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We heard mixed reports about Magellan but were very pleasantly surprised. Fresh out of a refit, the ship was far smarter and far more stylish internally than expected. Compared to Fred Olsen's Balmoral (the standard we were expecting), it was streets ahead. The cabins are large, smart, well fitted and comfortable, excepting the rather rough bottom sheets. Everything throughout the ship was spotless and gleaming. As this was a Christmas Markets 3 day cruise we didn't use the outer decks much but they were spacious. Internally there were a good variety of comfortable bar areas. The theatre was a good size for the size of ship, although the upper tier views would be marred by glass screens there was ample space in the main arena. Food was superb in the restaurant and the buffet. The latter could be a little crowded at times but we always found seats eventually. Staff throughout the ship were superb, really friendly and helpful without exception. The theatre shows were simple, no sets but a live orchestra. The standard of the performers, however was extremely high. There was an excellent live band in one bar, an excellent guitarist in another and also a piano bar so plenty of quality entertainment. Now for the negatives: This was billed as a three night scenic Seine and Christmas Markets cruise with Rouen as an evening visit and a full day in Honfleur. The Seine was lovely even in the rain, about 6 hours on the river. We arrived at Rouen at 4.15pm, back on board time to be at 8.00pm. This is where the fiasco started. The gangway on deck 5. There was an announcement to wait in the lounges, not on deck 5 but having a slow moving elderly person with us we went down earlier. We joined a fairly short queue to get to the entrance. We were glad we got there early. From the point the gangway opened it took 25 minutes to get to it. When we got there we realised why. There was a flight of around 30 really steep metal steps down to the quay. This was the only exit for 1400 people, one or two at a time. There was absolutely no warning of this. It was pouring with rain and no cover so very slippery. There were of course many elderly and disabled people. Many simply could not do it and had to turn back. Those that tried took ages as would be expected (not their fault). We did get off eventually but by the time we got to Rouen we had just two hour and we were near the front in the queue. Many saw the queue down many flights of internal stairs and gave up. It was frankly very dangerous and the safety officer clearly isn't doing his job. We spoke to many disappointed people who wanted to see Rouen and were unable. None had any warning there was not going to be a ramp though CMV must have known the tide was in and they have no exit below deck 5. Honfleur was much better. The same steps but the tide was in so far less steep and having docked early there was no pressure. The biggest issue here didn't bother us particularly but this was billed as a Christmas Market cruise and the opening night for the market was that day, in the evening after we sailed out! Some seriously bad planning there! We have never been on a ship with no exit below deck 5. It simply does not work without a proper ramp. There was little time in Rouen and most would not have seen it at all. A great pity as the rest of the cruise was pretty faultless, especially at this price level.

Excellent In All Respects Excepting Two Major Issues

Magellan Cruise Review by Dave200

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We heard mixed reports about Magellan but were very pleasantly surprised. Fresh out of a refit, the ship was far smarter and far more stylish internally than expected. Compared to Fred Olsen's Balmoral (the standard we were expecting), it was streets ahead. The cabins are large, smart, well fitted and comfortable, excepting the rather rough bottom sheets. Everything throughout the ship was spotless and gleaming. As this was a Christmas Markets 3 day cruise we didn't use the outer decks much but they were spacious. Internally there were a good variety of comfortable bar areas. The theatre was a good size for the size of ship, although the upper tier views would be marred by glass screens there was ample space in the main arena.

Food was superb in the restaurant and the buffet. The latter could be a little crowded at times but we always found seats eventually. Staff throughout the ship were superb, really friendly and helpful without exception. The theatre shows were simple, no sets but a live orchestra. The standard of the performers, however was extremely high. There was an excellent live band in one bar, an excellent guitarist in another and also a piano bar so plenty of quality entertainment.

Now for the negatives:

This was billed as a three night scenic Seine and Christmas Markets cruise with Rouen as an evening visit and a full day in Honfleur. The Seine was lovely even in the rain, about 6 hours on the river. We arrived at Rouen at 4.15pm, back on board time to be at 8.00pm. This is where the fiasco started. The gangway on deck 5. There was an announcement to wait in the lounges, not on deck 5 but having a slow moving elderly person with us we went down earlier. We joined a fairly short queue to get to the entrance. We were glad we got there early. From the point the gangway opened it took 25 minutes to get to it. When we got there we realised why. There was a flight of around 30 really steep metal steps down to the quay. This was the only exit for 1400 people, one or two at a time. There was absolutely no warning of this. It was pouring with rain and no cover so very slippery. There were of course many elderly and disabled people. Many simply could not do it and had to turn back. Those that tried took ages as would be expected (not their fault). We did get off eventually but by the time we got to Rouen we had just two hour and we were near the front in the queue. Many saw the queue down many flights of internal stairs and gave up. It was frankly very dangerous and the safety officer clearly isn't doing his job. We spoke to many disappointed people who wanted to see Rouen and were unable. None had any warning there was not going to be a ramp though CMV must have known the tide was in and they have no exit below deck 5.

Honfleur was much better. The same steps but the tide was in so far less steep and having docked early there was no pressure. The biggest issue here didn't bother us particularly but this was billed as a Christmas Market cruise and the opening night for the market was that day, in the evening after we sailed out! Some seriously bad planning there!

We have never been on a ship with no exit below deck 5. It simply does not work without a proper ramp. There was little time in Rouen and most would not have seen it at all. A great pity as the rest of the cruise was pretty faultless, especially at this price level.
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