This was our first cruise and we chose a cruise of short duration just to see if it suited us. We booked one of the better cabins (Deluxe Ocean View) on the highest deck of the ship. Having subsequently read some of the reviews we approached the cruise with some misgivings. Organisation from embarkation to disembarkation was excellent throughout. Everything happened when they said it would happen. Our cabin was very good and spacious. Our Cabin Steward (the cabin cleaner) was very efficient and friendly. The main dining room staff once again were very attentive and pleasant. Food in general was good but we found the cooked breakfast poor and stuck to the other numerous options. The wine in the main dining room was a little expensive and indeed the house white at £5 per large glass was too poor to repeat so we settled for a pretty standard but nice Savignon Blanc at £22.90 a bottle. In the ship's bars drink prices were a bit high but not exorbitant - a good quality draft lager was the equivalent of £5.11 a pint.
The entertainments offered were enjoyable with a regular twice an evening performance by the dancers/singers which changed each evening. The cruise entertainments director Richard Sykes was an integral part of the entertainment and is a man of great talent. His covering of Victoria Wood songs playing the piano and singing was outstanding. The port visits were very interesting and for me the transit of the Kiel Canal was a highlight. So far so good but there were a few not so good bits. We found our cabin had a noisy air conditioning vent which affected sleep. There was also a degree of engine vibration felt. The crew are of many nationalities and as has been mentioned before some of the Ukrainians were a bit off hand but generally did their jobs well. The Marco Polo is an old ship but provides a traditional small ship cruise with a very homely feel to it and has the bonus of no children! If you love ships and the sea and a traditional British style cruise you will love the Marco Polo.
Good size. Integral sitting area comprising a two seat sofa and an armchair. A decent sized flat screen TV sat on a refrigerated mini bar. A large coffee table was present with a large atlas and a daily replenished fruit basket. A unit comprising a table top, two sets of 4 draws, a sit under dressing table/mirror and coffee/tea making items fitted along side the queen sized double bed. The cabin had two large wardrobes and a bath/shower/wc bathroom. The cabin had three floor to ceiling windows but the lower part had a view obscured by a life boat. All very nice except a noisy air vent in the ceiling spoilt an otherwise very quiet location on the ship. We also found the mixer tap in the bathroom was reluctant to give cold water to cool down the very hot water. The cabin's condition was good with no apparent sign of wear and tear. The cabin steward was superb and the morning clean was always timed to occur whilst we were at breakfast. The evening clean/ bed laying out was also very well timed. We found the steward very friendly as well.