Columbus Cruise Review by Mike Cookson
- Sail Date: August 2018
- Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation was excellent, we arrived, parked the car, took the complementary bus to the dockside and were embarked within a few minutes. Very smooth. Disembarkation was a little fraught, we had to be out of the cabin by 09.00 and we had to wait a couple of hours in crowded public areas before we could disembark. But once we docked, we were off the ship and in our car within half an hour. Excellent.
The cleanliness of the ship was exceptional. We did object to guests taking glasses and plates to weather deck areas and leaving them for others to pick up. What's wrong with people returning these objects. We were, though, chastised (in a nice way) by a steward when we tried to clear our table and return the plates.
The cabin was first class, an outside cabin with window. The cabin was kept pristine by a hard working and very friendly cabin steward. We had taken the option for the company to allocate the cabin and were very happy with it.
We had self service breakfast and lunch and used the Waterside restaurant in the evening. The food was exceptional for the price we paid, the caterers work miracles. Food on cruises has suffered since the heyday of cruising, but prices have been kept down and you cannot expect Michelin star food on McDonald's prices. But we were very well fed.
Entertainment and activities I would rate as poor. The entertainment staff seemed to do little except put on a couple of shows a week. On other cruises, the entertainment staff have run daytime activities but on this cruise. most activities were advertised as unhosted. I got the impression the entertainment staff were along for the cruise and not really to work,
Evening entertainment in the various bars was poor. There were a couple of guitarists who appeared to have just finished the beginners guide to the guitar. Not impressed
When we booked the cruise, it was advertised as adults only but when we joined the ship, we found families with children. I've nothing against children, but they did tend to be noisy and there wasn't a lot for them to do.
We chiefly took the cruise to visit St Petersburgh and this did not disappoint. The only sour note was that prior to arriving there, all passengers were given a briefing note which suggested that the residents of St Petersburgh lived in the dark ages, transport would be sub standard ad if we talked to anyone, their accent would be impenetrable. All nonsense, the Russian people were very friendly, the transport and guides were excellent and most people spoke at least some English, without an accent.
We would holiday with Cruise and Maritime again. The Columbus is a nice ship.
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