The lovely staff family of Marco Polo: Marco Polo Cruise Review by Harrisontig31

Marco Polo 5
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

The lovely staff family of Marco Polo

Sail Date: September 2012
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Other
Whilst I have specifically listed this review for my recent trip on Marco Polo to the Baltics, Id like to generalise to include my trip with them 2 years ago to the Amazon.
Marco Polo was the first ever large ship cruise I had undertaken, had I bitten off more than I could chew signing up as a singleton for 6 weeks on a ship?
Not on your was wonderful. And the biggest thing to make my holiday a success was the friendliness of the staff on board. Because it has a smaller guest capacity than the larger cruise ships, there is a bigger ratio of staff to guests so you feel like you are getting a very personal service. And the happy faces and fun demeanour of the staff gives the impression that this is either a great cruise line to work for or/and a great CAPTAIN to work for. Having met the Captain three times now, he is a charming, quiet, extremely experienced shipman who runs a strict but content ship.

The food is excellent. I ate on both trips in the More Waldorf Restaurant, late sitting, and having chosen a large table, met really nice fellow traveller with whom to chat over dinner. It amazes me that the kitchen can turn out the quality and presentation of food that they do, consistently under such pressured conditions. The restaurant staff and cafe/restaurant staff all work so so hard and still manage to smile.

As a single traveller I have enjoyed a twin cabin with window on both trips on Amundsen Deck. This deck is convenient and quieter than the lower decks. Cabin staff are great, cabins extremely clean and with ample space.

Performance entertainment on board in the evenings is excellent with equivalent to London shows in the lounge. The standard of the entertainment team singing is brilliant.

Shore excursions are excellent, ship staff and land agent staff work hard, organise very well and impart tonnes of knowledge about the locations you visit.

Daytime entertainment tends to be for older people and as an active/sporty lady, would not normally be the sort of things I would do regularly..Countdown, bingo and quizzes but the line caters for the general customer generic, and that isnt actually me! Saying that, I was happy to take part and if asked, I couldnt honestly say what things I would like included in the itinerary specially for court on board...would be interesting!!

Outside space onboard is very pleasant in good weather and the gym is perfectly adequate.

This really is a great ship to cruise on and I chose it specifically for my second large ship cruise because I had enjoyed it so much the first time. I noticed a difference with doing a cold weather cruise as opposed to a sunny cruise, because you spend more time inside rather than out on deck. It can be difficult to find quiet space other than in your cabin and I dont like to shut myself away in my cabin to HOT one next time to be able to read and sunbathe on deck again.

Im always disappointed to hear people moaning, thankfully doesnt happen often but despite excellent service and food, I heard a couple moaning that the food wasnt as good as theyd had on such and such cruise! And I get upset with people getting out of their prams the MOMENT something doesnt go as planned. There was an issue on the last trip of a really early land trip and people virtually rioted because they thought they wouldnt get any breakfast before going! As it happened, it all got sorted but I dont understand why some people think the only way to get something sorted is to be verbally aggressive!!

There was also an incident involving a very elderly lady who walked with a walking stick on a trip to Catherines Palace in St Petersburg. She was so rude to our lovely young Russian female guide, upset because she had to walk the length of the driveway to the Palace. I would suggest to anyone with any sort of mobility issues that before booking the cruise, check the itinerary to the extent of what trips you would be CAPABLE of making. There had been clear warning in the description of this particular trip that there would be a LOT of walking and that it may not be suitable for some guests!! The Palace security are the ones who decide where the coaches can have access and they do not allow them access to the Palace approach.

If there are any single or recently having become single again people out there, nervous about doing these trips alone...dont be. There are lots of singletons in the same position and single or otherwise, people with whom to have interesting conversation. On my first Cruise Maritime trip I met a lady Id played tennis with as a teenager and on this last trip, two ladies whom I had known at College!!! I made a new lifelong friendship of a dear couple and lovely memories of fantastic trips. Less

Published 10/21/12

Cabin review: 10651

No complaints whatsoever. Clean modern cabin with very clean and adequate shower, toilet, sink and storage areas. Window out to main promenade deck. Generally quiet location except that it is close to the bar lounge above Marcos Restaurant and when there is entertainment on in the evenings there is a fire door that is closed between the bar area and our corridor. There is a notice placed on the door to ask guests NOT to enter the corridor from the bar end to respect those guests in that corridor but people generally take no notice. So if the entertainment is loud, you get the effect of the music coming and going as you are trying to sleep etc.

Port and Shore Excursions

Convenient mooring, 400m walk to the town centre. I like to walk and explore on my own and covered a fairly large area but felt, whilst it was a perfectly pleasant town, it was a bit boring. It just "was". The highlight for me is the Old Market Hall...really interesting and photogenic and a couple of nice cafes there.
Read 634 Helsinki Reviews

I knew nothing of Warnemunde before arriving and am glad because had I done so, I would probably gone with everyone else to Berlin. As it is, Berlin is probably worthy of a few days and not top of my list but Warnemunde was a revelation. It is a stylish, sweet, charming place, sort of caught in a time warp. It is so clean! The beach is wonderful and goes on for miles. As you follow the beachside promenade, it turns into a foot/bridle path after about half a mile, and this path goes on for about 4 miles, through pretty woodland. There is a pretty Hotel on the Cliffside, rather Swiss in appearance with a verandah that hangs over the beach with views back to Warnemunde and over the sea. I would have liked to visit Rostock which was easily accessible on the train from Warnemunde but I just ran out of time and walked about 4 miles instead. Try the smoked fish on sale at many waterside kiosks here, the Butter fish is delicious. Access to and from the mooring is flat and about 400m walk from the ship to the town centre.

Catherine Palace

Beautiful interior. But an exhibition really only of architecture and interior design, little to show how the Palace was used unlike in the Peterhoff which has staged rooms.

City Tour

Very interesting, plenty of information provided by the guide. Sufficient time spent at photo stops. Didnt change my previous opinion that there is a certain non physical coldness clouding the whole of the place but glad I have been to experience it for myself. Many beautiful pastel painted and decorated building but many more grey utilitarian looking buildings.

Neva River Cruise

Despite cold and earlier rain the sun came out and makes the whole place look totally different. Good information provided on the boat along with blankets!! Nice variety of things to see on the Neva and the side canals. Very pleasant tour to take.

Peter & Paul Fortress

Interesting. Strange in its layout. Again, one of the places you have to visit if only to see the resting place of all the Tsars. I felt the tour here was a bit disjointed but this was primarily because of numbers visiting the church and then a wait for our onward river cruise boat to arrive.

Peterhof Palace

Peterhoff is just one of those places you have to visit if you are into Architecture, Culture and History. It is stunning. The interior is breathtaking and the gardens extensive and very pretty. I particularly like the canal from the main fountains down to the sea and the seaside "villa".

My opinion of Stockholm is sadly tainted because I had my mobile phone and some money stolen here! A city tour is a necessity because the ship moores a long way from the centre of the city. YOu can sort your own transport into town but the cost of the tour is not much more than the ferry cost so it makes for better value. The city has lots of trees which look beautiful at this time of year, loads of colour inbetween the blocks of buildings. Attractive architecture particularly in the old town which are tall wharf warehouse style buildings. The tour takes you around the Embassy and affluent housing areas too, very attractive. Lots of green arteries. The Vasa Museum was included on our tour and I hadnt known what it was until I entered the building. It is incredible!!!! and warrants at least half a day wandering round and reading on your own...which sadly we didnt have. This ship is stunningly beautiful and the story behind it interesting and humorous. Sadly, because of my personal experience, my plan to return will be put further down the list...but I learnt a hard lesson and still am not entirely sure how it happened. The Museum is half light owing to the nature of the atmosphere it has to protect for the sake of the ship. I am normally the most security conscious person but stupidly had my rucksack on my back. Some clever thief managed to get my mobile phone out of a side zipped pocket of my rucksack. After discussion with my companions we can only think that the person then targeted me to where I paid for a drink in the cafe, saw where I replaced my purse..deep in my rucksack! and then stole all the Kroner notes out of my purse when we were seated in the cafe about 32 pounds worth. So watch out! The Vasa Museum is fantastic but it is the ideal place for thieves to operate...because of the half light, the security cameras, if there are some, would have a very poor recording!

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