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Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
54 Reviews

Ship was not as it was sold to us.

Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Review by katsjourney

42 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2019
  • Destination: the British Isles & Western Europe

We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you can not make a big deal about, others are unacceptable.

We were sold a bill of goods from the Cruise and Maritime Florida office. We knew the ship was older (originally Holland America - then sold to P&O - and now in the CMV fleet). However, we were told we were boarding a completely refurbished ship. That was not the case at all.

There were plumbing issues throughout. Many toilets overflowing and hot/cold water issues. There were also HVAC issues. Some cabins and public areas were FREEZING and others were HOT. We had to complain 3x before someone even came to look at our cabin. It was meat locker cold. We covered up the A/C vents and kept our balcony door open most of the journey so I did not have to wear layers of winter clothes in my cabin. The thermostats were so ancient, you could not even turn them off.

The cabins had nice bedding and towels - although we had to beg for bathrobes/dressing gowns (which we were told came with our level of cabin). Cabins were all original and aging - stuffing coming out if seams of the couch, peeling wallpaper, etc. It really needed updating. We had a tub with jets, but they never worked.

Dining was hit or miss. Some meals were good, others not so much. In the bistro it was not serve yourself so you had to ask for portion size of specific foods. Some of the staff had little command of the English language, so they would put the wrong things on your plate. Some stations had long lines and it was not laid out very well. Also for some odd reason, people were stealing the salt and pepper shakers - so we had to keep getting up and borrowing ones from other tables.

Things like this you pass off as new crew, different ship in the fleet, things will be off. I do accept maiden voyage glitches.

However, there were a couple of things which were completely unacceptable:

1. We were told to board the ship on 22 April by CMV Florida office. However, when we arrived jetlagged in Singapore to the cruise terminal a porter acted like we were idiots and told us to come back tomorrow. No ship today. We were stunned and lost - not even having a hotel booked. CMV had all our contact information (phone, email) and yet they did not even tell us in advance that the date was incorrect. This is just plain and simple poor business.

2. The people working in reception on the ship initially were cold and rude. I brought receipts to them the first day for compensation for our hotel/food costs the night before (as I was instructed to do by CMV) and they basically told me I was an stupid and should have known when to board. This woman actually said, "How can anyone be so stupid to board on the wrong day? It clearly states boarding on 23 April." as she was emphatically pointing at the CMV Vasco da Gama brochure. I have NEVER EVER been treated so disrespectfully by a reception person on a ship. And I was being nice just dropping off the receipts.

I never received any transparency or an explanation about this horrible mistake. It took them nearly 4 days to respond and give us a bottle of wine for our troubles - which we didn't need since we already bought the drink package.

I would never take another cruise on a CMV ship. They are terrible with customer service.

However, I will say this - the crew, in general, did their best with what they had to work with. Most were kind. The ports were very cool and varied. The passengers we met onboard we awesome. Despite all the issues, we had a good vacation!

katsjourney's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin Superior Balcony 9083

See above in the main review. The cabins desperately need updating.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


We enjoyed the James Bond Island tour, but we were hoping we could go for a swim and it was not possible.

Mormugao (Goa)

See my rating above with the accompanying port photo of Goa. I have visited Goa many times and it is one of my favorite places in India. Unfortunately, CMV made the experience so bad for people choosing to go out on their own that many folks told me it was their least favorite stop. Such a shame.

Mumbai (Bombay)

Visited with friends. Mumbai is a lovely city and the port is in a good location for those who wanted to walk on their own.

Al Husn Palace

This tour was enjoyable and we had a good tour guide. Unfortunately it was Ramadan so many places were closed and you could not eat/drink in public.

View All 2 Al Husn Palace Reviews

This was a cool experience. We only wished we had time to enjoy the beautiful beach and water.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Petra Walking Tour

Excellent experience. We knew it would be a lond day and very hot, so we were prepared.

View All 92 Petra Walking Tour Reviews

Excellent tour and a great experience.

View All undefined undefined Reviews

It was nice to be there in the evening so we could finally enjoy a dinner and evening experience.


We LOVE Santorini. However, it was ridiculous that CMV only had us there in the morning. By the time we got a tender and got up the hill, there were 5 other huge cruise ships porting also. The wait for donkeys or cable car was over an hour. And our wait for a CMV tender was over an hour. So we got up the hill, took a couple photos, bought a gyro and had to rush back. Very poor planning on the cruise line's part. We should have had an entire day there.

Athens (Piraeus)

Piraeus does not have much to offer for tourists. Best to go into Athens, but we had already been and did not want to pay to go back.

Malta (Valletta)

Our favorite port on this cruise. It was beautiful. Plus we could actually walk from the ship. One of the few places!


Naples is just an okay port. We did explore the underground tunnels and that was really cool.

We loved the winery, but we were hoping to visit several and have more time. We went to a second village and just walked around. it was pouring and would rather have visited another winery or stayed at the first one (which was excellent).

View All undefined undefined Reviews

Visited with friends. It is a nice city to walk.

Rock of Gibraltar

We enjoyed seeing the rock and Europa point. We liked that the tour buses were minibusses - much smaller and intimate. Plus we had hours to wander around in the afternoon.

View All 103 Rock of Gibraltar Reviews

We liked the tour of the mosque. Also one of the few ports we were there in the evening so we had time to enjoy dinner out.


Lisbon was another nice walking city. The port is in a good location.

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