I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995.
The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but they then let us on ship without any security checks. From that moment everyone's security was compromised until return to Tllbury.
The first tendering at Kirkwall was terrible. Ticketing started at 0900 and we received ours at 0915 but had to wait ages - until we landed ashore at 1210. They didn't have enough tenders operating and those that were, were uncoordinated. A massive list formed at return time and the harbourmaster contacted the Captain to ask for more tenders. We heard from a number of sources that the Captain refused. After a written complaint I received a letter of management speak blaming the wind??? and the harbour authorities.
We had an emergency muster alarm early morning whilst most were in bed. A Faulty alarm. These things can happen but it was badly handled and we weren't given any explanation or apology until the Captain was forced to make a PA announcment mid morning. Also some staff wandered around with bouyancy aids but lacking direction.
At NUUK, the Greenland Capital, coahes didn't arrive for excursions. 1st excuse - traffic, then the excursion leader admitted that the coach company had forgotten and said, "That's Greenland". Why didn't she check up the day before?
The boat is poorly managed, the Bistro staff are inefficient and lack decent training.If you show them dirty cups or cracked cups, you cannot be confident that they fully understand the problem and the cups continually re-appear. Cold plates for hot meals and warm plates for salads. etc.
The Bistro is not good enough to compete with transport cafes. The cupboards are like '50's kitchenettes and even poorly painted. Llttle variety of breakfast offerings.
However, we dined in the main restaurant every evening and the food was excellent. terrific selection, well made, hot and well presented.A different kitchen from the Bistro, but we presume still under the head chef?
The entertainment was first class every evening and the guest speakers were above par.
We will not sail with CMV again. We feel they are a disgrace to the cruising industry, and clearly operate Marco Polo on a shoestring. They tsake a very poor attitude to grumbles or complaints, argueing with passengers instead of trying to solve the problem.
Needs modernisation, but enough space, cabin steward OK. However, I was woken on seven different occasions, out of 21, by loud noises coming from the deck below (A work area) It sounded like someone rolling oil barrels across the floor and then letting the barrels hit the hull. The staff have to work but I'm not sure that they were trained to appreciate the proximity of cabins, or the management do those routine noisy jobs during the day.
Four of the six tours were cancelled due to the boat being late in. We left Kirkwall late due to poor tendering by Marco Polo, but it wasn't clear why the short delay in the journey could not be made up. Alternative tour was OK but obviously not our preferred choice.