We booked this cruise in July 2019 and paid £1039.00 each for an inside guarantee cabin. This same cruise with same grade of cabin was on sale in September 2019 for £629.00 per passenger from Tilbury and £615.00 from Rotterdam. That is a reducton of approximately 60% in price for people booking late. We have been on 10 cruises with CMV because they have, on the whole, offered good value for money and allowed people in our modest financial circumstances to experience cruising. We are "Platinum" Columbus Club members. We are disgusted that CMV can "rip-off" their customers in this fashion and expect no repercussions. Well, CMV, we have limited finances and are not prepared to subsidise other passengers to this extent, especially in light of the loyalty we have given your company in the past. That clearly counts for nothing in your view and the pious words of thanks during this cruise from your Cruise Director, Mr Charlie (how appropriate), to the assembled Columbus Club members for their loyalty sounded as cheap and nasty as the champagne served at that event. We will never cruise with CMV again.
With respect to the cruise. The majority of passengers were aged 60+ years. Anyone of this age will tell you that it is difficult to get down onto a sun recliner and even more difficult to get up again. Yet the Columbus's decks were stacked with cheap plastic recliners and very few chairs. Other than aft and forward of the bistro on deck 12 there was nowhere to sit on the open decks. One had to recline or stand. The padded foam cushions for the recliners were filthy with soot from the funnel exhausts. The windows throughout the ship were filthy and obscured any view of the exterior.
The food in the bistro was mainly edible but lacked variety and taste. The food in the restaurant was generally good but was served by slow, untrained waiters. Dinner took over two hours every night. When I and other passengers complained to the ineffectual but decorative head waiter about the poor service it did speed up but came with an attitude problem from the waiter which meant we ate in the bistro from then on. The crew member serving the hotdogs and burgers at the outdoor grill on deck 12 was surly and insolent and should not have been allowed to come into contact with passengers. Most of the crew were pleasant and helpful and Mr Rodrigues our cabin steward was exemplary in performing his duties and in the courtesy and helpfulness extended to us throughout the cruise. Thank you Mr Rodrigues, Sir.
Spacious, quiet. Comfortable bed. Kept immaculately clean and well-stocked by the steward. Plenty of storage. The yellow liquid masquerading as "soap" in the dispenser in the shower looks and smells like an industrial cleaner. Take your own soap. The shower head is fixed making it difficult to bathe properly but the water temperature and power were both good. The toilet is fixed at a strange angle to the toilet wall meaning it is most practical to sit sideways on the seat. Lighting for reading in bed was very poor.
London Cruise Terminal. It looks terminal. But on the upside the roof no longer leaks, I think.
Clean spacious modern city. Not that much to see. Travel by public transport. Day tickets available from any metro station.
Buy a day ticket on any yellow bus for £1.50 for seniors. Buses are owned by Gibraltar government. You can travel all over the territory except to the frontier and airport which is a different bus company. Make sure you go to Europa Point to see the lighthouse. Unfortunately a large mosque spoils the view inland.