Magellan Cruise Review by lauren6695
- Sail Date: May 2016
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
I have to admit I was nervous about going due to quite a few negative reviews from some of the users on this site but I was pleasantly surprised.
When we arrived at the cruise terminal at Tilbury there was an extremely long queue waiting for the car park, the ship was late into port due to bad weather which meant that they were several hours late, this meant that passengers disembarking were not leaving the car park quick enough for the embarking passengers to get in, this caused us to leave 2 hours later than planned. If you can I would advise just getting someone to drop you off as this took less than half an hour to get onto the ship compared to several hours just waiting to get into the car park.
The ship itself is not huge but still has plenty of room for everyone to have their own space. The room we purchased was an inner twin which was at a very good price through newmarket holidays. The pictures on the CMV website show very crammed rooms and I was worried I may end up sleeping in a cupboard, but when we were shown to our cabin we realised that we had been upgraded to an ocean view cabin but we had not been told that this was happening, the room was lovely and bright, the beds had clean white sheets and there were nice towels in the bathroom. Our tickets for shore excursions and info sheets about the next day were left on the bed and there was a cabin steward called Ivan who knocked on the door about an hour after we got there. Our rooms were cleaned every day and fresh towels were put into the bathroom.
The only major problem with the room was the fact that our room was 2 away from the back of the ship on deck 5, it was exceptionally noisy at night, whilst we were expecting some noise and vibration, we did not realise just how loud the engines would be. At various points in the night we would be woken by the entire cabin shaking violently, when we were pulling into ports the noise would ramp up even further causing me to hold my ears, if the boat was turning or the weather was a bit rough you would most certainly not get a good nights sleep! Whilst it wasn't the end of the world I don't think I would have wanted to stay in that room for longer than the 3 nights. I will be choosing a cabin further forward next time as you could hear the change in engine noise by just walking up the corridor a few cabins. When you hear horror stories of accidents on cruise ships and people describe violent shaking I'm not joking when I say every night it felt like we had run aground. My advise is to pay a bit extra and choose your cabin location or risk getting an interrupted nights sleep.
The dining on the ship was great, we were allocated the first sitting in the Kensington restaurant. On the first night the dining was pushed back from 18:15 to 19:30 due to some passengers still waiting to get through the terminal to be booked in. Whilst this wasn't too much of an issue with us the second sitting was forced to wait until 21:30 to get their food which was far too late for the older passengers who made up a large percentage of the ship.
. Every night we were presented with a menu which had appetisers, soup, salad, main course and deserts to choose from. The menu also had good vegetarian options. The food was brought out piping hot and was of a sensible size. I had read review after review that complained about the food being cold I can only think that they spent every night in the raffles bistro, which seems to serve the same sort of food as the restaurants but in a self serve sort of fashion. There were mainly cold salads and deserts available with a few hot meals such as curry and rice.
Breakfasts started from 08:00 and you could go up as many times as you liked hot and cold was available and the waiters would top up your drinks before you had finished the first one.
The first night we missed the show due to being exhausted, but the second night was a mamma mia themed show. The dancers and singers were good, the last night they looked a little unprepared and it was not as good an atmosphere. You could have your drinks brought to you and they are reasonably priced with most cocktails being priced at £3.50/£4 and charged to your cabin account. They put on a buffet display which included a quite impressive dragon carved from chocolate and a frog made from watermelon. On the last night we encountered a large storm which meant that the ship was rather rocky, it was hilarious watching everyone dancing to the male singers version of Robbie Williams Let Me Entertain You whilst trying to remain upright.
There were games such as call my bluff and passenger Mr and Mrs which was hosted by a comic host. Overall there was plenty to do and one night the nightclub stayed open until 5am which was apparently a record, I just feel for the poor staff who probably just wanted to get into bed!
Most of the staff were very friendly with cleaners polishing and cleaning mirrors, staircases and public areas which felt like 24/7, there was never any mess and there were plenty of alcohol gel dispensers around and staff would offer it to you on the way into the restaurants, clearly a good effort to make sure no one falls foul to the dreaded Norovirus as many cruise ships have encountered recently. Whenever you walked passed a crew member they would always greet you and some even made an effort to remember you. The only time I was taken aback slightly was when at dinner our usually accommodating waitress rolled her eyes and exclaimed I've asked you twice already when I changed my mind from coffee to decaf (she definitely only asked me once and it wasn't even for me but the other person I was with).
Before our trip we received news that due to port closures we would be visiting Ghent first then Amsterdam which meant that our previously booked excursions had to be cancelled due to not having enough time to get back to the ship before it left for the next port. Most of the excursions left at 11:30/12:00 and returned back to the ship for 16:30/17:00, the main problem with this is your are not given any provisions for lunch, considering you pay for a full board cruise you only get breakfast and dinner and you have to pay for your own lunch, we also did not get given time for lunch until at least 15:00 with the first day being given an hour for lunch and to have a look around. The second day we were only given 45 mins of free time which meant we ended up rushing back to the coach without actually visiting any of the shops or looking around the area. Considering you would have breakfast at around 8:00 lunch for the elderly people at 15:00 can be too late. We missed out on both lunch and afternoon tea on our trip, Perhaps there was somewhere we were supposed to go in order to get a packed lunch, but if there was this was not advertised anywhere.
The Magellan ship was an adults only cruise liner, it was nice to go on holiday where everyone could get a little bit merry and not have to worry about putting any little ones to bed or getting them ready in the morning.
On the day of disembarkation you were required to leave your room by 07:00, this would have been fine if we had docked on time by due to the weather we arrived an hour and a half later. Many of the public toilets on the ship were blocked on the last day and you were not able to gain access to any of the bathrooms in cabins. 1200 passengers all waiting for 5 bathrooms meant that queues were very long,
Many of the passengers that we spoke to who had travelled on this liner before commented on the lack of preparation of the staff and the disorganisation of certain activities. When we first boarded we asked one of the staff members what time the ship would be getting back to port on the last day and he simply shrugged and said he didn't know. Maybe he was new or didn't quite understand what we were asking but if the staff don't know what time we are disembarking how does anyone arrange pick-ups and lifts back home.
Overall my experience of the cruise was a good one, its not 5 star luxury and you certainly don't pay enough to demand that sort of service. The staff seem to work 14-15 hours days and they work hard to make sure the place is clean and everyone has whatever they need day or night. It would be better if they had a better shopping area, there were no areas on the ship to buy ladies toiletries, toothbrushes, shampoo etc, crisps were only available in cheese and onion or paprika flavour, the 24/7 drinks machine only provided water to those who don't drink tea or coffee. If you need anything medical be prepared to pay for it! A doctors consultation for an insect bite that had swollen up was going to cost £50+ just for him to say you need an antihistamine, anyone with half a brain could tell us that, I don't need to pay a doctor £50 to look at it for 30 seconds to tell me what I already know! If you want to be waited on hand and foot your travelling with the wrong liner and should be paying 10x as much with a liner like Cunard.
Good first cruise experience, already looking for my next one!
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