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Magellan Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
479 Reviews

Nice Cruise - spoilt by chaotic disembarkment

Magellan Cruise Review by GOMCP

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2020
  • Destination: the British Isles & Western Europe

Ship felt a bit “old & tired" – the stairs were steep between decks.

Tables not equipped for rolling – we experienced severe weather conditions where items just skidded off tables – lips on the edges of tables would help or some friction covering on the tables?

You can purchase WiFi – but this was relatively expensive and only really worked in (or near) the Reception area.

Food / Restaurants

We ate in the restaurants – either a la carte or buffet. We were allocated a table in the Waldorf restaurant for early sitting. The staff were very inflexible with regard to seating arrangements. A party of three were originally allocated to our table – but because this meant there were seven at the table they were moved off and separated – rather than just accommodating an extra seat. There was a table next to us that was always empty, so this could have been used.

The food was generally quite good – a choice of four courses. My wife arranged for the sugar-free option, which worked reasonably well. The downsize was that she had to choose the meal the night before.

All the waiters were very helpful and provided excellent service.

We had a couple of days with very rough weather – it was difficult to walk around. The captain & crew made every effort to keep passengers safe. Our cabin’s window (deck 5) was boarded up for a couple of days.

Excursion Reviews

The excursions provided by the cruise were OK – usually quite informative. However, we discovered that they were expensive when compared to the locally provided tours. (Although be aware that we were diverted to a different port in the Faroes, so not sure how the local tour would work if the ship docked at a different location as planned.)

The ship provided details of the tours for the following day, but we found these very unclear and confusing.

The actual disembarking at the ports were consistently chaotic.

In particular at Rotterdam – the only method of leaving (& joining) the ship was via a very narrow and steep gangway. It was so small that only six people were allowed on the gangway at a time. This was a severe problem for many passengers who were old and had mobility issues. (In fact, I am sure that this situation would be illegal in for safety reasons in the UK.) This caused severe delays getting off the ship – there were crowds milling around on deck 5 trying to get off, and it took us an hour to get off.

One port (Shetland - Lerwick) required Tenders. If you wanted to go ashore then you were given Tokens with letters on them and each letter was called as the Tenders became available. This seemed to work satisfactorily at first – there were three Tenders and they seemed to be running regularly. But then we had to wait for forty minutes because all the Tenders were in port for some reason. Fortunately, we did not have a trip until 2pm – but it did mean we had very little time in Lerwick.

The cruise was cut short by a day because of the Coronavirus situation. (The company decided to get all its ships back to port before the ports were closed because of the virus.) So, we missed out on the Orkney excursion. Our original date for arrival at Tilbury was Monday. The captain informed us that we would be arriving on Sunday and we could disembark then. No details were provided with the original announcement. When the final details were provided it transpired that (if we disembarked on Sunday) then we would have to carry our own luggage, there would be no porters provided and no shuttle service to the carpark. The actual disembarking was chaos. Rather than allocating disembarking slots (for example by deck) it was just a free-for-all with huge queues from all decks trying to get to the one exit ramp. Everyone was crowded together with their luggage. It took us over 30 minutes to get off and we were relatively lucky – we are sure others took longer. Once off the boat we had to carry our luggage out of the terminal and then find a trolley. Then it was a twenty-minute walk (in the rain) with our cases to get to our car. So not a good end to the cruise.

However, we could have disembarked on Monday with 2 choices:

Express disembark with own luggage and shuttle buses available

Exit cabin by 7am, leaving luggage outside the night before & embark deck by deck to shuttle buses.


Would we sail again on the Magellan – only if the cruise would be visiting cities that interest us.

GOMCP's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin 5046 (outside)

Reasonable cabin – plenty of storage space – we took heed of the size of cases, so all our cases fitted under the beds. Although not much shelf space in the bathroom. A hanging toilet bag was very useful.

There was a safe in the cabin.

The cabin support crew were very helpful – our Aircon was fixed immediately. The cabin was serviced twice a day and kept very clean.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

The tour was good - but leaving & returning to the ship was chaotic - just a very narrow & steep gangway - only 6 people allowed on the gangway at a time

View All undefined undefined Reviews

Panoramic Reykjavík - this was organised via the cruise line - it was OK but the timing at each location could have been much better - we had to rush round the church - but spent almost an hour at the museum that when 20 minutes would have sufficed.

We also went on an indepenedent "Golden Circle" tour which was much cheaper than the cruise tour.

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Lerwick (Shetland Islands)

Tour was good - but the tender arrangements left a lot to be desired - we had to wait over half an hour for the outbound tender.

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