Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic.
Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious.
Process at Tilbury went smoothly , left hand luggage in cabin and had quick lunch in buffet before lifeboat drill.
Next day was a seaday, spoilt for choice when it came to activities , lectures, craft classes, quizzes etc. I recommend arriving early for craft sessions they are always popular, this trip was no exception.
We had a late night passage through Kiel canal and arrived in Wismar around lunch time on Tuesday. Wismar is where the Marco Polo was built.
There were shuttle buses into town for 2 euros but its an easy walk and if you go via the old harbour quite a scenic one.
I recommend the restored old merchants house, the wallpaper gallery is a must see. Audio description available in several languages. Entry is via donation and staff are extremely pleasant.
St Georges church has a lift to take you to top of its Tower for 3 euros...well worth it for an overview of the town.
Several other churches and a lovely town Square, shame our visit was a little short.
Day two saw us in Rhonne Denmark, charming little place, being so late in the season the tourist areas were almost deserted. The side streets were quaint , and the main shopping street delightful with fountains and a children's play park. The museum was very informative , particularly as to the war time events. Lots of public toilet facilities alas having the right coinage in local currency not always possible, the usual standby of taking a coffee break did not work because a lot of cafes do not offer facilities. The church overlooking the harbour is delightful and is well worth a visit on way back to tenders.
Visby Sweden....the new cruise stage only opened this year and it looked like the local gulls had been making free use of it....free shuttle into the old town. Rather like a Disney film set, turrets and floral decorated balconies abound, was expecting Rapunzel to appear at any moment. It is possible to walk round the city walls and some of the towers are open to give a good view point. The botanical gardens were still in bloom and provided a welcome pot to rest for a while. Entry to the museum was 10 euros and looked interesting however I had left it rather late to visit so confined myself to coffee and cake in the cafe. Filter coffee offered free refills. Staff multi lingual but please note Euros are not accepted as payment. Unfortunately witnessed two American ladies from the ship being quite abusive to staff on discovering this.
Arrival in Klapeda was not promising a grey damp mist greeted us, however a local folk group were playing on quayside so wasn't all bad.
We received town maps with a marked trail around the town, there is something to see on every corner so feel free just to wander.
The sculpture garden is well worth visit, but there are sculptures and interesting buildings everywhere. A small craft market offered much amber but also ceramics and art work. Prices were reasonable and English was widely spoken.
Finally we arrived in Gdansk the largest and busiest port on our itinerary, free shuttle into town. Amber shops/ stalls everywhere but no heavy sell. There is a scenic observation wheel which gives you 15 minutes of eye level viewing for around £6. Lots of building work going on but refreshingly building sympathetic to original style.
Fairly typical normal port of call, very touristy.
Our return passage through Kiel canal was in daylight. Fascinating to watch the gate close behind us and lots of interesting bridges/ canal side homes to see on way through.
Final day was sea day, back in the North sea so a tiny bit of movement but ship handles very well in conditions , the pool burger bar stayed open throughout I think the smell of frying did make some people feel a little off colour.
Final morning buffet started sevingbreakfast early, had no trouble finding seat although I would recommend hanging on to your cup if you want a refill.
After breakfast I moved onto Palm garden and found seat by the window to watch our arrival in Tilbury.
Return shuttle went very smoothly.
The Marco Polo is looking good despite her age, constant cleaning and, when in port , painting going on.
Public facilities good, I recommend the Columbus lounge if you do start to feel the effects of sea movement. Service in the Wardolf restaurant good, nice selection of dishes and extra off menu dishes salomon etc always available. Also additionally dishes of veg if you would like them.
Bar staff efficient although sometimes waiting times in the show lounge were longer than ideal.
Very friendly ship, I recommend for those who actually like being at sea. Maybe not for those who want waterslides and the like, but throw yourself into the activities and you will have a good time.
Lecturers were good and very good comedian/ singer/ one man band provided excellent entertainment...he even doubled up as tour guide at one port.
My one niggle....the new cruise director and his assistant....they were both good singers and very enthusiastic, pleasant and accessable... However I wonder if they are not a little too full of themselves for CMV? Time will tell.
Very pleasant single inner, usual twin beds. Five large draws and single wardrobe with full length mirror. Curtained shower but no problem with cling.
Supplied shower gel/ shampoo a somewhat alarming shade of yellow but I always take my own anyway.
Cabin steward helpful and efficient. 721 one of 3 single cabins on deck 10 and is adjacent to a fan room so is subject to some noise. I always travel with earplugs so wasn't a problem. If it might trouble you then the other two cabins might be a better choice.