Columbus Cruise Review by Hurricane2C
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. Entertainment - no idea (we didn't bother). A few words of advice / recommendation for potential travellers: (1) Expect long delays at dinner in the main restaurant. And if you order drinks at the table they are likely to arrive well into the meal. (2) If the time of arrival in a port of call is quite late, don't think you can have a lie-in and go for a late breakfast close to closing time in either the restaurant or the self-service buffet. If you opt for the former, the service will be very slow and the food likely to be dried-up. If you go for the latter, you are very unlikely to be able to get a seat. Go early is the top-tip. (3) There's no pressure from the onboard photographic team, but on our short trip the shore-photographs at Antwerp were frankly hopeless (totally washed-out). Don't be tempted to buy (at unjustifiably high prices) just for the sake of it. (4) Think carefully about the 'onboard gratuity added daily to your account for your convenience'. We chose to remove this because there were aspects of the trip which we felt made it unwarranted. Of course it's a marketing ploy on the part of all cruise lines to make the base-price seem as attractively-low as possible. Better to reward individuals separately (as we chose to do) whom you feel may have gone above and beyond. Sorry about the 'invisible' members of crew who then receive a share of nothing - but that's life! (4) Don't be put off from considering CMV (with whom we have now cruised three times, out of twenty cruises overall) or the Columbus. Recognise that for what you pay, you will get really good value for money. How or where else can you get transported to two different European cities and enjoy a full-board experience (the beds are very comfortable incidentally) for £75 a day? On this trip, it was even possible to secure late-availability inside cabins for £129 - that's just £43 a day, which by anyone's standards is amazing value. Choose wisely and you will be well-satisfied.
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