The cruise was competitively priced and we thought it would be nice to try a smaller ship having sailed on several of the larger ones.
We were a little dubious after reading some of the reviews but really need not have been.
Tilbury was great, easy to find and park, shuttle was quick and efficient. The embarkation process was very smooth, we were on the ship with a glass of bubbly before our embarkation time. The suitcases were outside out cabin by 2pm.
The ship was clean, tidy and well presented.
The service was fantastic, the staff were pleasant and friendly and always made conversation.
We enjoyed Hemmingway's coffee bar, yummy cappuccino, would have been nice if the cakes etc in the cabinet were complimentary with the coffee but they were not expensive so if you really wanted one it wouldn't break the budget! The hot chocolate was divine (especially with a shot of creme de menthe!)
Connexions was a bar we used often, from the quizzes and games to to the duet that sang every evening - very entertaining.
The entertainment team were good fun, Ian the Cruise Director seemed to have unending energy and was very hands on.
We went to one show which was the big band night, very good but the Palladium was freezing.
The evening meals were always very good, the staff were great, even remembering our drink requirements after the first night. There was never an evening where we did not like at least 2 options on the menu.
5.45pm was a little early for dinner but I felt that the later sitting would be too late - people were still in there at 10pm. Eating so early meant that we were sometimes peckish later but there was nowhere to eat as the buffet closed at 9pm.
The buffet was like a bun fight - there never seemed to be a day when it was not heaving and people are so rude! Pushing and shoving like they had not eaten in days!
The scones and shortbread in the afternoon tea were divine. It was nice to be able to take a scone and sit in a nice bar and eat it in a civilised setting!
The cabin was fine, though the cabin stewardess was hardly ever around and really did do the bare minimum. It was not well placed being right at the front of the ship - we had chosen deck 5 but unfortunately were 'upgraded' to deck 6. Being so close to the front was very noisy all night which meant we did not always sleep well.
I was very impressed overall with the staff - they work tirelessly from early morning until late into the evening - always with a smile. They certainly earn their tips!
We chose a VIP package which was great as we did not have to worry what we had.
We did not do any organised excursions but did disembark each day, my criticism with this was the 2 tender ports. We had to get tickets - again I think this is more the mentality of the people and the obsession with being first in line... This could be better organised.
The shops on board were not great, not a lot of choice and none of the make up/perfume etc was duty free so no different to buying in England. I did however get a massive bargain on my Bombay Sapphire!
Overall the cruise was great, the one thing that spoiled it was hearing people complaining! Not enough choice of wine - they were masses to choose from, moaning about having to wait a few minutes to be served! etc... that is not the fault of CMV though
I would travel again with CMV if the right itinerary was there and the price was right, I would choose a mid ship cabin and request that no upgrade was given though.
Disembarkation was smooth, we were off the ship a good half hour before the allotted time, our luggage was in the hall, there were plenty of porters to assist and the buses were all outside ready to take us back to the car park.
Clean and comfortable
Not in a good position being right at the front - would not recommend this!
Comfy bed, could have done with a couple more pillows but we coped.
TV remote did not work, they replaced it with another that did not work. Couldn't be bothered to keep asking for new ones though so again, we coped!