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Deciding that we would like a Christmas holiday together, my cousin and I chose CMV Magellan for the “21 night Christmas & New Year Cape Verde, Madeira & Canaries Cruise sailing from Tilbury on Dec. 18, 2019”. To start this review on a positive note, my first impressions were all positive. The terminal at Tilbury was decorated beautifully and had a festive air about it. Embarkation went without a hitch and upon entering the Magellan, I was struck by its cleanliness and the beautiful Christmas decorations that were throughout the vessel. We had an ocean-view cabin on Deck 6 and it was bright, clean and inviting to enter. And then the issues began. The storage space in the cabin was limited (one tiny shelf in the bathroom; night tables were just small tables without drawers; and in the desk area there were only 6 small drawers, one of which was home to the hair dryer (which had little power to adequately dry your hair). While we were struggling to find homes for our belongings, it became unbearably hot. There was no thermostat on the wall and in order to *try* to control the temperature, I had to stand on a chair and attempt to turn a knob in the ceiling! Eventually we came to the realization, that there were only two temperatures available to us: boiling hot or freezing cold. The showroom is always cold, take something to cover you, when you go. The first port, Rotterdam, went without a hitch except that we were told that there was a storm coming in that would delay departure and that we would have to shelter in Cherbourg, France for 24 hours to wait out the storm. Fair enough, better safe than sorry. However, the 24 hours turned into almost 48 and our itinerary had to be changed. We missed the port of Vigo and the stop in Tenerife to see the fireworks on New Year’s Eve (the reason many of the passengers took this cruise) was cancelled. Our next stop to Agadir, Morocco wasn’t until December 26th and wasn’t on the original itinerary. A medical evacuation caused the ship to turn around to allow a helicopter to access the sick individual (again human life comes first and that had to happen) but it delayed our arrival at port and shortened the shore excursions significantly. CMV did refund 20% off of the excursion price as an afterthought But since we didn’t see 50% of what was advertised, it should have been more. I believe the total time in port was 4 hours in total. Also CMV did give everyone £100 for all these changes BUT it was given as an onboard credit – spend it there or lose it. Getting back to Christmas. There was no Christmas programming or Christmas music anywhere until Christmas Day. Boxing Day it was back to the same old routine. A guest choir was organized to sing Christmas Carols on New Year’s Eve Day and a pantomime was put on after Christmas. It all seemed backwards. New Year’s Eve was celebrated near the pool and the venue was too small to dance or to seat all the guests. Top marks to the galley team for putting on some eye-popping displays for the various special displays. They were visual feasts. Top marks to the hard-working crew who kept things very clean. The food was okay ... just okay. Certainly not what I have come to expect from a cruise line. Raffles Bistro does not offer cold drinks like lemonade throughout the day. You can get juice at breakfast, otherwise there are only juice glasses available for water throughout the rest of the day. Only one water dispenser has ice (when entering from the pool area, go to the left hand side). Ice seems to be a precious commodity on this ship. There were some interesting guest lecturers on the ship.However, the entertainment wasn’t that good. The dancers were excellent but at least one of the singers couldn’t carry a tune if you put it in a bag for him. The guest entertainers were mediocre at best. Overall, I would say that port time was extremely limited. The service was generally good. I stress that I cannot fault the hard-working crew, but this cruise left a lot to be desired.

Never again CMV!

Magellan Cruise Review by Kokomo1

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Deciding that we would like a Christmas holiday together, my cousin and I chose CMV Magellan for the “21 night Christmas & New Year Cape Verde, Madeira & Canaries Cruise sailing from Tilbury on Dec. 18, 2019”.

To start this review on a positive note, my first impressions were all positive. The terminal at Tilbury was decorated beautifully and had a festive air about it. Embarkation went without a hitch and upon entering the Magellan, I was struck by its cleanliness and the beautiful Christmas decorations that were throughout the vessel. We had an ocean-view cabin on Deck 6 and it was bright, clean and inviting to enter.

And then the issues began. The storage space in the cabin was limited (one tiny shelf in the bathroom; night tables were just small tables without drawers; and in the desk area there were only 6 small drawers, one of which was home to the hair dryer (which had little power to adequately dry your hair). While we were struggling to find homes for our belongings, it became unbearably hot. There was no thermostat on the wall and in order to *try* to control the temperature, I had to stand on a chair and attempt to turn a knob in the ceiling! Eventually we came to the realization, that there were only two temperatures available to us: boiling hot or freezing cold. The showroom is always cold, take something to cover you, when you go.

The first port, Rotterdam, went without a hitch except that we were told that there was a storm coming in that would delay departure and that we would have to shelter in Cherbourg, France for 24 hours to wait out the storm. Fair enough, better safe than sorry. However, the 24 hours turned into almost 48 and our itinerary had to be changed. We missed the port of Vigo and the stop in Tenerife to see the fireworks on New Year’s Eve (the reason many of the passengers took this cruise) was cancelled. Our next stop to Agadir, Morocco wasn’t until December 26th and wasn’t on the original itinerary. A medical evacuation caused the ship to turn around to allow a helicopter to access the sick individual (again human life comes first and that had to happen) but it delayed our arrival at port and shortened the shore excursions significantly. CMV did refund 20% off of the excursion price as an afterthought But since we didn’t see 50% of what was advertised, it should have been more. I believe the total time in port was 4 hours in total.

Also CMV did give everyone £100 for all these changes BUT it was given as an onboard credit – spend it there or lose it.

Getting back to Christmas. There was no Christmas programming or Christmas music anywhere until Christmas Day. Boxing Day it was back to the same old routine. A guest choir was organized to sing Christmas Carols on New Year’s Eve Day and a pantomime was put on after Christmas. It all seemed backwards. New Year’s Eve was celebrated near the pool and the venue was too small to dance or to seat all the guests.

Top marks to the galley team for putting on some eye-popping displays for the various special displays. They were visual feasts. Top marks to the hard-working crew who kept things very clean.

The food was okay ... just okay. Certainly not what I have come to expect from a cruise line.

Raffles Bistro does not offer cold drinks like lemonade throughout the day. You can get juice at breakfast, otherwise there are only juice glasses available for water throughout the rest of the day. Only one water dispenser has ice (when entering from the pool area, go to the left hand side). Ice seems to be a precious commodity on this ship.

There were some interesting guest lecturers on the ship.However, the entertainment wasn’t that good. The dancers were excellent but at least one of the singers couldn’t carry a tune if you put it in a bag for him. The guest entertainers were mediocre at best.

Overall, I would say that port time was extremely limited. The service was generally good. I stress that I cannot fault the hard-working crew, but this cruise left a lot to be desired.
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