Two friends had booked the Norwegian Fjord cruise on the Magellan after seeing an advert in the Daily Telegraph. When we saw the itinerary we decided to join them as a late booking.
Embarkation in Dundee was very quick and efficient once we had arrived at the ship, our taxi driver got lost on the way to the quay, apparently cruising from Dundee is a new and fairly infrequent event. This was our tenth cruise with various other companies and non have equalled the quay to cabin luggage speed of CMV.
Our cabin numbered 5172 was on the port side on deck 5 and was four from the stern, not where we would have selected but late bookers have no choice. We found the cabin accommodation to be very satisfactory, clean with a large picture window, plenty of hanging and drawer space, comfortable beds, a reasonably sized shower room and shower enclosure with soft lighting instead of the usual hard spotlights so prevalent on other ships. So far so good we thought.
That was until the ship left the quay and started to pick up speed. Whilst still in the sound and under the control of the pilot a strange and persistent clanking noise began to make itself heard. We thought that this was a glitch which would be attended to but no. if anything it increased in volume when the open sea and cruising speed was reached. When we retired to bed it became glaringly obvious that sleep was out of the question so we contacted reception to report the noise.
At first nothing was done, but on complaining again at about 2am a member of the crew came to listen and arranged for us to be moved temporarily to a "sleeping cabin". The following morning we were offered another outside cabin numbered 5054, situated amidships. Bliss, no noise whatsoever. Our friends, who were situated four cabins away from our original cabin also had to put up with the noise but when they complained they were given ear plugs! Another couple who were closer to the stern did succeed in getting moved. I checked the starboard side stern area corridor and found the noise to be there as well but the volume was a bit less.
It is obvious that the Magellan has a problem which would appear to be with the propulsion system and this has the effect of making the last ten or so cabins on deck 5 suffer from a distressing amount of mechanical din. I cannot comment on other areas in the stern, it certainly could not be heard on deck 8 in the Waldorf Restaurant.
Apart from this unfortunate shortcoming it has to be said that the Magellan is a very pleasant ship to cruise in. The staff were all attentive and polite, the food was very satisfactory with adequate choice, the whole of the ship was spotlessly clean, entertainment more than satisfactory allowing for the fairly small size and drinks reasonably priced. We did not encounter any rough seas so cannot comment on the sea worthiness, The ports of call were delightful and the shore excursions we took were enjoyable and well supervised.
Would we cruise on the Magellan again? The answer is yes but we would make sure that we were well away from the stern especially on the lower decks.