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Marco Polo Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
434 Reviews

Don't sail on Marco Polo!

Marco Polo Cruise Review by Extronordinary

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

The itinerary looked good 7 stops in Greenland and 3 on the way, although we ended up with 6+2. Very poor organisation throughout. We parked in the adjacent car park and had to wait for ages for the shuttle bus to take us to the ship. On board for the first time we had to find our own way to our cabin - no greeting. Lifeboat drill was a shambles - no-one on the stairs to direct us, people milling around in all directions and staff did not know where stations were other than their own. The life jackets deserve replacement; I'd hate to have an emergency on that ship.

There was a chargeable bottle of water in the cabin when we arrived, but the cabin steward was happy to take it away. He was the best thing on the ship, efficient, cheerful and willing.

We had booked an excursion on Narsarsuaq to see Eric the Red's settlement in the afternoon of 29th July. In the morning we were tendered ashore to see the town. We returned to catch the tender back to the ship just as one was leaving at 11.21. No worries - we were due to meet in the Discovery lounge at 12.00 for a 12.30 departure, the ferry takes less than 20 minutes so we'll be on time - so we thought. The next ferry arrived at 11.44 - a bit tight but we'll be OK. The ferry did not go straight back however, but we bobbed about in the ocean until 12.32, causing us to miss our excursion. Over 3/4 hour for a 20 min trip! There were two platforms in use on the ship, one appeared to have "our" intended excursion tender on it (I guess they were waiting for us to arrive), the other was not being used until it was eventually decided that the one we were on would tie up there. You can imagine our feelings when we tied up just as the excursion tender was leaving. When I complained at the Excursion Desk I was told that we should not have gone ashore in the morning! Then to top it all we were told at the Excursions Desk that I would still be charged £100 for the excursion although our non-arrival was due to their incompetence. I later complained to Head Office, but they merely stood by the ship decisions.

The staff incompetence was further shown at another tender port which we arrived at in late morning. Their ship's paper stated that tender tickets would be given out at midday from the Tour Office (mid-ships) and would passengers please not queue before then. As anyone with half a brain would expect, by midday the queue stretched from the Office, past the shops, right through the restaurant and out onto the aft deck!

Dining - food average (nothing special) but it was often only warm by the time it arrived at our table. If we ordered a starter and soup both were collected at the same time and the soup was kept at the serving area so it was cool by the time we got it. Service was slow and our table was always the last to be served. The wine waitress was efficient and cheerful, the others less so. Aerosol cream on supposed Irish coffee. Afternoon tea was very repetitive. Double cream instead of clotted cream on scones. Breakfast croissants dry and tasteless; toast cold. Very poor choice of cheeses.

Rust was evident over the ship. The woodwork is in need of re-varnishing. The steps used to get to tenders have a joining bar across each step such that it moves dangerously when stepped upon.

The resident entertainment team is very good; the lead male dancer was outstanding. The layout of the show lounge is poor respecting the view from most seats apart from the front row.

Although English is the accepted language, most of the crew are foreign. The captain spoke his own brand of English which was very difficult to follow over the loudspeakers when there was an announcement; he was rarely seen during the cruise, even at "his" cocktail parties - which were non-events.

On formal nights few men wore dinner jackets. I even saw one man in shorts in the show lounge on a formal evening. No-one seemed to care.

Would we go again? You're joking!

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Cabin Review

Cabin Outside 3137

When the price of our cruise was reduced we were given an "upgrade" from inside to an outside cabin. This was the tiniest pokiest little cabin I have ever been in. There was one wardrobe and one small 4-drawer chest for the two of us for 3 weeks! No shelves, no chairs - no room. We had to store much of our stuff in our cases under the beds. I can't imagine what the original cabin would have been like. There was one small porthole up high. All this did not accord with the cabin shown on their website for our grade. The walls were so thin that we could hear what was being said in the neighbouring cabins - very disturbing when you are trying to sleep!

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