We are very experienced cruisers and in comparison to other companies CMV put in a less than third rate performance even taking into account the lower price. It’s billed as buy one get one free but it was only 30-40% cheaper than other companies on like for like (I.e price divided by nights) but there was at least a 60% difference in quality to those companies! Starting with food which cruises are most noted for. Well the food was disgusting and we had to have meetings with the management to get things slightly improved. Most night the meats were tough often the carving Steward struggled and he had sharp knives! It was either bland or salty. Fish was better but often half cooked and all food was pretty cold and non descript. The food on 3 ˋSpecial Occasions‘ was good. In 121 days there was no world cruise lunch or sector specials like the baked Alaska which was 1 night only. In the Bistro the food was invariably dried up and cold. Sidney and the team tried to put on lots of nice showpiece lunches like round the world food stations around the pool but the taste was still missing. Funny enough you can pay extra to go to a venue called the taste but other passengers told me there was no taste there either. The ship bless her is old and the refit is lacking, it could have been done so much better, you would be walking down a corridor and all of a sudden you’d drop an inch as there was no underlay for example. She’s a stable ship and relatively quiet in the rougher seas. Some of the food tables rocked and stuffed with food and dirty tissues to stop the rock!.
There was rust everywhere especially in window frames and on the balconies ( more than usual as all ships have some rust) but usually painted over and the cloth seats in the Bistro and in some bars were filthy and not appealing. The cabin was a great size but poorly decorated and our window was not cleaned once in 4 months. The wallpaper was coming off and the carpets filthy but there is plenty of storage space. If you have an outside cabin you get a kettle and tea making facilities but inside cabins are not allowed this ˋluxuryˋ! The daily activities are very similar to the ones we play with the residents in a local care home!! Every day at 9.30 Tony pops on the tannoy to tell you what a lovely day you’ll be having aboard the beautiful Columbus while the beautiful Columbus crawls along chucking out black smoke! One quiz with 6 contestants in a team has a prize of 1 Cocktail to share between all 6!! The first cruise Director John Even put in the daily Programme come and try win one of our´life changing‘ prizes! You could even win a torch or a yo-yo! The entertainment team tried hard. They were running quizzes and games and the shows in all places they had to rehearse late into the night. Plus cover excursions. The majority of staff dealing with passengers had no idea or professionalism and the favourite line at reception was we must check with London! Then I’d contact London and I’d be told it was up to reception. The English entertainment was mundane and repetitive but at least we had some there was nothing for the large number of German, Dutch and other non English speaking nationals who were mostly picked up in Amsterdam and did the entire trip. They never even got a map or port guide in their language and the first 50 days there was a Nazi war film nearly every day! That created a few arguments and there was enough of those without provocation.
Many ports were useless unless you had a tour booked. Many were container ports and you had a 2-3k walk just to get to the dock gates! The company had no care for passengers unless as mentioned they were on tour if not it was tough. Many who could only walk a couple of kilometres could not get off as they had no energy to get passed the gates to sight see! Maps and guides were poor and nearly everything that was printed was in minuscule print! Great considering the age of passengers on board! We had fellow world cruisers getting off on route from Sydney on as they ´could not‘ stand it anymore!! So all in all it was far from enjoyable and whilst new passengers and staunch CMV fans were relatively happy a multitude of us were far from impressed and will never travel with CMV again! A two week cruise would probably be stomached but I’d urge you to read as many reviews as possible before booking longer and I know for a fact negative reviews are being removed from cmv Facebook page. Their passing shot was we were given a commemorative coin that said Columbus grand world cruise 2018 as our gift. the card wallet opens up and the itinerary is revealed, lovely yes, no! it’s this years coin and next years itinerary!! When many queried with reception how such a mistake could be made we were all told it was not an error but a marketing ploy to highlight next years cruise! The general staff are lovely and so helpful and went above and beyond to try to minimise upset. If not for them CMV would have Had a lot more issues onboard. I,wish you well