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Although I cruise regularly this was my first time on the Cruise & Maritime Voyages "Magellan. The cruise was entitled "land of the Northern Lights". The ship called in Amsterdam for sightseeing and to pick up Dutch passengers. The ship sailed from Tilbury, a port I haven't used for many years. Although not the most attractive cruise terminal the boarding procedure was one of the most swif and efficient I have encountered. The time between my arrival at the terminal and boarding the ship was less than 20 minutes. My luggage arrived at my cabin a few minutes later. The ship looked very attractive and in good condition. However, there are some aspects of its design which mar the cruise experience. There is no promenade deck which is an essential on a cruise ship. In addition, there is a quirky layout of the public rooms whereby it is not possible to walk through some decks. I had an outside cabin on deck 6 which was sold as a single cabin but had a double bed and was quite spacious. It had plenty of storage space, a picture window, television and efficient air conditioning.There was a personal safe which was unreliable and had to be repaired on three occasions. The one thing that the cabin lacked was tea/coffee making facilities. The public rooms were quite spacious and quite well laid out. The library was much too small. The theatre which was on two levels was spectacular but perhaps too large. It was greatly under-used. I dined in the Waldorf restaurant which was also on two levels. There were allocated tables for dinner and open seating for for breakfast and lunch there and in the Kensington restaurant. As an alternative all meals, afternoon tea and all-day tea/coffee service could be taken in the Raffles self-service bistro. The quality of the food was good but the menus were rather limited. The dinner menus were a trifle lacking in imagination and there were few beef or lamb dishes. Breakfast menus were fine and the expert omelette chef was a star performer. One oddity was that there was no choice of fruit juices, it was orange or orange! The daytime entertainment followed the normal pattern but the lectures were somewhat unimaginative and lacked variety. The evening "Showtime" entertainment was very limited and wasn't helped on more than one occasion for announcements of sightings of the Norther Lights. The shore excursions at the many fascinating ports of call were good although the on-board organisation of these was a little hit or miss. It would be hard to pick out the best ports of call as they all had good points but Alta and its great Tirpitz museum, the North cape and the Trondheim heritage train were very enjoyable. Although I didn't take an excursion there the visit to the lovely village of Olden was a time to remember. Many members of the the staff gave friendly and excellent service but overall the service left a great deal to be desired. The service in the lounged was often poor with unenthusiastic staff often seeming indifferent to the wishes of passengers. Lunchtime in the Waldorf restaurant when the ship was at sea could only be describes as chaotic. There seems to be a serious lack of effective and experienced supervisors to ensure good service. Overall, the itinerary was excellent and the sightings of the Northern lights spectacular but the cruise lacked character. The cruise directors was hyper-active and was much too fond of giving extended messages on the intercom. Many of my travelling companions comments that it reminded them of a holiday camp of yesteryear. The international staff, many from Eastern Europe, were a mixed back and are much in need of training to bring the service up to an acceptable level. It was very much a basic, low-cost holiday which might suit first time cruises but does not compare with Fred. Olsen or P&O.

Land of the Northern Lights

Magellan Cruise Review by Parsman

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Trip Details
Although I cruise regularly this was my first time on the Cruise & Maritime Voyages "Magellan. The cruise was entitled "land of the Northern Lights". The ship called in Amsterdam for sightseeing and to pick up Dutch passengers.

The ship sailed from Tilbury, a port I haven't used for many years. Although not the most attractive cruise terminal the boarding procedure was one of the most swif and efficient I have encountered. The time between my arrival at the terminal and boarding the ship was less than 20 minutes. My luggage arrived at my cabin a few minutes later.

The ship looked very attractive and in good condition. However, there are some aspects of its design which mar the cruise experience. There is no promenade deck which is an essential on a cruise ship. In addition, there is a quirky layout of the public rooms whereby it is not possible to walk through some decks.

I had an outside cabin on deck 6 which was sold as a single cabin but had a double bed and was quite spacious. It had plenty of storage space, a picture window, television and efficient air conditioning.There was a personal safe which was unreliable and had to be repaired on three occasions. The one thing that the cabin lacked was tea/coffee making facilities.

The public rooms were quite spacious and quite well laid out. The library was much too small. The theatre which was on two levels was spectacular but perhaps too large. It was greatly under-used.

I dined in the Waldorf restaurant which was also on two levels. There were allocated tables for dinner and open seating for for breakfast and lunch there and in the Kensington restaurant. As an alternative all meals, afternoon tea and all-day tea/coffee service could be taken in the Raffles self-service bistro. The quality of the food was good but the menus were rather limited. The dinner menus were a trifle lacking in imagination and there were few beef or lamb dishes. Breakfast menus were fine and the expert omelette chef was a star performer. One oddity was that there was no choice of fruit juices, it was orange or orange!

The daytime entertainment followed the normal pattern but the lectures were somewhat unimaginative and lacked variety. The evening "Showtime" entertainment was very limited and wasn't helped on more than one occasion for announcements of sightings of the Norther Lights.

The shore excursions at the many fascinating ports of call were good although the on-board organisation of these was a little hit or miss. It would be hard to pick out the best ports of call as they all had good points but Alta and its great Tirpitz museum, the North cape and the Trondheim heritage train were very enjoyable. Although I didn't take an excursion there the visit to the lovely village of Olden was a time to remember.

Many members of the the staff gave friendly and excellent service but overall the service left a great deal to be desired. The service in the lounged was often poor with unenthusiastic staff often seeming indifferent to the wishes of passengers. Lunchtime in the Waldorf restaurant when the ship was at sea could only be describes as chaotic. There seems to be a serious lack of effective and experienced supervisors to ensure good service.

Overall, the itinerary was excellent and the sightings of the Northern lights spectacular but the cruise lacked character. The cruise directors was hyper-active and was much too fond of giving extended messages on the intercom. Many of my travelling companions comments that it reminded them of a holiday camp of yesteryear. The international staff, many from Eastern Europe, were a mixed back and are much in need of training to bring the service up to an acceptable level. It was very much a basic, low-cost holiday which might suit first time cruises but does not compare with Fred. Olsen or P&O.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6119
Spacious with plenty of storage space, double bed, picture window and good air conditioning. Poor quality safe. Lacking in tea/coffee-making facility.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews