wooden deck chairs complete with comfortable cushions that were left out all the time. Again, other cruise lines choose to pack up the deck chairs in the early evening making it inconvenient to try and sit out on the deck. So far, everything looked good. The real test would be at dinner time! What a treat when we found ourselves seated at a cozy booth for 4 (we were sailing with another couple) with large windows to enjoy the views. The menu items bordered on gourmet and nothing really appealed to me at first. So I just ordered the fish dish and soup. Boy was I surprised! The food was fantastic! After that, I never worried about what to order. Our waiter graciously would bring us cheese and crackers to feast on while waiting for our orders and extra desserts so that we could sample different things. He did all of this without being asked. The service was excellent! To top it all off, one night the other couple with us were celebrating their wedding anniversary and the cruise line not only provided a beautiful cake (large enough to feed a crowd, I might add), but the waiters also serenaded them accompanied by several musical instruments. They sang "Only You" and "Let Me Call You Sweetheart." They had our whole dining area joining in and the wife was in tears because she was so moved by the unexpectedness of it all. The casino was rather small -- only about 20 slot machines, but the entertainment was good, as was the music in the lounges. Since the weather was damp and chilly, we were always greeted with cups of hot lemon and cider when we returned to the ship from our ports of call -- a nice touch. We sincerely enjoyed everything about the Marco Polo and the small ship experience offered us a chance to mingle more with other passengers and to be pampered on a more personal scale. We are looking forward to cruising with them again soon and, possibly, trying their newest addition, the Crown Odyssey. Read Less
MARCO POLO- ANTARCTICAWhy would anyone want to spend a week in the cold turbulent waters of Drake's Passage and the Antarctic Ocean? The answer.....an eight day cruise to Antarctic aboard the Marco Polo. We've just returned from ... Read More
MARCO POLO- ANTARCTICAWhy would anyone want to spend a week in the cold turbulent waters of Drake's Passage and the Antarctic Ocean? The answer.....an eight day cruise to Antarctic aboard the Marco Polo. We've just returned from an eight day adventure to the Antarctic Peninsula aboard the Marco Polo, a 22,000 ton ship with an excellent staff of European Officers and a Philippino crew of cabin stewards, waiters, bus boys. We had heard good things about the ship and crew and now add our positive feelings to those we had heard before our voyage. Cruise Package......The Marco Polo plies the waters of Antarctica yearly in the austral summer months of late December, January and February. The cruise package, including eight exciting fun filled days cruising and visiting four different Antarctic locations, began January 17th with a charter flight from Miami to Ushuaia, Argentina. Charter Flight......We did not take the charter from Miami to Ushuaia via Buenos Aires, which Orient Lines includes as part of the Antarctica Peninsula package, as we had decided to spend two weeks in South America prior to the cruise. We, therefore, cannot comment first hand on the flight. We did hear, however, that it was quite acceptable for a charter flight. Embarkation......Boarding the Marco Polo on January 19th in Ushuaia, Argentina, the Southernmost city in the world, was fast and surprisingly casual. Following lunch at Cafe Ideal, a friendly pleasant and historic restaurant located on San Martin, Ushuaia's main shopping and dinning street, we arrived at the ship, took our bags out of the cab, dropped them at the gangplank, and walked onto the ship. No tickets checked, no questionnaires to fill out. It was so simple we were a bit taken back. Although this was our first cruise on the Marco Polo, we were able to proceed to our cabin quickly and easily as the amicable crew was quite helpful in giving directions. Our cabin, 435 on Main Deck, was a Superior Deluxe Oceanview. We found it to be quite roomy and comfortable. Although we had to pack for both the heat of Rio and Buenos Aires, and the cold of Antarctica, there was sufficient closet and drawer space to handle all our clothes.....we even had one drawer to spare. Our two large windows were wonderful. We looked out continually to view the incredibly spectacular views. The white marbled bathroom was well laid out with a tub/shower and adequate space for toiletries. One note of caution, during rough seas be careful as you navigate the foot high step from the cabin into the bathroom as a slip or trip could be quite harmful. About the ship......Small as cruise ships go, the Marco Polo weighs only 22,000 tons versus the 100,000 tons plus of the giants now sailing the seas. However, from our standpoint, it was just right for the Antarctic. Depending upon who answered our question, we were told there were between 350 and 425 passengers on board, approximately half the number normally aboard for non-Antarctic cruises. The smaller number for the Antarctic is necessary because environmental concerns limit the number of people allowed ashore at any one time to 100. A full compliment of passengers would have made it impossible to go ashore as often as we did in the four days in Antarctic waters. The Marco Polo is the refurbished version of the Alexandr Pushkin, a Russian reinforced hull vessel built in East Germany in 1967. Although our cruise was classified as an "expedition," she is definitely classy and comfortable. We were glad she was not only a fun ship but a good "sea boat" during the 30-40 foot swells and 70+ MPH wind we encountered in Drake's Passage on our return to Ushuaia. The $60 million spent to completely rebuild the Pushkin in Greece in the early 90's turned her into a spacious and stable, clean and comfortable, and very tastefully decorated liner. With her reinforced hull, she is totally suited to sail the Antarctic. There are other expedition ships which visit Antarctica, but having seen their size and style while docked in Ushuaia, there is no question we made the right decision. If you want to visit "The White Continent" in comfort, with excellent food, shows and service, have wonderful rides to the shore in zodiacs driven by experienced and informed drivers, and enjoy lectures on Antarctica given by highly qualified lecturers, The Marco Polo is truly the way to go. The Public Rooms......were quite tastefully done and never seemed crowded. In addition to the main dinning room, the Seven Seas Restaurant, and Raffles, the cafeteria/buffet styled dinning area, one can enjoy the Charleston Club for dancing and music, the Polo Lounge for drinks and conversation, the card room, the library, the Internet area for sending but not receiving email, the casino, which seemed to be empty most of the time, or the relaxing Palm Court. Should you be in need of a massage, haircut or styling, you can avail yourself of the beauty salon....or if a workout is in your plans, there is a health club available. Although the health club is modest in size, it is definitely sufficient for the mostly 60 plus age group found on Antarctic cruises. For anyone interested in a bit of "congenial conviviality," both alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks were available in the Polo Lounge, the Palm Court, and Le Bar, the intimate casino bar. The ships main showroom, The Ambassador Lounge, was pleasant and surprisingly comfortable with divans, chairs and ample legroom. It was the home of the entertainment aboard which we found very good. This was a bit of a surprise as we had heard the entertainment was marginal. Nightly entertainment, which included two Broadway type shows, was provided by a very competent cast of singers and dancers, magicians, jokesters and talented musicians. For a cruise ship not noted for its entertainment, we were quite pleased with the talent and shows. The pursers office and the excursion desk area in the very modest main lobby were quite sufficient and again never seemed to be crowded. The Crew......of European officers and Philippino cabin stewards and wait staff reflected what must be a happy environment. We found the cabin stewards and the wait staff to be extremely efficient, cheerful and helpful. It is hard to understand how they can be so good and so cheerful when you realize they work 12 to 16 hour days and spend months without a day off. Kudos to Orient Lines for hiring, training and maintaining such a wonderful crew. Cabins.......As is true with all cruise ships, a myriad of cabins are available. In order to acquaint ourselves with all the sizes and styles, we asked to take a tour of the various types of cabins. We found all categories, from Standard Inside to Deluxe Suites, to be tastefully decorated and sufficient in necessities. Except for the two Deluxe Suites, most cabins have two lower beds, some of which convert to queen size. Most have showers which seemed larger than on other ships on which we have sailed. All had ample closet and drawer space. As the seas can get rough, a suggestion would be to book a midship cabin on a mid or lower deck. If "mal de mer" isn't a problem, any cabin on any deck which suites your pocketbook and needs would surely be satisfactory. Food.....We are not gourmets but do enjoy a well prepared and presented meal. We were quite pleased with our dinning experiences on the Marco Polo. We ate most of our morning meals in Raffles. The buffet was usual cruise line buffet fare of fresh fruit, eggs, bacon, ham, bread, rolls, etc. A similar menu is also offered in the morning hours via room service. There was a group of Japanese passengers on the cruise and they were able to partake in typical Japanese breakfasts. We don't know, however, whether Japanese food is always available or if this was specific to this cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and ... Read More
I choose this cruise mainly because of the destination and from the reviews thought the ship although old would be ok. First let me say i love cruising and have done 45-50 cruises with very few complaints but honestly this cruise ship and CMV have a lot to answer for. Our cabin 216 was small and we had 1 small porthole and had paid for an oceanview. The porthole was closed for 11 days of a 15 day cruise, whilst they do it for safety reasons there were times we were docked and still it was kept closed we had ask on several occasions to have it opened. We could have had an internal cabin for some $1000 less each.The smell of diesal and the crew smoking was there for the entire cruise. The ship was full to capacity 800 in a ship this size is just not on. Everything was full the buffett was a fight at every meal to find a seat and the quality was really bad even the 3 coffee machines were continually out of order. The dining room although a little better was way below standard. I paid for a VIP package please dont do it !! the wine list is a joke there are 2 white wines and 2 red wines from there signature drinks and 2 from the standard package to choose from i couldnt believe it. They some other wines by the bottle but they had to be paid for and you couldnt get them by the glass. With the other drinks if you wanted anything that wasnt on the drinks menu you couldnt have it !!! also the system they have is that you can only order from a waitor and cant get a drink from the bar. The entertainment was an insult except a young lady soprano who was great the biggest joke was when showtime came at night and old bloke with a banjo came out and started a singalong , i had to laugh !!! the showband seriously was that bad that the singers who did individual shows they didnt even play. I could go on. Excursions altho expensive were good and well organised. This company are treating the elderly british with contempt in my opinion . Go with this ship and company at your peril and as i said i have done nearly 50 cruises and cant believe all i wanted to do was get off . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this Christmas cruise for a fun filled time including new year. Oh dear what a disappointment! Ship well past it’s “sell by” date. Seating dirty and worn out. Surprise packages from family, totally messed up Half hearted ... Read More
Chose this Christmas cruise for a fun filled time including new year. Oh dear what a disappointment! Ship well past it’s “sell by” date. Seating dirty and worn out. Surprise packages from family, totally messed up Half hearted decorations very poor quality, and repetitive entertainment.Officers disinterested in passengers,complaints . Not enough explanation of ships routine. Daily programmes either changed without notice or not included in daily news sheet. Safety on decks needed attention,unable to hear announcements within cabin therefore did not receive important information definitely felt there was a shortage of staff, ie one wine waiter for numerous dinner tables. Very long wait for drinks in bars.no notifications in cabin about charge-for water. £2-80 per bottle!! Mistakes on accounts took sometime to rectify. not enough provision for disabled people.. lifts shut down far too early on evening before departure.Overall not at all a good experience.definitly would never choose CMV again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We booked this cruise at the last minute for £129 per person not expecting much and this was definitely lived up to. We're not novice cruisers having sailed 20+ times with other cruise lines. Our cabin was 6'x10' and basic ... Read More
We booked this cruise at the last minute for £129 per person not expecting much and this was definitely lived up to. We're not novice cruisers having sailed 20+ times with other cruise lines. Our cabin was 6'x10' and basic is an understatement, the bathroom light repeatedly didn't work despite being fixed so we gave up reporting it, the food was awful, bland and lacking variety, the entertainment reminiscent of a 1960's holiday camp and the staff most Eastern European were unfriendly and rude. However the public areas were pleasant to sit in which is the only redeeming feature of the cruise. My husband doesn't suffer being sea sick but he took to his bed due to the ship being so unstable. The Marco Polo reminds me of a converted oil tanker, it smelt of diesel everywhere and was antiquated to the extent it can't be called a classic ship. It needs to be scrapped. We've been on cross Channel ferries that have been more luxurious in terms of exterior aopearance, food quality and cabin standards. The life jackets were grubby and in need of a good clean. Embarkation amd departure were quick which is the only positive thing I can say as we sailed from a local port 15 mins from home. I could continue with negatives but don't wish to relive the ordeal further. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We thought we would try the Marco Polo to go to the Faroe islands. on the 5th of October 2018. Day one , We got to Tillbury car park from Wiltshire.about 11.30am ,we were told you can’t park yet go to Asta for a cup of coffee then come ... Read More
We thought we would try the Marco Polo to go to the Faroe islands. on the 5th of October 2018. Day one , We got to Tillbury car park from Wiltshire.about 11.30am ,we were told you can’t park yet go to Asta for a cup of coffee then come back .( forgot to mention there were no time stared to arrive.) so we parked in a lorry park for an hour . .OK parked on ship no one there to welcome you., found cabin . unpacked ,down to get afternoon tea .Well here we go , food was awful tea was cold .I could go on .The 8 days my wife and i found there were no wow factor we were not treated as a paying customer, special.No flowers on the taple , dirty chairs Breakfast and lunch time we were bullied in to seating rushed by waiters.Not much choices in English Food .Good factors cabin ok Trips we found ok.friendly passengers.NOT STAFF. However enjoyed the cruise. OVERALL Cruise & Maritime needs to look and take note from other cruise lines . Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I had previously travelled on the Magellan and Columbus with Cruise and Maritime and had enjoyed both trips. On this basis, I booked a 30 day cruise to Canada with my partner on the Marco Polo. Embarkation on 5th Sept at Tilbury was ... Read More
I had previously travelled on the Magellan and Columbus with Cruise and Maritime and had enjoyed both trips. On this basis, I booked a 30 day cruise to Canada with my partner on the Marco Polo. Embarkation on 5th Sept at Tilbury was chaotic and delayed. On being shown our cabin, I immediately saw that it would not meet our needs because of insufficient storage. My complaint was lodged with the cabin steward who offered extra hangers and said that empty suitcases could be stored one deck below. Upon further enquiry, I was advised that these would not be accessible. My partner has recently endured cancer treatment necessitating the use of bulky incontinence aids which added to our luggage. We were called for the evacuation drill immediately. After this, I went promptly to reception and lodged the need for more (accessible) storage. I was told that no other adjustments could be made. I then asked to leave the ship. I was advised that as it was 15.45 and the ship was sailing at 16.00 that it was too late to disembark. I confirmed that I would have to leave at the earliest opportunity at Glengariff. The receptionist stated that she would escalate my complaint to her manager. During the next 44hrs at sea, I had the misfortunate to have my initial concerns realised and worse fears confirmed. Marco Polo is described as “elegant” and “stylish” . This is misleading. Rather it is tired and dated. For example. the Marco’s Bistro carpet was soiled and sticky, the ceiling in Scott’s Bar was damaged with twisted metal and broken lights. Two lifts were unreliable ( I was stuck in one for several minutes) and then broke on the first day requiring repair. The stench of diesel on the Baltic Deck and in our cabin was all-pervading and nausea-inducing. I was advised that the ship is over 50 years old. To describe the ship as stabilised is misleading. During the crossing to Ireland, there was excessive roll even though the sea conditions were described as “slight”. I saw no stabilising fins being deployed presumably to maintain speed and fuel efficiency as seas were slight. I witnessed several passengers stumbling and numerous accidents with crockery and glasses including with the senior officers (broken glass) during the Captain’s presentation in the theatre. My nausea and discomfort when laying in our cabin were compounded by the strong stench of diesel. The food was not of the same standard as on previous voyages. Although I was not able to eat much beyond the first day due to nausea, my partner who was a chef confirmed that too much salt was consistently being used in all the dishes he tried. To describe the entertainment as “truly sparkling” is misleading. The entertainment’s director offered a comically bad rendition of an Elvis impersonation on the first night and then made a hardsell on drinks etc. The dancers were good but the material they were given to work with was woeful. Given the cramped conditions in the theatre, the first night was enough to dissuade us from going back the following evening. On the 6th, Sept I again went to reception and stated my intention to disembark the following day. Once again I was told me that my complaint had been escalated to the manager but no response had been forthcoming and he was not available to speak to me. On 7th we anchored at sea for Glengariff. Disembarkation by tender was delayed (I finally got ashore 3 hrs after arrival). I confirmed to reception that I did not want to disembark but felt I had no other option as my complaint had not been resolved. I incurred the cost of of repatiation and the disappointment of not being able to enjoy what iI had eagerly anticipated as a trip of a lifetime. Cruise and Maritme have advised me that they take 28 days to respond to complaints. I recommend avoiding this ship. Read Less
44 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Travel thousands of miles across storm- tossed ocean to cruise the St Lawrence River by night and see all the pretty flashing lights on the navigation aides along the length of the river. Watch burning cinders spewing from the funnel over ... Read More
Travel thousands of miles across storm- tossed ocean to cruise the St Lawrence River by night and see all the pretty flashing lights on the navigation aides along the length of the river. Watch burning cinders spewing from the funnel over the decks as we incinerate the on board rubbish and pollute the sea. By day relax on the open decks surrounded by reeking ashtrays, cigarette smoke and crew members varnishing the taffrails and re-caulking the deck under your feet as you queue for chips. Take a trip ashore in one of our skilfully manned tenders. For your enjoyment we will lose our way in the fog for an hour whilst trying to return to the ship and for thrills re-embark you at midships on the windward side of the vessel for you to experience the 2-metre rise and fall of the swell as you try to get a footing on the landing stage. Break a leg folks! Dine in our fabulous restaurant and watch as your dinner and long-stemmed wine glass slide gracefully across the table and onto the deck where the glass shatters into a hundred pieces while the waiter pours hot coffee down your neck. Have fun in your cabin trying not to cut your feet on the broken glass from the litre glass bottles of water which have slid off the dresser and smashed on the deck, soaking the carpet and your clothes that have been thrown from the open drawers of the dresser. Have fun staggering along the deck and up companionways to reach a toilet because a crew member is in your cabin bathroom replacing and sealing the shower wall. Qualify for NHS hearing aids on your return home by sitting through several of our showtime presentations by our singers. (NB. It is pure conjecture that no whales have ever been seen from the ship because the singers perfectly reproduce the whale alarm call). Finally, watch the Northern Ireland authorities emergency response as we sail into Belfast with the Red Ensign upside down and the Captain, speaking from bridge, teaches the crew some new Russian vocabulary. If you are queueing on a beach awaiting evacuation in the face of a pursuing army then board this vessel. Those are the only circumstances in which this should be done. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package ... Read More
I had Read so many reviews slating this ship - so decided see for myself. Big mistake! Should have avoided! Food stone cold. Restaurant rush you through your meals. 5 courses in 40 minutes! The only thing good is the drinks package because we wouldn't have got through this trip without it! Service appalling. No one around to serve if you want a drink in the pool area. Staff non existent in bars except behind it. Staff give the impression they really do not want to be working for this company. Thank God it was for only 4 nights. I feel sorry for people booked for two months! Cabins dated and awful. Nothing to do in the day. Disabled beware as very little facilities to get on and off at ports. Never again. Miles to civilisation once on shore. Complained but too late - they already had my money so they are not bothered. You have been warned! Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Went with Friends & wanted to visit Baltic Countries. First time as a widower on holiday , so went with friends. Been cruising 4 times previously but not with this Company & would never go with them again . Although the ship ... Read More
Went with Friends & wanted to visit Baltic Countries. First time as a widower on holiday , so went with friends. Been cruising 4 times previously but not with this Company & would never go with them again . Although the ship was old the cabins were much better than we all expected. The main area's of the ship were also kept to a good standard . The down side of the holiday was poor Organisation & training of the crew. The Dining experience was not what any of my group of 7 expected .....I have had better school dinners ... They tried to squeeze 11 people on a table meant for 8 in the Fine Dining Restaurant. When at sea no crew members seemed to be available to put out seating i.e. sun beds or cushions . Or to serve any drinks . So unless you sat in the blue haze of the smokers area . Which was by the only outside bar you had to walk to & from the front to the rear if you required a drink . The outside Buffet Bar was Also where the smokers all congregated , so again you ate your Lunch mixed with the pungent smell of Cigarettes or Cigars. The Waldorf Restaurant ( Fine Dining ) was hilarious. The idea of Silver Service is how fast they could throw the food at you . .....collecting plates before the table had finished, re-setting cutlery as you ate . Serving another Course before the table was finished with the previous one ect ect When we complained the waiter said " it was not a problem" .....we said it was .!! A five course could be served & eaten within 1 hour & 10 mins . We timed to prove it . The theatre did have quite a few good shows ...but unfortunately if you went at 7.30 for the 8 pm show You could never get a seat . Other diner sittings were saving rows of seats for their fellow travelers It was not until I made a formal complaint to the Head of the passenger services that a message was put out that seats could not be saved . Unfortunately I complained toward the end of our cruise as was always hoping it was going to improve ...More fool me . To top it all off . We were unable to pick up Fuel for our return journey ..in Russia (technical Problems) ??! So had to make an unscheduled stop ( which shortened our excursion time in Stockholm ) & Also meant for some reason which non of the passengers I spoke to could understand we had to disembark in Newcastle & be bused back to Hull a day later than expected But the joy of another day cruising was short lived as we still had to pack up & leave our cabins on schedule which meant we spent the day sitting with our belonging around us , as you would in an airport if you had a delay . Never ever use this company ever again 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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