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We have done many many cruises on a wide variety of cruise lines and when it was announced that CMV were getting Columbus ( a ship which held fond memories for us as P&O"s Arcadia) we decided to give the company a try. Early reports of the first cruises that Columbus did made us wonder whether or not we had made a big mistake in booking but our experience was so very different from those early bad reports. If anything, despite the passage of 17 years since we were last on board the ship, she is in some ways better than she was then. The decor is "warmer"and more inviting than the stark minimalist decor of yesteryear. Externally she is wearing her years well with nicely maintained wooden decks and good sunbeds although, if one looks hard, there are some details that need general maintenance such as external stair treads. Internally some of the furnishings will need replacement before too long but nothing more than one would expect from normal wear and tear on a ship in active service and I am sure that the usual rolling program of replacements will deal with this. The food was good and seemed to get better as the cruise went on and the dining room service that we had was excellent. The buffet, as with many buffets was perhaps a little repetitive but everything was fresh and kept replenished. In particular the scones at tea time were great. The Indian speciality restaurant and the Grill served very tasty and nicely presented meals even if the price for the Grill was perhaps a little high. We took the drinks package and probably broke even but a wider selection of included wines would be welcomed. Entertainment was, in our opinion very good and we have seen much worse on more expensive cruise lines. Of course everyone will have there own preferences and views on what is good but the production shows featured some real, in depth, talent. The show lounge was never the best in the business and some sight lines are poor but carefully choosing where we sat meant we always got a good view. The entertainment staff worked so hard what with shows, he caberet and also escorting some tours that we wondered when they got time to rehearse, far less sleep! Other staff were unfailingly polite and cheerful even if some of them had a less than excellent grasp of english. The bad points - the company really needs to get together with the Port Authority and sort out the signeage around the port. Finding the long stay car park was difficult and even the shore staff admitted it was very poor. Also our luggage delivery was poor. Although we were on time for an early embarkation our cases seemed to have been shunted on a baggage trolley to the back of the queue. It really was a case of "check in first, get your cases last" we checked the cases in at 12.20pm and received them in the cabin at 17.50! - CMV needs to sort this out. Also why did we have to vacate our cabins at 07.00 on the last morning, 07.30 would have been more civilised, but having said that, disembarkation was orderly and the transfer back to the long stay car park was quick and efficient. All in all a good cruise around the Bristish Isles, made better by having mainly excellent weather even though there had to be an itinerary change made necessary by sea conditions being such that two tender ports were outwith the company's safety parameters. Would we go again with CMV on the Columbus - YES.

A very good experience.

Columbus Cruise Review by Mariner42

20 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have done many many cruises on a wide variety of cruise lines and when it was announced that CMV were getting Columbus ( a ship which held fond memories for us as P&O"s Arcadia) we decided to give the company a try.

Early reports of the first cruises that Columbus did made us wonder whether or not we had made a big mistake in booking but our experience was so very different from those early bad reports.

If anything, despite the passage of 17 years since we were last on board the ship, she is in some ways better than she was then. The decor is "warmer"and more inviting than the stark minimalist decor of yesteryear. Externally she is wearing her years well with nicely maintained wooden decks and good sunbeds although, if one looks hard, there are some details that need general maintenance such as external stair treads. Internally some of the furnishings will need replacement before too long but nothing more than one would expect from normal wear and tear on a ship in active service and I am sure that the usual rolling program of replacements will deal with this.

The food was good and seemed to get better as the cruise went on and the dining room service that we had was excellent. The buffet, as with many buffets was perhaps a little repetitive but everything was fresh and kept replenished. In particular the scones at tea time were great. The Indian speciality restaurant and the Grill served very tasty and nicely presented meals even if the price for the Grill was perhaps a little high.

We took the drinks package and probably broke even but a wider selection of included wines would be welcomed.

Entertainment was, in our opinion very good and we have seen much worse on more expensive cruise lines. Of course everyone will have there own preferences and views on what is good but the production shows featured some real, in depth, talent. The show lounge was never the best in the business and some sight lines are poor but carefully choosing where we sat meant we always got a good view. The entertainment staff worked so hard what with shows, he caberet and also escorting some tours that we wondered when they got time to rehearse, far less sleep!

Other staff were unfailingly polite and cheerful even if some of them had a less than excellent grasp of english.

The bad points - the company really needs to get together with the Port Authority and sort out the signeage around the port. Finding the long stay car park was difficult and even the shore staff admitted it was very poor. Also our luggage delivery was poor. Although we were on time for an early embarkation our cases seemed to have been shunted on a baggage trolley to the back of the queue. It really was a case of "check in first, get your cases last" we checked the cases in at 12.20pm and received them in the cabin at 17.50! - CMV needs to sort this out. Also why did we have to vacate our cabins at 07.00 on the last morning, 07.30 would have been more civilised, but having said that, disembarkation was orderly and the transfer back to the long stay car park was quick and efficient.

All in all a good cruise around the Bristish Isles, made better by having mainly excellent weather even though there had to be an itinerary change made necessary by sea conditions being such that two tender ports were outwith the company's safety parameters.

Would we go again with CMV on the Columbus - YES.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10197
The cabin was a good size with plentiful storage and a walk in closet. It ws in good order and was kept spotlessly clean throughout our cruise. The bathroom is small and a little dated and although the "barking dog" toilet did fail it was back in operation withing 30 minutes. The supplied toiletries were OK but minimal, just soap and a combined shampoo/conditioner dispenser. Towels were a little small but were fluffy and nice to use. The bed was comfortable. When one found the air conditioning control (a small knob adjacent to the dressing table} the cabin temperature could be set at the right level.