Columbus Cruise Review by Maximillian1
- Sail Date: August 2018
- Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: this was fast, but only because it was dangerous. Many people were allowed to walk onto the ship without having their hand luggage checked - they could have taken anything on board: weapons, drugs, good manners.
The ship: very austere and more like a ferry. Very few comfortable chairs or quiet areas. Some areas - the self-service restaurant, for example - were not kept clean.
Dining: very disappointing. The main dining room was unattractive and the food was no more than adequate. The lunch was often perfunctory. The self-service was too small for the many who wanted to avoid the restaurant, and served cheap, unattractive food. In the end, I gave up and used the additional charge restaurants. Both were jolly good, but it felt odd, paying extra for a pleasant experience which should have been the norm.
Entertainment: excellent if you enjoyed magic; poor if you did not. There were no lectures.
Activities: derisory, and mostly unhosted because, presumably, there were not enough staff members to man them. Little was organised for children. Conseqently, when the weather was poor, they became noisily obvious.
Service: friendly. However, there were simply not enough staff members. The library was a disgrace, and had often to be opened by the entertainments manager because others forgot to do their job. Areas around the ship were spoilt by deposited cups and plates which were not cleared away for long periods of time.
Ports: excellent. Though only 6 hours in Stockholm was very little.
Shore excursions: those in St Petersburg were excellently led and good value. But,
1 The introductory talks were awful; there were often simply members of staff reading off sheets and often knowing nothing about what they were reading out.
2 There were never maps of the ports available on the ship
Disembarkation: very poor. Guests had to vacate their cabins by 0700, even though it was known that none could leave the ship until 0900. Consequently, many guests had to stand for two hours.
An experience not to be repeated.
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