We were a group of six friends on the Scottish Isles 8 night cruise from Newcastle finishing somewhat bizarrely in Liverpool.
Embarkation was extremely fast and painless. We are gold members and have priority boarding but everyone was boarded quickly. As soon as the car pulled up our luggage was taken and we never saw it again until it was in our cabin.
We have been on 4or 5 CMV cruises and enjoyed them all but predominantly on some of the fleets older ships. Whilst the Magellan is not new it is in good condition very quiet and stable.
We were upgraded to a superior inner room so didn’t have to row on this trip(we always choose the voyager guarantee and have never failed to get a decent cabin.
The food was very good even if the portions weren’t huge but after 5courses I had had enough. We all had a drinks and tip package which I thought was exceptional value. The house wines were ok and all the usual branded spirits available though it seemed odd to me that some coffees were chargeable. We tended to use the main dining room for dinner/ lunch and the bistro for breakfast. We tried the main restaurant for breakfast but the service was too slow for us.
The entertainment does seem a bit like a lot of singing and dancing but in different costumes each night but it was light and reasonably proficient We had a comedian for two nights who was OK. He clearly had been doing cruise ships for some time and his material showed this.
We weren’t onboard much during the day so didn’t take advantage of the other activities onboard. We won the quiz on the first night but quit while we were ahead.
First port was Dundee where we saw a quite a large exchange of passengers. Weather was good so we strolled ashore visited the Discovery and the new V&A (great outside but much wasted space inside) but an enjoyable hour and a half. We also visited Broughty Ferry Castle which was worth a visit.
Next stop was Shetland where the weather was a bit wet but we still managed a significant Lerwick town trail walk which now includes Jimmy Peres’s House from the Shetland TV series.
Next stop was the Faroes where we had a 35 minute shuttle bus ride to Torshaven which was interesting in itself. We enjoyed another walk around the town looking at some of the older properties with their distinctive grass roofs. An enjoyable day out.
Orkney was our next stop in cloudy weather. We have been to Orkney a couple of times so dint see the need to visit scara brae which we would have if it had been our first visit.
We were fortunate to witness what seemed the wedding of the year at the cathedral. We also witnessed the “ blackening” of another engaged couple which seemed to involve sitting in the back of an open truck which friends covered in molasses, gunge etc roaring around the town making a lot of noise. The poor groom to be was cling filmed to a stone cross in the churchyard but was freed before the wedding party arrived.
A beautiful day and we arrived in sunny Skye to be tendered ashore to meet up with our prearranged tour bus. This was a private tour (sky mini bus tours)for the six of us (£42 each ) and it was really excellent. The beautiful weather helped as did the two knowledgeable locals who did the driving and guiding. We stopped at all the usual sights some of which were quite busy it being a Sunday and having excellent weather. We had a lovely lunch in an old hunting lodge called Flodigarry House which also had Flora McDonald's house in the grounds. The bus dropped off at the docks for our tender. - an excellent all day trip.
Next stop Belfast in mixed weather. Here we enjoyed the hop on hop off bus (we negotiated £50 for six old fogies!). We did the full tour then got off at the Titanic exhibition which was excellent. That took a couple of hours but I really enjoyed it as it was a lot to do with the history of Belfast rather than just the sinking and subsequent recovery of the ship. It even included a mini Disney like shipyard ride. On the bus watch out for low hanging branches as my pal had his glasses and heating aid knocked off!!!
Then on to Liverpool. Disembarkation was not so smooth due to not using the Ships tannoy to tell you what was happening ( it could be that as we were docked the ship was not allowed to so not to disturb the locals) it meant passengers were constantly querying why they couldn't leave the ship, pa better presence with better communication would have sorted it. There were some anxious passengers needing to catch a train/coach who were left in the dark.
A very enjoyable cruise with excellent food and service - pity about the weather!!!
We had the inner voyager guarantee and were upgraded to a superior inner room on the 6th floor. Spacious cabin quite air conditioning. Kept immaculately during our 8 day stay