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This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it with but were a bit wary given some of the bad reviews this ship and company get. Tilbury is an odd port and probably needed refurbishment 40 years ago, it still does and after a bit of chaos at the long term car park the embarkation process was very efficient. From starting the process to boarding the ship and being shown straight to our cabin was no more than 15 minutes. The meet and greet on board was good and within minutes we had dropped out hand luggage off and were free to explore. The ship is not huge, which appealed to us. Everything was immaculate and there was constant cleaning and polishing going on throughout the entire voyage, along with window cleaning and painting whenever the ship was in port. There are staff dispensing anti-bac at all times in every place food is served. There were various activities for most sea days, quizzes, art, a choir and entertainment. We didn't go to much of the 'on stage' entertainment as it wasn't our style (singing and dancing) but there is also an excellent resident pianist who plays regularly in one of the smaller bars and a fantastic piano and violin duet who played 3 or 4 times a day in one of the other bars, they were stunning. Other people enjoyed the main entertainment so there was a variety of styles to suit taste. The guest cabaret (comedy and music) was very old hat, Frank Spencer impressions and lots of jokes around impotence, some people found him funny, he was a better singer than comedian. Some of the guest lectures were interesting, a bit more variety would have been good. The food was very good, always a choice of self serve or restaurant. While occasionally the soup wasn't hot there was always a good choice, it was always well presented and served with a smile. I am veggie and was always well catered for with a choice of menu. While the breakfast staff were not always overly cheerful or interactive the evening dinner service was good humoured, professional and always served with beaming smiles. Our waiter, Thant, remembered our particular likes and dislikes and was always ready to change anything that wasn't to someone's liking (eg blue cheese on the cheese and biscuits) and remembered this for next time. Portion sizes were very good, not excessive but more than adequate. Lunch was 3 courses, though staff were also happy to just do the soup if requested, 3 courses were not compulsory (!) dinner was a minimum of 5 courses with fresh pizza available 12-6 and afternoon tea 3.30-4.30 plus late night snacks handed around in all bars around 11/11.30. I'm sure no-one could possibly go hungry. Drinks are very reasonable, there is a drinks package at £17pp per night but bar prices are normal, fairly cheap, pub prices. Wine packages are offered a few days into the trip for those who don't want the full drinks package. We just bought drinks as we went along and had a very reasonable bill at the end of the trip. Shore excursions are expensive, in most places we just did our own thing. Amsterdam was an easy walk from port to city centre and there were buses for the less mobile. In the Faroe Islands we did a trip which was good but at £37 expensive for 2.5 hours. In Iceland we did our own thing, there was a port shuttle available at £12 but a local bus is £6 return and went every 20 minutes. In Orkney there was a free shuttle provided locally and we were greeted by Tourist Info staff, the whole town was geared up for our visit (even the local vicar was sat in the Cathedral on his laptop in case anyone wanted a chat, there were welcome signs in shops) and we were "piped off' by a bagpipe and drum band. Disembarkment was a little chaotic but not unreasonable for getting 1,200 people and their luggage off a ship. The staff were very friendly, the Captain informative and also funny. We had one pretty rough sea day as we left Iceland when most activities were cancelled and we were catching wine glasses and fellow passengers as they slid around the ship. Listening to some fellow passengers whinging and wining as we left the ship it was hard to believe we had been on the same cruise, while I'm sure there will have been some genuine mishaps or problems some people just seemed to be looking for problems "there wasn't even a mint on our pillow at night" was one person's moan about why he would never use CMV again...

A good trip, don't be put off by the bad reviews.

Magellan Cruise Review by PeMoA

24 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first cruise so we have nothing to compare it with but were a bit wary given some of the bad reviews this ship and company get.

Tilbury is an odd port and probably needed refurbishment 40 years ago, it still does and after a bit of chaos at the long term car park the embarkation process was very efficient. From starting the process to boarding the ship and being shown straight to our cabin was no more than 15 minutes. The meet and greet on board was good and within minutes we had dropped out hand luggage off and were free to explore.

The ship is not huge, which appealed to us. Everything was immaculate and there was constant cleaning and polishing going on throughout the entire voyage, along with window cleaning and painting whenever the ship was in port. There are staff dispensing anti-bac at all times in every place food is served.

There were various activities for most sea days, quizzes, art, a choir and entertainment. We didn't go to much of the 'on stage' entertainment as it wasn't our style (singing and dancing) but there is also an excellent resident pianist who plays regularly in one of the smaller bars and a fantastic piano and violin duet who played 3 or 4 times a day in one of the other bars, they were stunning. Other people enjoyed the main entertainment so there was a variety of styles to suit taste. The guest cabaret (comedy and music) was very old hat, Frank Spencer impressions and lots of jokes around impotence, some people found him funny, he was a better singer than comedian. Some of the guest lectures were interesting, a bit more variety would have been good.

The food was very good, always a choice of self serve or restaurant. While occasionally the soup wasn't hot there was always a good choice, it was always well presented and served with a smile. I am veggie and was always well catered for with a choice of menu. While the breakfast staff were not always overly cheerful or interactive the evening dinner service was good humoured, professional and always served with beaming smiles. Our waiter, Thant, remembered our particular likes and dislikes and was always ready to change anything that wasn't to someone's liking (eg blue cheese on the cheese and biscuits) and remembered this for next time. Portion sizes were very good, not excessive but more than adequate. Lunch was 3 courses, though staff were also happy to just do the soup if requested, 3 courses were not compulsory (!) dinner was a minimum of 5 courses with fresh pizza available 12-6 and afternoon tea 3.30-4.30 plus late night snacks handed around in all bars around 11/11.30. I'm sure no-one could possibly go hungry.

Drinks are very reasonable, there is a drinks package at £17pp per night but bar prices are normal, fairly cheap, pub prices. Wine packages are offered a few days into the trip for those who don't want the full drinks package. We just bought drinks as we went along and had a very reasonable bill at the end of the trip.

Shore excursions are expensive, in most places we just did our own thing. Amsterdam was an easy walk from port to city centre and there were buses for the less mobile. In the Faroe Islands we did a trip which was good but at £37 expensive for 2.5 hours. In Iceland we did our own thing, there was a port shuttle available at £12 but a local bus is £6 return and went every 20 minutes. In Orkney there was a free shuttle provided locally and we were greeted by Tourist Info staff, the whole town was geared up for our visit (even the local vicar was sat in the Cathedral on his laptop in case anyone wanted a chat, there were welcome signs in shops) and we were "piped off' by a bagpipe and drum band.

Disembarkment was a little chaotic but not unreasonable for getting 1,200 people and their luggage off a ship. The staff were very friendly, the Captain informative and also funny. We had one pretty rough sea day as we left Iceland when most activities were cancelled and we were catching wine glasses and fellow passengers as they slid around the ship.

Listening to some fellow passengers whinging and wining as we left the ship it was hard to believe we had been on the same cruise, while I'm sure there will have been some genuine mishaps or problems some people just seemed to be looking for problems "there wasn't even a mint on our pillow at night" was one person's moan about why he would never use CMV again...
PeMoA’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7137
We had an outside double cabin on deck 7, decent size window, plenty of storage space and en suite shower. The only and main complaint of the whole trip was that the cabins were very overheated. They set the temperature at 23 degrees which was just too hot for us and the air con didn't make any difference despite us reporting this a few times, this is the only thing that would put us off. No doubt for some people this would be an ideal temp and we were definitely younger than the average age of passengers on the ship. Our cabin was kept immaculately clean by Marcus, our cabin steward who cleaned morning and evening. Friendly, always smiling, professional and a whizz at towel art he was a credit to the company and enhanced our trip.