We boarded on the 1st February 2010 for a six week cruise.The first thing that we noticed were the filthy windows which were not cleaned until one week before we arrived back in England, and then were only hosed down,we might as well have had an inside cabin.The next thing we found was that the water was coming out of the taps a horrible brown colour,yet the water was supposed to be according to the ships "management",.potable.This brown water happened on at least 20 days out of the 42day voyage,sometimes we were given bottled water and other times we had to purchase water at £2.20 for a bottle which was less than a litre.
We were unable to control the temperature of the water in the shower and one was either scalded or frozen, such was the difference in the temperature.This happened every day.The so called "beautiful" teak decks only saw water when it rained and were filthy,and if one walked on the decks without footwear, ones feet got very dirty. People with walking difficulties should not be allowed to travel on the MARCO POLO unless accompanied by a carer, because of the unbelievable amount of traps on the ship,and also because they got no help at all from the staff.On the sun deck there should be a warning that if one suffers from breathing difficulties one should not use this deck because of the constant fumes,this deck also has the Jacuzis.The traps on the ship were 4inch up-stands at the top of all flights of stairs on the open decks,and 6inch steps at all doors leadind to and from the decks
The catering was appalling,a tea and coffee machine was set up on the pool deck,but was constantly short of cups and at one point the "management" announced that it was the passengers fault that there was not enough cups because the passengers were taking them to their cabins. The"Management"stated that there were 1600 cups for this function even though there were more than 800 passengers on board.At lunch in the Bistro, if one went to lunch after 1:15 pm there was constantly a shortage of plates or cutlery or both.In the Bistro a drinks machine was set up but again there was either a shortage of glasses or drinks or both on a daily basis,tea if required was out on the pool deck.and one had to push through a very heavy door to get to the pool deck ,and then had to again push through this door with teas in your hand,once again no assistance. On one occasion an elderly man carrying two glasses tripped over the steps smashing the glasses, cutting his hands, dislocated his shoulder and fractured his pelvis.The food was no more than one star and was as boring as it could possibly get day in and day out. Fresh vegetables were non existent.On one occasion among many the three male guests on our table ordered chicken we waited about one hour and when we asked the waiter where our meal was we were told that they had run out of chicken and that they were getting some more from the freezer.Ten minutes later the chicken arrived which was luke warm and tough and no one ate it.I am sure this chicken was cooked from frozen or at best not thawed out properly. . Bar service on the outside decks was practically non existent and when one complained one was met with a shrug of the shoulders.The bar staff had a no care attitude ,and after 40 days of ordering the same drinks they still did not know our drinks.The entertainment was mixed the show dancers were very good ,but they have now left the ship to go on the COUNTESS .The cruise director and his helpers were Karaoke because their acts consisted of shouting into the mikes accompanied by canned music.They were so loud that one wondered if they thought that they were appearing at the o2 arena ,and not a very small lounge on a one star ship.
Shore excursions left a lot to be desired,we went on some but cancelled many more,on one excursion the highlight was a visit to the Botanical Gardens to see the many orchids and tropical plants.There was not even a blade of grass to be seen and not one flower.We spoke to the guide as to why, and she stated it was the dry season, and that we should close our eyes and imagine what it would be like.Shuttle buses if laid on were not announced until the night before,and that tickets are available at the excursion desk. Imagine the chaos as hundreds of people went to a very small reception area at the same time.I do believe that the Shuttles were announced late in order that the passengers would buy trips.At one stop it was announced that the Shuttle would be every 15 minutes we waited 1 hour 20 minutes.Some passengers paid nearly £300 each to see the Angel Falls,on their return they told us there was more water coming from their overflows.When they complained they were told it was because they have not had any rain for months.One has to ask why did the trip go ahead.
On sea days if it rained there was not enough seating inside the ship for all the passengers.There was always a shortage of deck chairs and the ones available were filthy and were not cleaned for the whole 6 week cruise.This cruise was our 40th cruise and was a cruise from hell.I spoke to several past and loyal MARCO POLO passengers and evey one of them said this is not the ship they sailed on 3 years ago and that they would never sail on the ship again.The reason we booked was the itinerary, and we did check cruise critics, and now realise the reviews we looked at were 2007.
I think I should stop now but I will say again DO NOT BOOK THE MARCO POLO
Plenty of cupboards wardrobes and drawers,we were ont the boat for 42 days and we had no problem storing our 5 cases.
The shower was terrible the bathroom generally was very small and the windows were filthy for the entire cruise