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Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
54 Reviews

Good food, comfortable ship, but management of daytime activities appalling

Vasco da Gama (Cruise & Maritime Voyages) Cruise Review by FelberTrev

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2019
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand

Reception

Staff were polite but often did not appear to care too much. They had so many complaints to handle, many to do with inefficient airconditioning units I guess they became complacent. I have to admit I had no real problem with them.

Cabin

We had a balcony on deck 9, almost midships. Plumbing , storage space all good. Beds comfy. Aircon kept the room very cool, good for me but maybe to cold for many. Adjustment seemed to work OK, but whatever setting we had, always cold air coming in thru the vent.

Main problem for me was the loud noise from the aircon unit in the bathroom. It was attended to twice in the first week, made no difference. But for some reason it quietened later on.

The Bistro

This can loosely be termed 'Buffet' which was not actually a buffet as staff served the food from behind the counter, maybe a 'health and safety' issue.

Very good selection of dishes every day, always served hot. Sometimes it was annoying having to queue at the counters, but no real problem. Staff dished up reasonable size portions, you could always ask for more or less. of whatever you wanted. Doing it this way stopped some from piling their plate up excessively, the much going to waste. Desserts looked great, many being flavoured creamy things. We like the hot desserts with custard.

The tea-time offerings were incredible, savoury or sweet, I loved the lattice jam tarts ! ,

Many of the staff had very little English, but were picking it up as the trip progressed. All staff we found very pleasant, but the 'supervisors' dressed in white strutted around like Gestapo officers, seemingly unwilling or unable to get their hands dirty. Guess this was their brief from on high.

Restaurants (the 3 Waterfronts)

Service generally very good and friendly. Good choice on menus, food was hot, especially the soups. All good and tasty. We were especially pleased to get a table for two whenever we wanted it, but we tried to avoid peak times like 6.30pm.

Swimming Pools

One day they were heated, so hope they would always do that if needed. For our trip the temp was fine, kept clean every day. I often swam 1st thing in morning, both pools opened between 5.45 and 6am .

The covered pool area is amazing, comfortable chairs abound, and good mattresses on the loungers. The wonderful opening roof is a sight to behold. Just like Wimbledon tennis !

Public Rooms

Very comfortable seating everywhere, in all the bars and restaurants. And with the mattresses on deck and round the covered pool, I have to say it's the most comfortable ship in that respect I have ever sailed on.

Evening Entertainment

Accomplished group of dancers and singers. Best singer was the DJ 'Aurel' who didn't normally perform, but a wonderful operatic voice. Alex and Freya were the main performers. The evening shows were fairly good , say 8/10. Great costumes.

Guest speakers a mixture. Panama Canal expert Andrew Roberts was superb. Our 'bird-man' made unnecessary references to what he perceived as faults throughout the ship.

Daytime Entertainment

Appalling ! The ship had no QUOITS courts. !st ship I've been on without one. Two SHUFFLEBOARD courts, but in 47 days only THREE scheduled tournaments, 2 of which were utter failures. Come on Cruise Director, ! DARTS games were fairly regular, and well run by YASMIN who worked hard with all her allocations. She also ran indoor 'noddy' games every morning 10-12 in the Ocean Lounge, where an amazing number of guests congregated despite the lovely weather outside. Mainly Australians (3/4 of all the passengers) who have so much sun at home and are more aware of the dangers of sun damage, but they sure like QUIZZES which were run maybe 3 times a day. Clearly there was a big demand for morning games inside the ship.

Now here is a big PROBLEM. The sets of question were fine, though they were angled towards Europeans, not so easy for the Australian quiz fanatics. The PROBLEM is that you did NOT exchange answer sheets, and some teams wrote down multiple answers, giving them a point if ANY answer was right. So stupid. Come on CMV, get teams to swop answer sheets like any other cruise line, or even like Marco Polo did.

Sometimes staff were allocated to run a 'game' maybe table-tennis without knowing what they had to do which was pathetic, two even arriving without pen and paper.. Or a non-English speaker reading quiz questions, needing help from a cruiser.

So all in all, to my mind a big failure on behalf of the Cruise Director.

The absence of deck sports certainly marred my cruise experience, ...but the wonderful; food served up in Bistro and restaurants, coupled with the good pools and superbly comfortable seating areas around the ship explains my 'very good' 4/5 rating.


FelberTrev's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Plumbing , storage space all good. Beds comfy. Aircon kept the room very cool, good for me but maybe to cold for many. Adjustment seemed to work OK, but whatever setting we had, always cold air coming in thru the vent.

Main problem for me was the loud noise from the aircon unit in the bathroom. It was attended to twice in the first week, made no difference. But for some reason it quietened later on.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

City Tour

7 hours, thru Market, then Chapel of Rest, Hotel Flamingos, Coyuca lagoon, restaurant for lunch

View All 27 City Tour Reviews
Island Tour

Guide never stopped talking, we saw very little of the island, just a nice Garden, a 'Marae' and a grotty grotto. Guide thought we wanted his personal observations in the long coach journey back instead of admiring the occasional views we had of the lagoon. He was very knowledgabler and felt he had to

impart every ounce of knowledge, including the Maori, Hawaiian and English names for everything.

View All 49 Island Tour Reviews
Rarotonga

Went to Titikaveka by bus, visited a Garden , had lunch at Charlies


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FelberTrev
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