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Having been on several cruises in the past, always with Cunard, it was with trepidation that I booked a trip on CMV Magellan. Magellan is a Holiday Class ship, so you would be forgiven if you thought it would be full of rowdy young booze-fuelled "cruisers". I was not setting my sights very high on this ship, as it had seen a previous life with Carnival Cruises, and it is relatively old. However, I was indeed surprised. Embarkation was an absolute delight; no sooner had I arrived at Tilbury, than my cases were taken and I was soon checked-in. I boarded about an hour later. I opted this time for an inside cabin, something I would not normally do, but since the cruise was certainly bargain-basement price, I saw little point in spending a fortune for a suite or very superior cabin. My cabin, a twin-bedded affair on the 6th deck, was indeed comfortable, and relatively spacious. I really couldnt fault it. Two standard beds, bedside tables, television, small dressing table, 3 wardrobes, shower and toilet with hairdryer. I didnt really need much more. I wasted no time in finding my way round the ship. Magellan is not overly large, carrying around 1150 passengers and around 450 crew, but it offers a fair mix of 3 whirlpools, 2 swimming pools, a nightclub, 2 restaurants, casino, library, card room, several sundecks, internet cafe (charge payable), bistro, health club, gym, lounges, theatre and several bars spread over 5 decks (the others are for the cabins/galley/crew). Enough to keep you occupied for a short cruise anyway. There are 2 main restaurants, which are initially difficult to find; Waldorf and Kensington. Dinner settings are 6.30 and 8.15. Staff are attentive, and the food, whilst not being at Cunard standard, is certainly good. Meals generally consist of a starter, soup, salad, main, dessert and coffee. I enjoyed the food. If you prefer, you can eat in the Bistro, which serves the same food on a help yourself basis, though it can be crowded at times, and some travellers can be quite selfish with their need to be "first" for their meals. Expect some pushing and shoving! I preferred the waiter service in the restaurant. There is free tea and coffee available in the Bistro 24/7. Other drinks are chargeable. As a guide, a coke is £2.05, cocktails around £4, coffee (special) £2-ish, water (bottled) at £2.05. There are of course other spirits available. There are drinks packages available. You can have unlimited drinks (soft or alcoholic) for £17/day, or unlimited soft drinks for £9.95/day, or 10 cocktails for £30. I opted for the latter. Cocktails were fair, being a little light on alcohol I felt. There is a show each evening, at 6.30 and 9.45, to accommodate the 2 restaurant settings. I found some of the shows a little poor, though, to be fair, 3 were particularly good. The Baltic Cruise visited Denmark (Copenhagen), Germany (Berlin), Finland (Helsinki), Estonia (Tallinn), Russia (St Petersburg) and Sweden (Stockholm). Trips vary in price. Mine cost from £29 to £129. I cant write about every trip here, but would comment as follows: Copenhagen - easy to do it alone - the city is within 2 miles of the port; Warnemunde (Germany) - I took the 12-hour trip to Berlin to see the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie etc etc. Its a full 12 hours and cost £129. I thought it was excellent. Warmunde is also a very nice place in its own right. Tallin - a beautiful little place with cobbled streets and worth a look. Again, I took a taxi from the port - £14. St Petersburg - 2 days are spent here. I personally found this place expensive, hostile, and totally unsuitable for wheelchair users. Plenty of shops. There are some lovely palaces and churches to see, but as they are not my thing, I took the evening canal cruise, which, at £39 was reasonable. You can buy Duty Free goods at the port if you do not wish to actually enter Russia. The Immigration process can be long-winded and frustrating. . Some of my friends attended the ballet, which they said was the best ever. Helsinki - this is quite an inoffensive place, and extremely clean. I took the tram ride around the city here and enjoyed it. A mix of shops catering for basic needs. Stockholm - the place I liked least. Unsuitable for disabled people due to cobbled streets and hills. I thought it was very expensive. As a guide, I ordered 2 cakes and 2 coffees that amounted to just under £24. Life aboard Magellan has its good and bad points. The best point for me was the fact its an ADULT ONLY ship. You can relax without noisy children around you. Food is certainly good, and staff are very attentive. Cabins are comfortable. Shows are typically of the holidaymaker ilk. The negatives? Drinks can soon add up on your onboard account, as can any other purchases. Trips can also add a huge cost to what appears to be a good value holiday. (My onboard bill was virtually the same as my cruise cost). Sometimes its difficult to find a place to sit. Also, for some odd reason, there is a LOT of vibration on this ship. Would I travel on Magellen again? Definitely YES, but I would not always use the arranged tours, as many can be made on foot or using buses and taxis. My cruise cost £749 for 12 nights. So for just over £60/day, you really cannot complain. Its a really excellent deal. Remember that tips are automatically added to your account at £5/day per person. One point to make though is that the suites advertised on the ship, advertising balcony views, invariably look out over the lifeboats, so not as good as you might imagine. Probably the best value is an outside cabin on Deck 6.

Great value , no kids, but watch out for extras!

Magellan Cruise Review by Martyn F

43 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Having been on several cruises in the past, always with Cunard, it was with trepidation that I booked a trip on CMV Magellan.

Magellan is a Holiday Class ship, so you would be forgiven if you thought it would be full of rowdy young booze-fuelled "cruisers".

I was not setting my sights very high on this ship, as it had seen a previous life with Carnival Cruises, and it is relatively old. However, I was indeed surprised.

Embarkation was an absolute delight; no sooner had I arrived at Tilbury, than my cases were taken and I was soon checked-in. I boarded about an hour later.

I opted this time for an inside cabin, something I would not normally do, but since the cruise was certainly bargain-basement price, I saw little point in spending a fortune for a suite or very superior cabin. My cabin, a twin-bedded affair on the 6th deck, was indeed comfortable, and relatively spacious. I really couldnt fault it. Two standard beds, bedside tables, television, small dressing table, 3 wardrobes, shower and toilet with hairdryer. I didnt really need much more.

I wasted no time in finding my way round the ship.

Magellan is not overly large, carrying around 1150 passengers and around 450 crew, but it offers a fair mix of 3 whirlpools, 2 swimming pools, a nightclub, 2 restaurants, casino, library, card room, several sundecks, internet cafe (charge payable), bistro, health club, gym, lounges, theatre and several bars spread over 5 decks (the others are for the cabins/galley/crew). Enough to keep you occupied for a short cruise anyway.

There are 2 main restaurants, which are initially difficult to find; Waldorf and Kensington.

Dinner settings are 6.30 and 8.15.

Staff are attentive, and the food, whilst not being at Cunard standard, is certainly good. Meals generally consist of a starter, soup, salad, main, dessert and coffee. I enjoyed the food.

If you prefer, you can eat in the Bistro, which serves the same food on a help yourself basis, though it can be crowded at times, and some travellers can be quite selfish with their need to be "first" for their meals. Expect some pushing and shoving! I preferred the waiter service in the restaurant.

There is free tea and coffee available in the Bistro 24/7. Other drinks are chargeable.

As a guide, a coke is £2.05, cocktails around £4, coffee (special) £2-ish, water (bottled) at £2.05. There are of course other spirits available. There are drinks packages available. You can have unlimited drinks (soft or alcoholic) for £17/day, or unlimited soft drinks for £9.95/day, or 10 cocktails for £30. I opted for the latter. Cocktails were fair, being a little light on alcohol I felt.

There is a show each evening, at 6.30 and 9.45, to accommodate the 2 restaurant settings. I found some of the shows a little poor, though, to be fair, 3 were particularly good.

The Baltic Cruise visited Denmark (Copenhagen), Germany (Berlin), Finland (Helsinki), Estonia (Tallinn), Russia (St Petersburg) and Sweden (Stockholm). Trips vary in price. Mine cost from £29 to £129.

I cant write about every trip here, but would comment as follows:

Copenhagen - easy to do it alone - the city is within 2 miles of the port;

Warnemunde (Germany) - I took the 12-hour trip to Berlin to see the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie etc etc. Its a full 12 hours and cost £129. I thought it was excellent.

Warmunde is also a very nice place in its own right.

Tallin - a beautiful little place with cobbled streets and worth a look. Again, I took a taxi from the port - £14.

St Petersburg - 2 days are spent here. I personally found this place expensive, hostile, and totally unsuitable for wheelchair users. Plenty of shops. There are some lovely palaces and churches to see, but as they are not my thing, I took the evening canal cruise, which, at £39 was reasonable. You can buy Duty Free goods at the port if you do not wish to actually enter Russia. The Immigration process can be long-winded and frustrating. . Some of my friends attended the ballet, which they said was the best ever.

Helsinki - this is quite an inoffensive place, and extremely clean. I took the tram ride around the city here and enjoyed it. A mix of shops catering for basic needs.

Stockholm - the place I liked least. Unsuitable for disabled people due to cobbled streets and hills. I thought it was very expensive. As a guide, I ordered 2 cakes and 2 coffees that amounted to just under £24.

Life aboard Magellan has its good and bad points. The best point for me was the fact its an ADULT ONLY ship. You can relax without noisy children around you. Food is certainly good, and staff are very attentive. Cabins are comfortable. Shows are typically of the holidaymaker ilk.

The negatives? Drinks can soon add up on your onboard account, as can any other purchases. Trips can also add a huge cost to what appears to be a good value holiday.

(My onboard bill was virtually the same as my cruise cost). Sometimes its difficult to find a place to sit. Also, for some odd reason, there is a LOT of vibration on this ship.

Would I travel on Magellen again? Definitely YES, but I would not always use the arranged tours, as many can be made on foot or using buses and taxis.

My cruise cost £749 for 12 nights. So for just over £60/day, you really cannot complain. Its a really excellent deal. Remember that tips are automatically added to your account at £5/day per person.

One point to make though is that the suites advertised on the ship, advertising balcony views, invariably look out over the lifeboats, so not as good as you might imagine. Probably the best value is an outside cabin on Deck 6.
Martyn F’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6086
Lower priced cabins are fairly well appointed. A twin-bedded affair on the 6th deck is indeed comfortable, and relatively spacious. Two standard beds, bedside tables, television, small dressing table, 3 wardrobes, shower and toilet with hairdryer.
Suites offer more, but the views are not anything special, unless looking at lifeboats is your hobby..