Having previously done a Hurtigruten cruise, we wanted to try a “proper” cruise. That is one that has entertainment in the evening and I get to dress up a bit.
We chose CMV because they leave from ports in the North of England and we didn’t really fancy spending almost a full day just getting to Southampton to board a ship. Also the buy one, get one free offer seemed a really good deal to us.
We chose Norway again because it is such a beautiful country.
I travelled with my mum and my husband. As we weren’t sure what time the Magellan would leave Newcastle we booked a nearby B&B. It was an easy journey from Preston to Newcastle by car, and we even had time to look around the shopping centre next to the port before we embarked on our cruise.
Arrival at The Port of Tyne went very smoothly, we had booked the port car parking and were directed to the parking lot by the port staff. No sooner had we arrived than the guys took our cases off to the ship. We then boarded a bus to the terminal and got ourselves booked in, passports checked and through security. We were meant to go on board at 3pm, but we were there earlier and there was no problem with us going on board straight away.
We had been upgraded and were in cabin 6108. It was a good size, especially after we moved the beds around to give us more floor space. There was a triple wardrobe, I’ve never had so much wardrobe space on holiday before, a big dressing table and most importantly a kettle with tea and coffee. The bathroom was compact, but the shower was plenty big enough. Our cabin steward looked after us very well, and our cabin was cleaned twice a day.
We dined in the Waldorf Restaurant. We all really enjoyed the food, from the many choices at breakfast, through lunch, to the 5 course evening meal. After our first day eating breakfast and lunch in the bistro and struggling to find a table, we realised that we could have these meals in the Waldorf Restaurant too, and that’s what we did for the rest of the holiday. Breakfast and lunch were buffet-style; plenty of choice at breakfast and a chef to make fresh fried eggs or omelettes for you. Lunch was 3 hot choices and plenty of salads, along with lovely desserts. I had to limit myself to 3 pieces of cake at lunch, lol.
We also liked the coffee bar, with Whittard’s tea and coffee and the most divine cakes. These were not part of the CMV Premium package, but were discounted by 50%. So a lovely pot of tea served in nice china cost 80 pence!
The drinks package was worth buying, just for the ease of not having to worry about how much you are spending on board. I must recommend the frozen Strawberry Daiquiri! It was my favourite drink on board, and lots of people wanted to know what it was. The cocktail menu was good, the house wines were reasonable. The only downside to the drinks package was that the only beer included was a continental style lager,my husband had to pay extra if he wanted a pint of bitter, although again it was discounted by 50%. He managed though, and was even tempted to try a few cocktails.
Each night you get a newsletter with information about what is happening the next day. On days at sea there is plenty to do from quizzes to lectures to craft demonstrations. Or you can just sit on a sunbed on deck and read if you want to. Nobody pressures you into joining in if you don’t want to.
The newsletter also told you what the dress mode was for the next day’s evening meal.
You can wear what you like, my husband refused to have a dinner jacket and wore his best suit with his regimental tie, me and mum had the nicest dresses we could afford. In future I would take some dark trousers and a selection of glittery tops as well as dresses just to change it up a bit.
The entertainment wasn’t bad, there was a show after each dinner sitting, everything from 50s, 60s and 70s. If you’re in your 70s you’ll enjoy the music. If like me, you’re heading for your 50s, you’ll remember hearing this music as a kid when you went on a night out with your parents. So for me, I would have liked a bit more 80s music, but I still enjoyed myself - I’m still laughing at the fact that I know all the words to ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree’!
The staff were all lovely, smiley and so so helpful. If we got a bit lost, as it’s a fairly big ship, there was always someone to point us in the right direction.
To sum it all up, I would say:
A fabulous holiday
Good value for money
Plenty to do
Posh enough for us, but not too posh.
Plenty of room, cleaned twice daily, huge wardrobe space, compact bathroom, but good sized shower, comfy beds.
My mum went on the troll train, and really enjoyed it.
We walked alongside the river and around the village, so beautiful and peaceful.
We took the Panorama Tour to see the area surrounding Olden. Absolutely stunning scenery, and a good stop for tea and cake as well.
Our second trip to Bergen. Very busy as it was their national day.
Loved looking around the Bryggen area with the old wooden buildings.
Good for souvenirs but very expensive.
The Port of Tyne was absolutely brilliant both at the beginning and end of our holiday.
It was just so easy getting on board. We didn’t even have any passport checks at the end of the holiday, just got the coach to the car park and picked up our cases and off we went home.