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We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant at peak times. The entertainers were young and personable and the shows were colouful with good dancing routines and songs. There were several knowledgeable speakers who were interesting to listen to during our many sea days. There was a range of daily physical activities and quizzes. There is a small spa area on deck 2 with heated tiled loungers and a steam room. It was too chilly to use the pool but people used the open decked loungers whenever they saw some sun. There were even some open air bbqs on deck. The itinerary was good but disrupted by the cancellation of Gibraltar ( propeller damage from a German pilot on the previous cruise) and the rough seas when at anchor in Funchal. It was disappointing to have to leave Amsterdam at 3 .30 just when the Xmas lights were beginning to shine especially as we had 5 sea days following that port. There were lots tours to select from and some presentations given beforehand. In order to keep costs down we were independent travellers in Funchal, and Lisbon. There was an excellent walking tour with a local guide in Amsterdam. My main issue was the daily Captain’s lunchtime info giving was very difficult to understand because of the language accent and the real lack of communication and leadership when 650 cruise passengers were stranded on the quay at Lisbon when the ship tenders could not attach themselves to the ship in rough seas. People spent hours in the wet, cold and dark either standing on the quayside or huddled in the bouncing tenders really anxious about how they could returnto the ship. The crew were excellent in catching the passengers thrown individually from their tenders but there was a real danger of sickness and injury. Some passengers did not manage to return til very late and the crew had the tricky task of reattaching tenders after midnight in strong winds. A real damper on what was a formal dinner and midnight fireworks in the bay.

Moderate sized, modern ship, with good food, staff and passengers.

Columbus Cruise Review by birchall2600

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas.

Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated.

The staff were welcoming and helpful.

The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant at peak times.

The entertainers were young and personable and the shows were colouful with good dancing routines and songs.

There were several knowledgeable speakers who were interesting to listen to during our many sea days.

There was a range of daily physical activities and quizzes.

There is a small spa area on deck 2 with heated tiled loungers and a steam room.

It was too chilly to use the pool but people used the open decked loungers whenever they saw some sun.

There were even some open air bbqs on deck.

The itinerary was good but disrupted by the cancellation of Gibraltar ( propeller damage from a German pilot on the previous cruise) and the rough seas when at anchor in Funchal.

It was disappointing to have to leave Amsterdam at 3 .30 just when the Xmas lights were beginning to shine especially as we had 5 sea days following that port.

There were lots tours to select from and some presentations given beforehand.

In order to keep costs down we were independent travellers in Funchal, and Lisbon.

There was an excellent walking tour with a local guide in Amsterdam.

My main issue was the daily Captain’s lunchtime info giving was very difficult to understand because of the language accent and the real lack of communication and leadership when 650 cruise passengers were stranded on the quay at Lisbon when the ship tenders could not attach themselves to the ship in rough seas.

People spent hours in the wet, cold and dark either standing on the quayside or huddled in the bouncing tenders really anxious about how they could returnto the ship.

The crew were excellent in catching the passengers thrown individually from their tenders but there was a real danger of sickness and injury.

Some passengers did not manage to return til very late and the crew had the tricky task of reattaching tenders after midnight in strong winds.

A real damper on what was a formal dinner and midnight fireworks in the bay.
birchall2600’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5202
Clean and of a good size.
Enjoyed the towel folded animals.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    2 and three quarter hour walking tour around Amsterdam from the cruise terminal and around the city.
    Excellent young ladies cal guide.
    Bit chaotically organised departure by the ship tour guides- everyone meeting in the cruise terminal but no signage so milling around looking for the start point.
    View All 129 City Tour Reviews
  • Jardin de Cactus
    Excellent trip- Cactus garden interesting and good photo opportunities.
    Manrique’s house an amazing and stylish building in caves.
    View All 1 Jardin de Cactus Reviews
  • Lisbon
    A super city.
    Docked in easy walking distance to the city.
    I queued for 45 minutes and went up the old tower ( 1 lift was not working).
    Good views and historic.
    Wandered around the town and shops then returned to the ship and used the terminal shops.
    You could buy alcohol because we were only 1 day away from Tilbury.
    View All 800 Lisbon Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Lisbon Cruise Port Review
  • Madeira (Funchal)
    Anchored in the bay.
    Tender transfer to the quay.
    Excellent walk around Funchal at Xmas, Xmas market, dancing and cooking demos.
    Really chaotic return to the ship with poor communication from the ship and little leadership trying to return 650 passengers to the ship in the cold, wet and dark and rough seas.
    Most passengers had long waits of over 5 hours watching the ship try to re position several times ( eventually returned to the original anchorage and used 2 tugs, for and aft to try and stabilise the ship.
    Crew were excellent with some danger to themselves.
    The Captain should have been more pro active.
    Our neighbour Queen Victoria’s passengers were not allowed to disembark.
    The formal evening with dinner , fireworks and party was spoilt for many.
    View All 654 Madeira (Funchal) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Madeira (Funchal) Cruise Port Review