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3,488 Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

I chose the cruise V014 - Broome & Treasures of the North because of the destinations of the cruise. BIG MISTAKE - we visited Geraldton on the Monday after leaving Fremantle on the Sunday, I prebooked a tour of Geraldton - it was hot ... Read More
I chose the cruise V014 - Broome & Treasures of the North because of the destinations of the cruise. BIG MISTAKE - we visited Geraldton on the Monday after leaving Fremantle on the Sunday, I prebooked a tour of Geraldton - it was hot in excess of 40 degrees at 0900 we were trundled up to the HMAS Sydney memorial whilst nice was very hot, during the chat from one of the gents volentering I heard a thump, looking around an elderly lady collapsed from the heat, hitting her head heavyly on the ground, I stood back for a moment expecting that the tour crew would attend but no, people wanting to move her after she hit her head hard, I then had to take over to offer first aid whilst waiting for the ambulance, this was totally unacceptable as the tour leaders should've known first aid and not let a guest take over. We boarded the ship to sail to Broome to hear from the captain (which was very rare) to advise we wouldn't be going to Broome due to a pending cyclone that we would sail onto Exmouth and then anchor for 2 days and tender to the town, that is out of tourist time. The towns people were amazing to welcome us and one of the best bakeries in the country can be found in the town centre - best pies in the country.. So 2 days spent just filling in time when in actual fact we could've sailed on to Broome and returned before the cyclone as Broome was not affected by the cyclone. We then left Exmouth and sailed south for day upon day at a speed between 5 - 7 knots again just to fill in time after it took 24 hours to get from Geraldton to Exmouth and 3-1/2 days sailing south to cover almost the same distance, we then arrived on Monday to Busselton where the ship arranged at short notice a tour to Margret River so I though anything to get of this ship, paid the money to be tendered to the mainland only to be met by a school bus to take us on tour, we arrived in Margret River at midday to be told to be back on the bus at 1300 to return to the ship. 1 whole hour WOW - we returned to the Busselton Wharf to be greeted by a line of about 500 mtrs of people awaiting to tender back to the ship, people we melting in the heat and the poor local visitor volunteers tried to help, another pax failed on the tender on the way back to the ship. We were then moved just enough of the coast were we could see Australia but not actually visit and then anchored there for another full day, where we could've have stayed at Busselton and visited the region. but NO don't give your guests options to do things. on 1 of the days both pools were empty so no swimming as the seas were apparently rough - NOT... then a return to Fremantle on the Wednesday with SO many very unhappy pax - the captain as mentioned was rarely seen and very rarely heard of, was it because he ruined so many peoples holidays. I manage hotels and resorts and if I treated my guest like this I would be hung. As a fairly new comer to the Australian market CMV promised the world with their cruise and the ship on offer. So disappointing I cant not really put into words, but will try without emotion. The company clearly offers cruises to a much older market which is not promoted on their site, don't get me wrong there are no issues there but they need to be open and honest with their products. The ship whilst older has probably seen better days - the public areas were upgraded by P&O as the Eden - I'm not certain that CMV really did any changes apart from stickers over P&O logos etc. You read many reviews about dirty windows and they are not wrong.. The crew are international with a mix including Ukrainian who much like Germans are not known to be over the top wth their humour - but I can say the crew do their best, service was always forthcoming at bars and outlets. I really believe that CMV need to recruit a dozen or so Australian hosts that can walk around the ship and take the pressure off the crew who do in some instances have issues with the Aussie language as their second or third language. Now back to the cruise. Embarkation seemed ok with no pressure - as always it appears pax do not read their boarding times and all want to board when they arrive at the port. I was Blue labeled therefore boarded around the first to board, we were a domestic cruise so very little to no security which was odd. We were walked to the embarkation point, asked to show our tickets and were given a handwritten card with the cruise card attached, then we moved toward the gangway and boarded the ship where there were tables lined up with staff behind laptops taking your credit card details and directing you to your cabins which were ready when boarded, I was surprised to see my bag waiting at the door of my cabin which was a positive. I went searching to buy a lanyard - went to the poorly stocked shop to be told we have sold out a few cruises ago. The laundry was $11.00 for wash and dry but the laundry on desk 5 Out of Order apart from one drier by the second last day on one washer on Deck 6 working so I lined up for the crew to open the door at 0900. Cabin 5054 - The cabin crew as always very helpful and friendly - the cabin has had carpet replaced at some stage over the years but everything else original, which was looking a little tired. But it was clean and bed was comfortable along with pillows, sofa in the room was an added bonus, small older style lcd TV and DVD player attached - has proberly seen better days. Bathroom as expected and usual for ships of this age but with a shower over bath which was better than the small showers on others ship with the sticking shower curtains. Plenty of storage with 6 large drawers and plenty of hanging space with both male and female hangers. The A/C control was digital in this cabin so you would see the temp fluctuate from 21 to 25 degree. The TV had some movie channel which were years old and not good picture quality along with ABC news and GWN7 due to the angle of the TV the remote wouldn't work from the bed hence the sofa came in handy. Being on deck 5 outside the deck 6 promenade was above the bed so you would often hear footsteps or stomping throughout the day and night so be aware of this for deck 5. Dining - 3 main restaurants all tendered to serve the same as the bistro but better presented or with a little variety just to make those dining there feel a little better. There was the Chefs Table and The Grill, I tried to dine at the grill for my birthday at sea but was refused as I was in dress shorts and buttoned shirt - I needed trousers to be allowed in to dine with those wearing T Shirts etc, I asked If I could have the meal as room service and I would wait and take it away on a tray myself but no was the answer event thought I was happy to pay the $49. So dining for me was the Bistro - if I ever see roast pork or any of its similar ways of preparation I will be sick, it was served every night. I was surprised to see lamb on a couple of nights which was a real treat along with baked rib fillet and chicken was another nightly repeat offering. Appears the outlets still carry the names branded from P&O. The food was ok - not 5 star but not the worst on offer. We had a deck BBQ with pig and chicken on spits along with normal BBQ fare which was nice but the day was very hot with flies and I felt for the staff working over the BBQ's. Breakfasts as expected but the toast was odd and often hard as,but you made do, the hot water stations often ran out of water etc. Lunch was a mix again and at 1530 was afternoon tea with scones and various odd textured cakes. The scones were OK along with the jam and some sort of cream but all good with a cup of tea. The burger/pizza bar offered a hamburger, a hotdog and a single pizza choice and baskets of chips. The coffee shop offered coffees, hot choc & higher quality teas at a cost and some cakes different to the interesting textured cakes in the desert buffet - one good thing was that staff serve you from behind glass that avoids people piling plates and wasting it or tasting it and putting it back - this stops diseases also which is great as the number of peoples carless hand sanitation. Bar staff Anton and Dometri were fantastic at the Lido Bar Entertainment - Well trivia with International crews not knowing how to pronounce words was more frustrating. There was an Aussie speaker on board for birds and another for Australian history which were in often full with no chairs to listen so you moved on. Bingo on seadays was at 1630 in the Dome at a cost of $10.00 for one ticket that was odd as they played 3 games on the one card but it filled in some time. The shows, well I will just review the Abba show, to see dancers dressed in almost Cossack costumes with singers one who thought she was an opera singer and the others were extremly very average. It was like a CD with gap between each song. The Cruise Director Freya was really not what a cruise director should be. She was rather bland and really not entertaining and was only seen on occasion. Service - As described but they do need to employ some Australian hosts to avoid the grumpy older Aussies being rude to international staff. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Cruise to see Northern Lights and Norwegian coastline This was a Christmas present for my wife who had to cancel due to her sisters bereavement 2 weeks prior to departure. Hurtigruten were most unsympathetic and inflexible, they ... Read More
Cruise to see Northern Lights and Norwegian coastline This was a Christmas present for my wife who had to cancel due to her sisters bereavement 2 weeks prior to departure. Hurtigruten were most unsympathetic and inflexible, they would not refund the cost, or change names on tickets to allow use by someone else, or defer the dates. In the end to avoid losing all the money I travelled alone and have been trying to claim my wife's costs back from the insurance company. However I need a letter from Hurtigruten confirming cancellation and that my wife did not travel to do this, and despite asking 3 times on board and emailing them I did not get the courtesy of a reply until after I arrived home, they obviously find administration too onerous and are not interested in customer service once they have been paid. I would not recommend anyone using this cruise line because of this, which is a shame because the venues are interesting and staff helpful apart from in "customer service" The food is good and well presented and cooked but there is no choice at dinner, so if you do not like fish it is a problem. The breakfast and lunch buffets are very good with a lot more choice. If you like a beer or wine you need a large budget or bring your own ! Many of the ports of call are just 15 minute stops to deliver / collect mail and goods so there is no option to disembark here, however the main ports like Trondheim and Tromso offer more time to explore. The excursion team are the best thing about Hurtigruten, they are knowledgeable and entertaining, however the excursions are overpriced. Unlike traditional cruise lines there is no evening entertainment on board. To sum up, a poor and inflexible booking policy, decent food and staff , the ship is a cross between ferry and cruise ship Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We actually took the complete 11 day trip to/from Bergen (not 6 days as above). We had been on the same trip previously and so enjoyed the experience, we wanted to go again. This is unusual for us, as we like to go to different places. ... Read More
We actually took the complete 11 day trip to/from Bergen (not 6 days as above). We had been on the same trip previously and so enjoyed the experience, we wanted to go again. This is unusual for us, as we like to go to different places. So it was a special memory. All the crew we came into contact with were most courteous, kind, helpful and cheerful. The Expedition team provided many interesting and enjoyable sessions daily. Thank you very much. The food, again, was delicious. Always plenty of choice at buffet breakfast and lunch, with beautifully presented served meals at dinner. The multiple sittings at dinner allowed us to really enjoy an almost Michelin starred experience each day. The weather was much better than the previous trip, but the Northern Lights were not co-operating very well this time - very late and very quick. Our "mini-suite" was very comfortable and we particularly praise Hurtigruten for their decisions to be super-friendly to the environment by allowing us to restrict cabin servicing to days of our choice - not just the usual "save the towels". Well done Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is our first trip with Hurtigruten ( Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen) 1. Kirkenes - Bergen - Many ports skipped during return trip due to bad weather. 2. Very comfortable cabin. 3. My wish for every dinner is fulfilled. 4. ... Read More
This is our first trip with Hurtigruten ( Bergen - Kirkenes - Bergen) 1. Kirkenes - Bergen - Many ports skipped during return trip due to bad weather. 2. Very comfortable cabin. 3. My wish for every dinner is fulfilled. 4. Breakfast could be improved (Eg: additional Asian cuisine on board) 5. Very friendly and knowledgable personnel on board. 6. Expensive excursions (could be improved with price). ( Eg: Husky rides done not as described in book !!! ) 7. Northern light not sighted during entire trip due to bad weather. But Hurtigruten promised a FOC trip ( 7D Bergen - Kirkenes or 6D Kirkenes - Bergen) 8. On board entertainment could be improved by adding more physical activities like games, birthday parties, bingo, etc. 9. Drink and food price could be lowered due to duty tax free. ( 0,75 Liter wine is minimum 50€ Per bottle ; 0,6Lbeer is 12€; Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Already the third winter trip with one of the old, small, listed ship of the Hurtigrute. The mood on the Norwegian coast is particularly romantic at this time: every day is like Christmas day. However, violent storms and hurricanes must ... Read More
Already the third winter trip with one of the old, small, listed ship of the Hurtigrute. The mood on the Norwegian coast is particularly romantic at this time: every day is like Christmas day. However, violent storms and hurricanes must be expected in winter. The MS Lofoten has no stabilizers, so the ship can have violent movement. But it is very safe! Living together on board is very familiar. The staff was always friendly and courteous even in heavy weather. Since this ship was built in 1964, the cabins are usually relatively small. Many cabins with their own bathroom with shower and toilet. The cleaning perfectly. The excellent cuisine is particularly positive. Breakfast and lunch as a self-service buffet. Dinner as a four-course menu is served at the table. The Hurtigruten shipping company offers a large number of shore excursions. A trip with the MS Lofoten is especially for people who want to take a "real" boat trip, not in a "skyscraper on water". The MS Lofoten is especially recommended for this group! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
From the large warehouse for embarkment in Bristol thoughts of cheap and cheerful came in to my head. On board there was a smell of diesel in the lower decks. Cabin was clean but as the ship is 55 years old could not expect much. Biggest ... Read More
From the large warehouse for embarkment in Bristol thoughts of cheap and cheerful came in to my head. On board there was a smell of diesel in the lower decks. Cabin was clean but as the ship is 55 years old could not expect much. Biggest problem was the trip hazards in the door ways, raised lips on every doorway and uneven floors, on the public toilets two raised edges caught a lot of people out. They had to call the helicopter out twice, and by the end of the cruise many were sporting arm and foot injury's due to falls. Dining was in two times, and various size tables from two to ten seats. Food was good and plenty of choice with just over the hour from start to finish. This allowed time to get to the theatre to watch the show at 8pm. The biggest problem I had was the lack of time in the ports. Would arrive at 8am and leave at 1.30 or arrive at 7am and leave 12.30. By the time you had breakfast it only gave a couple of hours to see the place. Cobh was a complete waste and was only to drop people off as arrive 6am and leave at 10.45. By the time you paid for 165 car park then tips and drink package you could of gone on a much better cruise line for the same cost. Would I go back on to this ship no but spoke to many that have been on a few times because of its size. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Yes ? Why did we do it. Is this ship sea worthy? Smelly bathroom , advise anyone who goes to at least run the water for several minutes. (Think of Legionaries disease). Cabin clean but so outdated. Ours was also noisy (410 floor ... Read More
Yes ? Why did we do it. Is this ship sea worthy? Smelly bathroom , advise anyone who goes to at least run the water for several minutes. (Think of Legionaries disease). Cabin clean but so outdated. Ours was also noisy (410 floor 7) I cannot understand first timers to cruising even going on this ship again . Some suggested those who travel on Cunard are for want of a word 'snobs'. Well really get a life and travel better. We all deserve it . The staff need training on how to serve politely . All staff rushed us, at breakfast we were split up and made t o sit away from each other (four in our group) This ship still sails well good luck to anyone who books this terrible vessel. More negative comments that positive ones why then hasn't the company done something about it. Do they read these reviews Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
The itinerary and the price together with promise of a couple of weeks of sunshine over Christmas seemed a very attractive propositio. Transport from Victoria and embarcation were very efficient and we were very happy with our Outside ... Read More
The itinerary and the price together with promise of a couple of weeks of sunshine over Christmas seemed a very attractive propositio. Transport from Victoria and embarcation were very efficient and we were very happy with our Outside cabin on Deck 4.First impressions of the ship were good: clean, bright & open. From the beginning, however, the ship was cold both in the cabin and in the public areas. Whilst we were able to regulate the temperature in the cabin, the rest of the ship remained cold throughout the cruise and was commented on by a number of other guests. The food initially was fine but the standard was not maintained throughout. Lunch & afternoon options in Raffles Bistro were repetitive & unimaginative: triangles of processed cheese & luncheon meat were the only options available as an alternative to hot food; no variation of sandwich fillings and fruit selection was okay - as long as you liked melon. The itinerary was disrupted by a storm in The Bay of Biscay over which the captain had no control & so two days had to be spent in Cherbourg and four more ports - Vigo, Oporto, Lanzarote & Tenerife for the whole of New Year's Eve - had to be missed. Whilst decisions about personal safety are paramount & the two day delay unquestionably correct, it adversely affected the overall enjoyment of the cruise as 12/13 days were spent at sea and only 5/6 days were available for comfortable enjoyment of the sun onboard. CMV awarded us €100 each as compensation but this had to be spent onboard which was less beneficial to those of us who were cruising all-inclusive. The entertainment generally did not compensate for the additional sea days & lack of port time. Apart from Quizzes & Bingo,there were few alternative activities and the daily talks/lectures were adequate at best. Two films were shown yet the theatre remained largely unused for the best part of each day. Entertainment overall was poor. Also disappointing is CMV's recent policy not to stock non-alcoholic wine yet provide 0% beer & non-alcoholic cocktails. Were were offered Schlor at €25.00 per bottle which is available for 1.50 in most supermarkets. Most of the crew - waiters, cabin steward etc; - were friendly and helpful. Overall, for various reasons, this was a disappointing festive cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Was it perhaps us? We’re not new to Cruise and Maritime, far from it, in fact. We were really looking forward to the Christmas New Year cruise. It was our third time on the Magellan, and our second during the festive season on the ... Read More
Was it perhaps us? We’re not new to Cruise and Maritime, far from it, in fact. We were really looking forward to the Christmas New Year cruise. It was our third time on the Magellan, and our second during the festive season on the ship. Embarkation was exceedingly efficient, and our luggage was already at our cabin when we got there. Just a couple of months earlier, we sailed to Canada on the Marco Polo and had an absolutely fabulous cruise. I perhaps ought to say that unlike in September, this time, we boarded hugely deflated due to the election result and knew we’d have to bite our tongues as the country had chosen a very different path to the one we’d fought for. It actually crossed my mind that most people should be in a really good mood, looking forward to all of the excellent opportunities our new government was promising, so complaints would be minimal and kept to something that’s justified. But no, for many, the sea was still too wet, the earth was too round and the moon wasn’t made of cheese. But the prize went to a woman who exclaimed “not fish again” one lunchtime when her main course arrived, having been given a choice of at least five other options… We usually find Cruise and Maritime’s “quirks” quite endearing, after all, where else would you find exotic delights such as “Scottish Cornish Pasties” on the menu? And we loved trying to work out what the warning on the lunchtime menu meant (it said “The below Icon which one mention the menu is condense with”). The restaurant signage refers to “Ruffles” and then there was the beef “noddle” in the buffet… The lack of attention to detail really is something CMV ought to address – the worst example of this was when we docked in Lisbon at a different place to where it said on the daily explorer, so people went the wrong way when leaving the ship if they didn’t know the city. And why are there no maps of ports included in the writeups? But at least this time they got the time right, unlike during our Canadian trip where one day ship time ended up different to shore time! We found the entertainment a little mediocre to be honest, but one thing that is most entertaining is to hear all the gossip which quickly becomes Chinese whispers. Apparently we got the Columbus’s dock in Agadir, very interesting considering they were due to go to Casablanca! And so many people seemed to be much more accomplished sailors than the captain, constantly questioning why the ship went when and where it did forgetting that it can be quite tricky to park in a supermarket carpark at this time of year, never mind finding a port! We were very glad to be kept safe from the bad weather in the Bay of Biscay, but yes, we’d have liked a couple more hours in Lisbon. One thing that might be considered during the muster drill is to teach passengers how to explain how to communicate effectively with waiters whose first language isn’t English. Waiters simply don’t really need to know why you want something, just that they’ve understood what you’ve ordered - in amongst the life story of why you want a poached egg rather than a fried egg, but you don’t like boiled eggs and the scrambled eggs are too runny/firm/hot/cold (delete as applicable), but then decide on a boiled egg anyway while all the other passengers are patiently waiting to place their order... It all just leaves the poor server very confused. It’s also very useful to listen when the order is being confirmed to avoid saying “is this what I ordered?” when it arrives. I have no idea how they do their job, let alone for 8-10 months without a day off! As for the muster drills, I joked that CMV were cutting down on comedians as the drill was an absolute farce – I’m not sure a member of staff ought to have been setting up the buffet during our second drill! Oh, and if there is to be a second drill, perhaps it might be a good idea if it were reflected in the Explorer’s events programme?! I do apologise if I’ve sounded like I’m moaning – I am a remoaner after all! Let’s cheer up the mood by saying that in three weeks, we didn’t queue once, there were no art auctions, no kids and on the whole, food and service were great and all in all great value for money – just some of the things we like about CMV and make it our preferred line. I also like the fact that there are a fair few non-UK guests onboard giving a more international flavour than some other British lines. We also like not having 24 hour food, so sometimes you can actually feel hungry before eating again! Another thing we very much liked was that even on port days, the Kensington was open for à la carte breakfast and lunch, meaning no pushing and shoving at the buffet and generally interesting company. I’m not quite sure why they ran out of orange juice, but even that isn’t really the end of the world and it’s not like they can just go and get some whilst at sea! As for the cabin, we were allocated 7029, towards the front and well located - there aren’t any frills, we bring our own toiletries and it’s kept spotless – the bed’s comfy enough, but the fold down beds do get in the way of you being able to sit up in bed, and some hooks would have been very useful. We could have done without the toilet being so temperamental, but it was mended fairly quickly each time – it did make us laugh when we were waiting for the handyman when on the TV one channel was showing “All the Number Twos from the 1980s”! We also enjoyed the free breakfast in bed – a pastry and a slice of toast was all we need so we could enjoy lunch. Our cabin steward (Wiktoria) was very efficient and kept us well stocked with tissues – and Ruben, the steward on the next block, had been our cabin steward last time and even remembered us leaving a Christmas decoration in our cabin which he’d left at reception for us (but that was a couple of years ago…). In all fairness, CMV does what it says on the tin very well – it doesn’t claim to be what it isn’t. We always go for second sitting, but for the first time on any cruise, after a week or so, we chose to eat in the buffet as we generally wanted to go to bed early - we both suffered badly from colds (in common with lots of other passengers) and we were out of sorts generally. However, for the first time on any cruise we’ve been on, let’s just say we ran out of conversation with our table mates – we’ve never moved table before, but it did cross our minds, but wondered if it would be out of the frying pan... It was a shame, as our waiters - and the food – were great. The buffet was okay once you got used to it and we perhaps weren’t up to making conversation for a prolonged period every night. Our usual game of “Brexit bingo” seemed somewhat easier than usual – we score points for words such as Wetherspoons, Brussels, Benefit Scroungers, Immigrants, Tipping, Foreigners… Brexit itself didn’t seem to be mentioned that much (and we’d have politely steered the conversation away, especially as we’d banned ourselves from looking at the news). We awarded ourselves a bingo bonus when we learned that there was a book written on the carpets of Wetherspoons (and were shown photos!) by someone we met who had made it his life’s mission to visit each and every pub in that chain! It takes all sorts to make a world, after all, and if that’s what floats your boat…! Somehow we found the entertainment a little lacklustre (again, it could have been us) – we really didn’t understand why the Netherlands aren’t included in the Round the World cabaret (is Rotterdam not a home port these days?), nor why that dreadful song about us ruling the waves and having an Empire still gets an airing – perhaps “The Old Bull and Bush” would be more in keeping, especially with so many East End/Essex people on board, although I’d rather have John Lennon’s Imagine to represent our country. But I did learn that Tequila comes from Brazil. Apparently! There are so many great Brazilian songs and they play one from Mexico!! Another CMV quirk! Due to weather conditions, our itinerary was amended a couple of times at the beginning of the cruise – we spent a lovely day in Rotterdam, then the Captain told us about storms over the Bay of Biscay, so we docked in Cherbourg for two days, which meant missing out Vigo, Tenerife and Lanzarote, and adding Agadir. To be honest, apart from being able to meet up with friends in Tenerife, the new itinerary suited us far better – it included a country new to us, and we still made it to Cape Verde, which was really fascinating, especially as we didn’t visit the two more touristy islands. I can understand people not knowing anything about Morocco as it wasn’t on our original itinerary, but it’s beyond me why people didn’t do a little research about Cape Verde before going there – why go to a developing country then moan about its infrastructure? Due to the itinerary changes, we were given £100 onboard credit for the inconvenience, which we thought was a very generous gesture. There were also free shuttles at just about every port (although at some it was stated they were for the less able-bodied) – in Praia in particular, the old town was far too far for just about anyone to walk and thankfully anyone was admitted onto the shuttle. The blurb said it was around 800m to town, but that was obviously copied and pasted from the Mindelo information as it was much further– and uphill most of the way (in nearly 30C). Our excursions were very good, and changes to the itinerary were handled without a glitch (we were in Cape Verde a day later than originally planned, and our excursions were simply transferred) – the additional stop in Agadir was very short, so by doing the excursion we made the most of our time there. Restaurant times were adjusted in accordance with port timings, for example sometimes lunch was served from 11.30. On sea days, we attended quite a few of the lectures – a graphologist, stargazer and talks on entertainers of yesteryear were all interesting – I’d have gone to more of the creative writing sessions had they not clashed with lunch. One of the passengers organised a daily LGBT meetup which was a great idea and something we haven’t had on CMV previously, something most other cruise lines put in their programmes automatically – on every CMV cruise we’ve been on, there has been a fair smattering of same sex couples. As we weren’t on top form, we didn’t go to quite a few of the shows – although it was interesting how few of them were repeats of what we’d seen on the Marco Polo, just a few of the production shows were very similar. It’s hard to pin down exactly what made this cruise one of our least favourites. Perhaps it’s just that we’ve enjoyed others more and our mood was a little lower than usual. Toothache certainly didn’t help (the medical centre arranged for a trip to the dentist in Gran Canaria), and our colds and generally feeling unwell meant we were in bed by 11pm on New Year’s Eve, and many times by 9pm. We also weren’t overly fond of the Captain’s Club where all of the entertainment happened, it was crowded, hot and the band weren’t at all to our taste, we found them far too raucous, but that could, of course, be due to us feeling under the weather and other passengers commented how good they were. If there’s something that could be put right, then I’d gladly give some constructive criticism, but I’m really not sure what CMV could do to rectify anything, apart from a little more attention to detail. Perhaps it was just our deflated mood following the election campaign (in which we were heavily involved), general health and the fact that we’d recently spent 30 days on the Marco Polo that lessened our enjoyment and back then, we still had some hope for our country’s future. I sincerely hope that I can look back at this review at the turn of the next decade and that our fears were completely unfounded. But before that, let’s hope that the next two cruises we’ve got booked on CMV are as enjoyable as our Canada cruise! Let's just hope we get rid of this cough/cold by then! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
There were parts of the cruise which were very good namely the cabin steward and the waiting and bar staff. Unfortunately there was a force majeur situation which meant that 4 stops on the itinerary were cancelled - Vigo, Tenerife, ... Read More
There were parts of the cruise which were very good namely the cabin steward and the waiting and bar staff. Unfortunately there was a force majeur situation which meant that 4 stops on the itinerary were cancelled - Vigo, Tenerife, Lanzarote and Porto which was extremely disappointing but apparently couldn't be helped 2 of those stops were replaced with Cherbourg and Morocco. The entertainment show staff were very amateur and some of them couldn't even sing apart from a couple and I really didn't rate the cruise director Toby talk about arrogance with no talent. The other singers were a band called the funky lions were very good as was an Argentinian guitar player and singer in Taverners bar (can't remember his name) he was also excellent. Just a pity about the show staff talk about flat. The worst thing about the cruise however was that more than half of the people on board succumbed to what I now know is famously called 'The Magellan Cough'. Many people were having to go to the medical centre and you could see people walking around with canulas in as they were getting IV antiboitics. I am generally a very fit person who never gets colds and I am now back in the UK and off work due to this terrible cough. Magellan sort it out, there is no sense in trying to put a cruise on if more than half of your passengers fall ill due to lack of proper air con or whatever caused this, we do not want to be spending thousands on a cruise to then come back and be ill with infections and coughs. I would have given a higher score if it hadn't been for this cough I contracted. I will never sail on the Magellan again due to the cough epidemic if not for this I would have done. Until CMV sort out their cough epidemic that constantly happens on this ship I think they will continue to lose custom for it. Sort it out CMV !! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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 ... Read More
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 :) Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise as we had been on the Christmas Market cruise for the previous 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. This year was different. the atmosphere on board was unlike previous cruises. I can't quite put my finger on ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had been on the Christmas Market cruise for the previous 3 years and thoroughly enjoyed them. This year was different. the atmosphere on board was unlike previous cruises. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was almost as if everyone had given up for the year. Some of the crew worked really hard and were attentive to passenger needs but some seemed burned-out. CMV got the itinerary wrong this year, going to Antwerp first and then Amsterdam. This meant leaving Antwerp before the Christmas Market was in full swing. We also arrived late at Amsterdam due to "out going" traffic delaying our passage through the lock. The ship herself was as we expected, a little tired but comfortable, and was kept very clean. The cabin (we had been given an upgrade to deck 11) was a good size, clean and comfortable, so no complaints on that score. The food, we used the Bistro for convenience, was good and hot. Having complained in the past about the choice of vegetables I was happy to see an improved selection available. We did not see any of the Shows this time so can only comment on the singer in one bar who was an improvement of a previous year. He seemed to have a degree of talent and a good voice. We were disappointed that the Cruise Director did not make any announcements about the entertainment on offer, but then he was conspicuous by his absence. Another indicator of the lack of attention from CMV. The shops carried the usual array of good, although the Duty Free shop was half empty and the staff seemed to lack any concern for customers. The range of cigarette brands was really poor and the staff offered no hope of this being rectified. It was a matter of fact attitude, "check in after 5pm when we leave Amsterdam and see what we have". We were also disappointed with the "late night snacks" offered in the deck 7 bars. Waiters walked straight past our seats, told us they would attend to us on the way back, and when one of them did offer us something there were only 2 or 3 items left on his tray. All in all, it was a cruise that lacked the Christmas Spirit. CMV have let their normally high standards drop. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing ... Read More
Chose this cruise as was a very cheap deal, obviously get what you pay for. Cabin was very outdated, hairs on bedding, hairs in the sink and floor was filthy when we arrived and wasn’t hoovered the whole time we were there. Freezing cold in room even with heating on. Loose wires on the phone. Tv didn’t work properly. Cabin steward was very rude and didn’t do his job at all. Food was basic and not many options, staff in restaurant rude and unfriendly Entertainment absolutely awful and of poor standard, show team need upgrading massively. Lack of entertainment on board- nothing to do on board for hours on end in between the little entertainment they did provide. Arrived in Amsterdam 4 hours late but we’re not informed until we were meant to dock so everyone was sat waiting and we didn’t stay later. Disembarkation diabolical massive queues everywhere! NEVER-AGAIN Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I took this short cruise with my Mum as a quick festive getaway. We had low expectation due to the very reasonable price we paid and for the most-part our expectations were either met or exceeded. The ship is very old - no amount of ... Read More
I took this short cruise with my Mum as a quick festive getaway. We had low expectation due to the very reasonable price we paid and for the most-part our expectations were either met or exceeded. The ship is very old - no amount of decorating will hide that fact. It has been re-branded and changed hands several times over its 35 year life and it does look its age. However, it does have a retro charm and we quite enjoyed going back in time for a few days. It was mostly well maintained (as much as such an old ship can be) and was very clean throughout. Most of our fellow passengers were 65+ which does make the experience echo that of a floating care home. I, being 24, was by far (VERY far) the youngest passenger on board. Our cabin was clean and quite spacious. The carpeting looked new and the beds were reasonably comfy. Being an aft cabin, it was extremely noisy due to being above the engines, however this did not disturb our sleep too much. The room was extremely hot and despite putting the air-con on full blast, the room remained hot throughout the trip. The food in the buffet was limited but tasty, good for a quick bite. The main dining room was exceptional, honestly some of the best food I've had at sea. Five courses were offered every night and all were very good. The daily activities were average - bingo, ballroom dancing, trivia etc and the entertainment team did their best. There was live music in most of the lounges in the evenings which was appreciated my most and the shows in the main theatre were entertaining, a bit "holiday camp", but pretty good. Service in the dining room was excellent and our room steward was very pleasant. The bars needed more servers. They were clearly struggling with demand and we had to wait quite a while to catch someones attention to order a drink. Overall I would do this cruise again. For the price we paid I think we received a decent cruise which, in some areas, exceeded our expectations. Go with an open mind and low expectations and you will enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem ... Read More
We took a Cruise with CMV in March to Iceland which was Awful and the complaint went as far as ABTA but we secured a discount on another Cruise and thought we would give them the benefit of doubt and give them another chance to redeem themselves with the Christmas Cruise to Holland, Germany and Belgium. The start wasn't good as the ship had been delayed in Belgium. We sat in the pretty uncomfortable surroundings of Tilbury and were delayed for 5 and a half hours with hardly any announcements and had to pay for drinks and food. Then we boarded the ship having had no news from CMV that our Itinerary had been changed straight away and we weren't even going to go to Belgium which was one of the Christmas Markets that we had actually booked the trip for, so why CMV not tell us all until we boarded the ship. No Compensation for this of course but this is what we expected from CMV after our last Cruise with them. The itinerary was more time in Holland and more time in Germany and then back to Tilbury. Only two days off of the ship instead of the proposed three, not good. Our pre registered trip in Amsterdam was also cancelled and we had to make our own entertainment there for about 8 to 10 hrs as the other excursion they had was not what we wanted. Then we had about 12 hrs in Hamburg to see the Christmas Markets there. All in all not Good enough again. Our cabin was very tired and we feel that a lot of the ship needs a refurb. The Card Room was absolutely freezing most of the time and so was the observation room. Apart from one of the waiters in the Pub, our cabin cleaner and the Gentleman singer in the Pub, also the Pantomime by the Entertainment team on the last evening was good.We found most of the staff on board pretty hopeless and unsympathetic. The Bar Staff could not mix a Cocktail properly, they seemed to think that a Pina Colada was supposed to be a Brain Freezing Slush Puppy. All we can say is that where we ate on floor 11 was like School Dinners and had terrible trouble even getting a seat in comfort and had to hunt for our own cutlery. The food as a whole was marginally better than we had on the Astoria in March. In fact we can thank CMV for completely putting us off of ever Cruising again and thank God that we got this one on the Cheap as it was booked late and we also got our Compensation Discount and did not have to pay the £900 or so that some poor people payed for this complete let down for what was supposed to be a Christmas Markets Cruise. We would not recommend this Company to anybody having also given them a second chance to improve. A Very Poor Experience, Never Again! From Mr and Mrs G Nutting and Mrs C Still Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My husband and I have just returned from our 3rd cruise but first with the Cruise and Maritime (CMV). This was the Iceland and the Northern lights cruise also calling at Faroe and Orkney islands. We were on the Marco Polo in a superior ... Read More
My husband and I have just returned from our 3rd cruise but first with the Cruise and Maritime (CMV). This was the Iceland and the Northern lights cruise also calling at Faroe and Orkney islands. We were on the Marco Polo in a superior outside cabin (477). The ship is old and tatty but small enough to feel friendly and in our opinion, more personal than the huge cruise ships. This was a cruise of 2 halves, great shore experiences vs fairly terrible on board experience ( some admittedly not CMV's fault). We hit some pretty awful weather ( force 9 gales I overheard ), which on a ship with people already sick ( more about that later ) was not pleasant but obviously no ones fault. Even hardened cruisers were saying they were the worse conditions they had ever experienced. The time spent on shore was wonderful. We went whale watching with CMV which was fantastic, We saw some subtle northern lights whilst on the ship but later did a CMV Northern lights boat trip which didn’t seem value for money as the boat just took us out a bit in the bay we were docked in and not to a proper dark sky area. We also did a fabulous golden circle tour not with CMV but with a company called ‘FAB tours which was really interesting and thoroughly enjoyable thanks to a superb tour guide (Ragnor) plus it was substantially cheaper than the CMV equivalent, Ragnor picked us up at Reykjavik port ( a short stroll from the ship) and there were only 4 of us in the mini bus so felt very personal. We were able to do extra little things like feeding the iceland ponies and did not feel at all rushed , we even had some time at the end so Ragnor took us to see the cathedral and the pearl in the city. Definately recommended. We hired a car on Orkney which was easy to arrange, Avis car hire place was next to where the shuttle bus dropped us in town. That enabled us to see everything we could in the limited time there without the usual ‘hearding' . However unfortunately our time on Orkney was cut short by 3 hours ( out of the planned 8 hours) because our ship was held in quarantine for 3 hours due to the diahorrea and vomiting bug which had plagued our ship for approx half of our cruise. We made the most of our time there but we’re really disappointed by the short amount of time we had there. The bug meant that all public areas were closed apart from one restaurant ( the buffet was closed and cancelled to limit infection spreading) and the bars. This severely limited what we could do particularly on sea days. One main bar ( Scott’s bar) is available to sit in during the day but you cannot get a drink so you need to carry drinks up flights of stairs which is not safe , I suggested to reception that they consider opening it particularly in the circumstances However the receptionist just told me “ it’s not my decision" and refused to let me speak to his superior. Time to talk about ‘ the plague ‘ that struck the ship and its affect on our holiday. Passengers started suffering with diahorrea and vomiting approx 7 days into the cruise and it was spreading, of course these things happen on cruises, we all.understand that, however it is how it is dealt with and the treatment of the passengers that sorts the wheat from the chaff. Our experience of CMV is that they are definitely ‘ the chaff. Our cruise effectively ended with the outbreak and the remaining 5 days became an exercise in managing us with little regard to the fact that there were many trying to enjoy their holiday. The staff in general were friendly and helpful but even some of those were getting snappy and stretched towards the end of the Cruise. The management were nowhere to be seen. By the last few days we had the impression we were now just an inconvenience to CMV who just wanted us to stay out of the way so they could clean all public areas ready for the next cruise. So for a large proportion of our cruise there was no gym, hot tub, pool, spa, burger bar, craft classes, shops, buffet restaurant, library or card room. There was no attempt to reopen anything after it had been cleaned ( presumably to save them cleaning again before the next cruise) and the whole atmosphere became very unpleasant. There was very little in the way of information from our Captain who just occasionally made a dour announcement giving us information about our whereabouts that was available on the tv channel anyway, he sounded bored and lacked any humour ( which could have been helpful given the circumstances). However he kept the ship safe which is his job. The worse thing in our opinion was that at no point was there any acknowledgement of the distress we were experiencing, it was quite bizarre. All we received was a letter through the door explaining that there was a virus on board. I was ill for 2 days and my husband and I basically had to fend for ourselves paying for room service as I wasn't ill enough to qualify for free room service ! The daily ‘ explorer’ paper was our main source of information and was quite useful thank goodness. There were a few shining lights within the staff, for us it was our extremely hard working cabin cleaner Min Zaw who frankly deserves a medal, Colin our waiter had a sense of humour and the drinks waiter Tun in the globe bar always had a smile and a laugh. The food was at best mediocre, on par with a 3 star all inclusive hotel but wine on the vip package was nice and plentiful. Unfortunately this whole experience has put us off cruising at least for the foreseeable future and we would certainly never use CMV again. I wrote to CMV but only received a standard letter which did not address any of my concerns and just quoted policy at me – no apology for the way things were handled. They offered us a discount on our ‘ next CMV ‘ cruise which did make us laugh. In summary it wasn't the fact we were unlucky enough to experience a bug on board a cruise ship but rather how it was handled by CMV. Our takeaway lesson from this is ‘ beware cruisers, one bug on board and your holiday is basically over ‘. We work too hard for our holidays so .... Never again !!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We booked this because of the price and destination after seeing an advertisement in a newspaper. We have done many other cruises all over the world mainly with Celebrity or RCI. We purchased car parking which was cheap but very ... Read More
We booked this because of the price and destination after seeing an advertisement in a newspaper. We have done many other cruises all over the world mainly with Celebrity or RCI. We purchased car parking which was cheap but very chaotically managed. My husband is extremely good at parking but struggled to get our car out of the space at the end of the cruise due to the way other cars had been parked in front. Check in was quite efficient and we were quickly on the ship and in our cabin. The cabin was quite spacious but very tired. Cabin steward was lovely and very quickly arranged the repairs of the light that wasn’t working and of the broken safe. The bedding seemed rough and of poor quality. The muster drill was chaotic. The woman running it was not really in charge, The passengers were not organised by her at all and she was trying to shout out cabin numbers over people chatting. We ate in the buffet and main dining room - the food was passable and there was always something to choose but not particularly special although it is fair to say some of our fellow passengers loved it. The waiters were good and efficient. Dining on this ship is fixed sitting on shared tables. Bar prices are quite cheap and tips low which may account for the fact that the staff in the main don’t seem particularly happy. We never saw a single officer during our 2 days on the ship which in our experience is very unusual. There is a distinct lack of customer care on this ship. The entertainment was terrible. We went to one show and saw all of the performers in bars. Sadly the ship retuned to Tilbury 8/9 hours late due to weather which meant a lot of sitting around with nothing to do. The only entertainment offered was the showing of 1 film (Lion King) in the theatre. Again we’ve been on a number of cruises where weather has affected the itinerary and there has always been an entertainment package offered presumably part of their contingency planning. We enjoyed Antwerp but not the Columbus and definitely would not book with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
An excellent mini cruise. Despite it being a little rough on the crossing out we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The entertainment was very good with a new show each night. The singer and piano player in the Scott’s bar were excellent, a ... Read More
An excellent mini cruise. Despite it being a little rough on the crossing out we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The entertainment was very good with a new show each night. The singer and piano player in the Scott’s bar were excellent, a great way to sail away from Bristol. We chose a suite that did not disappoint, fresh canapés were delivered each evening. The dining experience was good for the money providing a 5 course meal in the evening. The ship is a little worn in places but overall clean and adequate. Some of the public areas look like they have been renovated. At no time did the ship seem busy, we could always find somewhere to sit. All the staff were extremely friendly and efficient. The drinks on board were good value with cocktails under £5. The only criticism I could find was the snacks at 11.00 were cold when served. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We wanted to do the Classic Northern Lights cruise - no dressing up for dinner or Captain's table rubbish for us! This was perfect - we took a few excursions - a local brewery, the Russian border, and a vintage tramride - but ... Read More
We wanted to do the Classic Northern Lights cruise - no dressing up for dinner or Captain's table rubbish for us! This was perfect - we took a few excursions - a local brewery, the Russian border, and a vintage tramride - but otherwise we were mooching around little Norweigan ports with all their Xmas lights, chatting to people, and sleeping during the day when it got dark. We had a fab time and even saw the Aurora a few times coming back southbound. The food was excellent - I'm vegan and they did lots of delicious choices for me - with massive buffets for breakfast and lunch and a sitdown 3-course dinner. We had no problem finding seats tho I can imagine this may not apply in high season, and we didn't mind where we sat. The mix of nationalities was good and we enjoyed meeting a range of people from different backgrounds. Entertaiment is thankfully not of the cabaret/singer type - the Expedition crew give interesting talks on various aspects of Norway's culture/history and there are daily leaflets of ports being visited, expeditions, and points of interest to view from the deck. And yes, Norway is expensive but we'd paid for the cruise several months before, so decided to do whatever we what we wanted. Beers were approx £12 a pint, spirits approx £8 - we had coffee etc in our cabin and could also get free coffee in the little cafe. The shop has some reasonably priced Tshirts and small gifts. Bring your own lanyard for your cabin swipecard, and definitely bring warm jumpers, insulated and waterproof outside layers anc boots. Spikes/studs are needed for some of the icy paths etc in ports but we generally found the decks OK. The boat itself is pretty warm and lovely - friendly and helpful crew and staff Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Chose Christmas cruise to Amsterdam and German Christmas markets The ship was very outdated, the sauna /steam room smelt revolting Cabin was o,d fashioned Bathroom old and smelly Food basic and poor quality No crisps at bar ... Read More
Chose Christmas cruise to Amsterdam and German Christmas markets The ship was very outdated, the sauna /steam room smelt revolting Cabin was o,d fashioned Bathroom old and smelly Food basic and poor quality No crisps at bar Menu just repeated each night seemingly with previous night leftovers Internet ridiculous price Games room full of incomplete scruffy games The food was basic, the restaurant overcrowded and waited one and a half hours for our breakfast which was really poor when it arrived. We did not go to Amsterdam due to weather, fair enough, but was not offered any compensation or onboard extras Basically spent 5 days onboard to see overcrowded German market Complete waste of money, would not advise it to any one !I have given 1 star as this is the minimum but honestly zero stars is a more accurate raring Despite writing a letter of complaint, we have not had a penny compensation. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Columbus is very much like a favourite pair of slippers – you feel comfortable but you know it’s not perfect and has probably seen better days. We chose this cruise because we had not cruised with CMV before and it was a short ... Read More
Columbus is very much like a favourite pair of slippers – you feel comfortable but you know it’s not perfect and has probably seen better days. We chose this cruise because we had not cruised with CMV before and it was a short pre-Christmas trip. Embarkation always help set the tone for a cruise and I have to say this was the slickest, most efficient boarding process we have encountered in any of our cruises to date. We may have been lucky in that we beat the rush but from stepping off the car park shuttle bus to setting foot on the ship was less than 15 minutes. Once on board the welcome was friendly and there were plenty of staff to direct you to your cabin. The décor is reasonable although whoever selected the carpets on board either has no taste or a wicked sense of humour – from garish orange in the corridors to some hideously patterned carpets playing havoc with your eyes. The buffet doesn’t have the greatest choice of food, although what was on offer was of a reasonable standard. However, the seating is very limited and trying to get a table at busy times is challenging. Also opening times are too short, especially on sea days, when passengers are expected to eat their meals in a short period. The main dining room is very good, there are no tables for two, but we were lucky in we managed to have a table for four to ourselves. I know for many people sharing a dining table is their idea of heaven, for me it’s the opposite I don’t want to eat with strangers. I appreciate it is a question of space but I do wish cruise lines would make more tables for two available. The vast majority of the food was excellent quality and the quantity was good as well, you didn’t come away from dinner feeling you could eat some more, which does happen with some cruise lines. Service was good with friendly staff. Talking of staff, like most cruise lines the staff were very multinational – unfortunately a large number did not have a very good command of English. They spoke enough to do their jobs adequately but if you wanted to chat to find out a bit more about the individual then most of the conversations went over their heads. Getting food late in the evening was very difficult – they do advertise a snack service in the lounges between 23:00 and 23:30 but finding this service was like looking for hen’s teeth and when you did find it they had invariably run out of what was being offered. Now we are not great drinkers however we like an occasional tipple. On the plus side bar prices were very reasonable and certainly a lot cheaper than many cruise lines. There was a good choice of wines at dinner. Service in the bars was variable. One evening we went to Raffels and it was very quiet but we walked out after 15 minutes without being served as the waitress was more interested in chatting up the barman and joking with him than serving customers. When we went to another bar the drinks were disappointing - a gin and tonic was served in a half pint beer glass whilst the Singapore Sling tasted like no other Singapore Sling I have drunk before - and I don't mean that in a positive way. The entertainment was, how shall I put it, interesting. The shows in the main theatre weren’t exactly bad but they were not brilliant either – they seemed more like enthusiastic amateurs than professionals. Certainly not as slick as shows on other cruise lines. Costumes looked home-made, the choreography limited and the sound system was appalling, with the music often drowning out the vocals, not helped by some of the performers having weak voices. The only decent show on the main stage was the rat pack tribute and even then the three performers seemed more interested in making in jokes. Ironically the best show of the cruise wasn’t in the main theatre but was a Jersey Boy tribute in the Atrium one evening. The outside facilities on this cruise were irrelevant as the weather was appalling. One of the swimming pools has seating beside a bar – which would be cool on a balmy summers day. Our visit to Amsterdam was cancelled due to bad weather and we were kept informed and updated by the Captain. Amazingly there was a passenger in the buffet who was mouthing off about how disgraceful it was Amsterdam had been cancelled – some people have no concept of safety. The crew were also able to get port cancellation confirmation letters ready within 24 hours, so we could claim on our travel insurance. There are plenty of quiet nooks and crannies on board with the Library being a great place to sink into a comfortable sofa or chair with a book. The games room was also popular with a good selection of games and jigsaws. As an older ship her design is more traditional and streamlined, which proved to be a great advantage as the ship was incredibly stable, even in the force 9 winds in the North Sea, with minimal pitching or rolling. This was our first experience sailing with CMV, there are better cruise lines around but there also many worse. I like Columbus and her size and would certainly sail on her again in future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My mum and I went on this cruise when we saw it advertised for a really good price (only £258 per person!). Having done several cruises before, we had not sailed with CMV before. We were expecting it to be pretty average, with fewer ... Read More
My mum and I went on this cruise when we saw it advertised for a really good price (only £258 per person!). Having done several cruises before, we had not sailed with CMV before. We were expecting it to be pretty average, with fewer facilities and maybe not such good food etc. We were wrong! We were upgraded from a standard inside cabin, to a restricted view window cabin - it wasn't that restricted really, and the cabin was much bigger than other cruise lines offer. The food was generally good, with a smaller selection than on other cruises we have been on. Overall, the food was well cooked. We ate breakfast in the buffet each day, and lunch we mainly had in the buffet too. We were disappointed that you have to pay extra for some things, like cakes/cookies at the coffee shop, and that room service was an additional charge. The charges for drinks was much better value than on other lines, however. It was around £1.90 for a cappuccino, £2 for a can of coke and around £5 for a cocktail. They did offer drinks packages, but as it was a short cruise we decided to pay as we went. Entertainment was generally okay, with what seemed like a very small entertainment team. The cruise director was part of the singers in the evening show, so that was a first for us. The activity program had all the usual things we expected, but we chose to do our own thing most of the time. There was always plenty of room to find a seat in lounges and bars, with more than enough seating for everyone. Unfortunately for us, we were unable to dock at Amsterdam due to the weather being too rough. It was very windy, but we felt very smooth on the ship considering the terrible weather. Our cabin was very quiet during the rough seas, with no annoying creaking or banging. The captain kept up well informed about the issues we faced weather wise, so we were able to sail directly on to Hamburg, with a sea day instead of Amsterdam. In Hamburg we did an excursion which was very reasonably priced at £47 for a long guided bus tour and time at the famous christmas market outside the Rathaus. Our guide was fantastic and we learnt a huge amount. We were able to get out to explore the church of St Michael which was lovely. The best bits about the cruise was the lovely atmosphere on the ship - didn't hear one person moaning about anything! The prices were much better than others and we could always find a good place to sit. The things we weren't so impressed with were the staff being a bit unfriendly at times, and the food selection not being as big as on other lines. For the money we paid, we have a fab time. Mum has booked a second cruise on CMV for 2020, so she must have been happy! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
There were lots of good things about this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were wonderfully swift and painless. there was no pressured up-selling, such as we'd experienced on other, more high-profile cruise lines. The food was ... Read More
There were lots of good things about this cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation were wonderfully swift and painless. there was no pressured up-selling, such as we'd experienced on other, more high-profile cruise lines. The food was good, even for a vegetarian like me; the drink prices on the Balmoral are far cheaper than on other cruise lines; the coffee bar is superb, with prices much cheaper and quality and service immeasurably better than on Celebrity, with whom we'd cruised three months before. Special offers on the chocolates, too, if you bought a coffee package! The staff were, for the most part, friendly and efficient; the entertainments were above average, with the comedian, the memory man and the classical pianist all superb; the ship was comfortable without being showy; and the range of destinations on this Christmas market cruise was ambitious, if not wholly successful. The only real problem we had - but it was a biggie - was noise in our cabin, 4135. I think we must have been over an engine or something related that was noisy when the ship was at sea. We complained but got nowhere for some while (paradoxically, the few unhelpful staff seem to be allocated to guest relations!) and I learnt an important lesson. Go to the top! When I got access to her, Laura, the Guest relations manager, was brilliant. As soon as she could, she allocated us to a quiet cabin. Having never had this problem on a cruise before, we had never appreciated how a noisy cabin can, by stopping you sleeping, wreck an otherwise excellent cruise. Laura turned our cruise around and it's because of her that we've booked another cruise on this ship - but NOT in cabin 4135! Looks like this review will not give me option to comment on destinations, so Ii will do so here. Copenhagen, Oslo and Hamburg were tremendous destinations with brilliant stuff to see and wonderful Christmas atmosphere at the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen and at Hamurg. We did good ship-organised trips at Copenhagen and Oslo. My only moan would be the perennial one of not enough time. I would have traded the other two destinations for more time at these three. Of those other two, Warnemunde/Rostock was OK though not special but Bruges was a total disaster - churning with crowds, a very ordinary Christmas market and, I felt, a major health and safety risk, especially with the horse and carts cutting corners and forcing pedestrian parties ever more tightly onto the pavements. I did not feel safe there. The two less good ship ships that we did were at these less impressive destinations. The Kiel canal transit was beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019

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