Firstly, I am one of those people that rarely writes a review, but I enjoyed my cruise with CMV so much, I am boring the people around me! Also, I was really disappointed to read a review from the same cruise that was really quite negative, so surprised that it was the same ship and schedule, we are all different though I guess!
Yes the ship is now 30 years old, some areas did show signs of age, but all of the public areas were tastefully decorated, very spacious and spotlessly clean. We found that each night we had a pre show cocktail in Raffles, followed by very enjoyable shows including the hilarious pantomime (anyone who has seen it will know why I am still laughing at 'rubber balls'), more cocktails in Connections and then the late Atrium show, with the highlight being the Jersey Beats performance on the last night, it was brilliant.
The entertainment team with Cruise Director Lee at the helm was great, looked like they were having fun and delivered some excellent performances. Personally I disagree with a previous review stating that the Cruise Director was not around much, with a lack of attention - we couldn't believe how he seemed to be able to be in more than one place at a time!
Yes we were a little late docking at Amsterdam due to traffic coming out of the lock, but the Captain estimated arrival between 11.30/12.30, so the actual 10.30 was no big deal in the big scheme of things, plus it was actually quite nice to get some day time sailing in, watching Holland go by from a chilly but sunny top deck.
We were lucky to be upgraded from an inside cabin to a porthole on deck 4 - there are not many cabins down there so nice and quiet. The bathroom in the cabin was dated but clean and super powerful shower. The Cabin was a really good size with comfortable beds, and Ahmad our steward kept it immaculate for us.
When docking at Antwerp and Amsterdam, because the cruise terminals are so close to the city centres, we didn't book any excursions, we just went off and did our own thing, both lovely places to visits.
Lastly, the food. I have never eaten so much in my life! Most breakfasts and lunches were taken in the Plantation buffet, where we were always 'lucky' (well timed) with getting a table, with evening meals in the Waterfront restaurant. Lovely 5 course menu each evening with attentive table steward Yogi.
Would I cruise on Columbus again? 100% yes. I appreciate that the brand is seen as 'budget' compared to some other suppliers, but in terms of value for money, ship comfort, entertainment and food, it ticked every box for me - now looking at next years cruises :)
Very clean, spacious, nice to have natural light from the porthole. Bathroom was dated but the shower was so powerful. Comfortable beds and stacks of storage.
Walked off the ship straight in the city centre and Christmas markets - literally a minute or two to walk. It was very smooth and straight forward to get on and off the ship, we left a couple of times, came back onboard for lunch and to drop shopping off!