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Ship was good in parts; Positive aspects - - Embarkation was smooth (once we'd eventually found the car park) - Public areas clean and well presented - Entertainment in theatre better than anticipated (if a little jingoistic) - Drink prices reasonable - Excursions good value and efficiently run. However on the negative side - Muster drill - it would have been helpful if it had been made clear in advance that this was to be held outside on the open deck . Many passengers turned up dressed for the meeting points which were inside and were clearly unprepared for spending half an hour outside in December. Service - the impression was that a high proportion of the staff were completely inexperienced and had just been recruited en masse from a dole queue somewhere in eastern Europe. Although there were honourable exceptions some of the bar staff had little idea of concepts like "short" or "tall" or indeed what was on their menus. Training appeared to have been non existent and there was a tendency for less experienced members of staff to avoid any interaction with customers - which resulted in waits in excess of an hour to be served at some times - in a half empty bar! Also had the unusual experience of receiving a whiskey and ginger in a pint beer glass. Food - in the main restaurant was served slowly and often received cold. Some was absolutely dire - notably "chicken lollipops" which were battered Chicken bones, devoid of any meat (recycling at its finest). Desserts were generally poor both in quality and quantity and generally reminiscent of a fairly rough all inclusive eastern mediterranean resort. - We sampled the delights of main restaurant breakfast once only on the first day. That was quite enough. Buffet breakfast was marginally better, but totally inadequate for the number of passengers trying to use it. Buffet lunch was sparse and looked unappetising - we didn't risk it. By the time we had reached Antwerp we gave up, lunched ashore and brought cakes back to stave off hunger in the evening. Best meal of the trip. - Special mention needs to made of the wine waiter who not only appeared to be unable to open a bottle without customer assistance, but also had a retention shorter than a goldfish - having taken our order he reappeared at the table a few minutes later asking if he could take our order . . . - The shop was slightly bizarre. If you had a fetish for Whittard Teas or Greek olive oil, you would love it. Otherwise choice was a little limited and essentials virtually non existent. - Disembarkation was "different" - we had to vacate cabins by 7 in the morning (a full hour before docking) and all Express passengers (probably about 50%) had to assemble with luggage in the Atrium. Overcrowded is an understatement. Three final points - - This may sound critical of the staff - it's not intended to be; it felt rather the result of inadequate training than any failing of individual members. - It's a shame that a ship which has got things so right in some areas is let down so substantially in others. - Would we use CMV again? Unless we were convinced that the service and food issues had been resolved, not a chance!

Fawllty Towers goes to sea

Columbus Cruise Review by Scrofula

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Ship was good in parts;

Positive aspects -

- Embarkation was smooth (once we'd eventually found the car park)

- Public areas clean and well presented

- Entertainment in theatre better than anticipated (if a little jingoistic)

- Drink prices reasonable

- Excursions good value and efficiently run.

However on the negative side -

Muster drill - it would have been helpful if it had been made clear in advance that this was to be held outside on the open deck . Many passengers turned up dressed for the meeting points which were inside and were clearly unprepared for spending half an hour outside in December.

Service - the impression was that a high proportion of the staff were completely inexperienced and had just been recruited en masse from a dole queue somewhere in eastern Europe. Although there were honourable exceptions some of the bar staff had little idea of concepts like "short" or "tall" or indeed what was on their menus. Training appeared to have been non existent and there was a tendency for less experienced members of staff to avoid any interaction with customers - which resulted in waits in excess of an hour to be served at some times - in a half empty bar! Also had the unusual experience of receiving a whiskey and ginger in a pint beer glass.

Food - in the main restaurant was served slowly and often received cold. Some was absolutely dire - notably "chicken lollipops" which were battered Chicken bones, devoid of any meat (recycling at its finest). Desserts were generally poor both in quality and quantity and generally reminiscent of a fairly rough all inclusive eastern mediterranean resort.

- We sampled the delights of main restaurant breakfast once only on the first day. That was quite enough. Buffet breakfast was marginally better, but totally inadequate for the number of passengers trying to use it. Buffet lunch was sparse and looked unappetising - we didn't risk it. By the time we had reached Antwerp we gave up, lunched ashore and brought cakes back to stave off hunger in the evening. Best meal of the trip.

- Special mention needs to made of the wine waiter who not only appeared to be unable to open a bottle without customer assistance, but also had a retention shorter than a goldfish - having taken our order he reappeared at the table a few minutes later asking if he could take our order . . .

- The shop was slightly bizarre. If you had a fetish for Whittard Teas or Greek olive oil, you would love it. Otherwise choice was a little limited and essentials virtually non existent.

- Disembarkation was "different" - we had to vacate cabins by 7 in the morning (a full hour before docking) and all Express passengers (probably about 50%) had to assemble with luggage in the Atrium. Overcrowded is an understatement.

Three final points -

- This may sound critical of the staff - it's not intended to be; it felt rather the result of inadequate training than any failing of individual members.

- It's a shame that a ship which has got things so right in some areas is let down so substantially in others.

- Would we use CMV again? Unless we were convinced that the service and food issues had been resolved, not a chance!
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Cabin Review

Cabin 10291
Slightly tired, with stained sink and very messy puttying around window. Sheets clean but not high quality. Adequate for a budget cruise.