We had cruised with P&O in March and had a thoroughly miserable time so when we saw an offer in travel agent for a 6 night cruise we decided to try it to hopefully restore our faith in cruising! It did!
Marco Polo is a small ship and celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, but it is good shape and, as we expect (unlike P&O), it was being thoroughly and constantly cleaned and polished. The public areas were pleasant, not huge, but this a proper ship-shaped ship, not an apartment block at sea.
It was a short cruise so no time to be bored, but actually there was plenty to do and the entertainment was pretty good. Noticeably, everyone we met seemed cheerful and happy, both crew and passengers, which made for a thoroughly pleasant experience. The staff were great, no question here of not tipping!
Our cabin was tiny and basic (steerage class!) but that was what we had paid for, and it was clean and comfortable, we slept well, and it was very handy for disembarkation (a few steps!)
We dined in the evenings at the later fixed sitting, and were lucky enough to meet two other couples whose company we thoroughly enjoyed. The food was good, plenty of choice, well presented and decent ingredients, no school dinners or tinned carrots here (see P&O)!
We will happily cruise again now, so thank you, Cruise and Maritime, for that.
Good, clean, tiny but our cabin steward removed suitcases (too big to put under bed) and was very friendly and helpful.
It was sunny! We walked around the old town and along the coast a little. Very scenic and people were friendly. Norwegians are an energetic bunch and everyone seemed to be walking, swimming, cycling etc. It was midsummer so the locals were making the best of the light.
Embarkation port. Familiar territory, but for strangers lots to see. Newcastle/Gateshead quayside, the Millenium bridge, shopping if you're so inclined. Further afield the coast is lovely, Alnwick and castle a delight, and of course Hadrian's wall is spectacular.