Our cruise was to the Norwegian Fjords on a 10 day cruise on the Magellan. Sailing from Liverpool, we were due to visit Eidfjord, Flam, Bergen, Kirkwall and Dublin.
Boarding the vessel was straight forward and relatively quick. However, I was a little concerned that as we entered the ship, the crew member ushering us on board was standing in front of the automatic liquid hand cleanser dispenser and we weren’t told to clean our hands.
During the voyage, I saw several examples of this lax attitude to hand cleaning by both passengers and members of the crew. For example, at the entrance to the self-service Bistro cafeteria there was a dispenser but no member of the crew telling people to use it. Consequently, I saw many passengers walk straight past the dispenser without cleansing. My wife also said that several women using the toilets before lunch did not bother to wash their hands and then walked straight into lunch.
In Kirkwall, several of the crew got off and, and as we got back on to the ship, I observed at least four crew walking up the gangplank and straight into the ship without hand cleansing.
To me, the attitude to cleanliness/hygiene was far too casual. The whole ship seemed to be in need of a ‘deep’ clean. The carpets were shabby and the ship was generally ‘run down’.
Overcrowding was most apparent in the Bistro cafeteria (self-service) at lunch times. If you didn’t get there early, it was hard to get a seat. Consequently, we took lunch in the Kensington restaurant, as we did with our evening meal. The food was generally of a good standard and the evening table service was excellent.
Magellan has also done away with the late night snacks (11.00pm) in the Bistro. Instead, food was supposed to be served in the lounges. So if you wanted a small cake/biscuit before bed with a cup of tea – tough! And if you wanted a cup of hot chocolate, you might as well have asked for a pot of gold!
We had an inside cabin on deck 6. There was a reasonable amount of space but no chairs to sit on – so what, you may ask?! (See below). The walls seem to be thin and we could hear the people in the next cabin; especially the woman, who was particularly loud, mainly at midnight!
The evening’s entertainment on the Magellan was disappointing. Dana was the singer – very good and Dave Hubbard, the comedian, was excellent (and ‘clean’). However, the show team and the singers were pretty poor. Liked the pianist and violinist duo –very good.
The scenery in the fjords was spectacular and we were able to do our own thing in Eidfjord, Flam, Bergen and Kirkwall. We felt the organised visits were too expensive. We went on the train ride ourselves in Flam. Judging from the comments of the people, who went on the organised trip, it was better and cheaper for us! Our visit to the Highland Park whiskey distillery in Kirkwall was very interesting and only cost us a tenner each – with samples after the tour.
On the evening of day 7 of a 10 day cruise (after Kirkwall), we went to the Kensington restaurant (6.15pm) as per usual. My wife chose the pasta dish. However, after a few mouthfuls, she complained that it did not taste nice and opted for the fish dish. By 9.00pm, my wife was complaining of stomach cramps, which got progressively worse. So much so, we called the medical centre. A male nurse attended and treated my wife. We were then told we were to be put into quarantine and we were not allowed to leave our cabin for 48 hours. My wife suffered stomach cramps and diarrhoea for about twelve hours. I can assure you that being incarcerated in our inner cabin for two days was horrendous - with nowhere to sit except the bed. We weren’t allowed off in Dublin. This was particularly disappointing, as we had arranged to meet up with an old friend whom we had not seen for six years. We were finally let out of our cabin at 9.30pm on the last night.
Our holiday was ruined - it was hell! We know of at least three other people who were similarly affected. The cruise line (CMV Cruises) deny any responsibility.
The staff were generally hardworking and pleasant.
So would we recommend the fjords as a destination – definitely. Would we recommend the Magellan – definitely not. The ship itself reminded us of a hotel that had once been five star and was now two star.
Would we use CMV as a company again – definitely not!
Adequate but with no chairs