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