1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Cruise & Maritime Voyages
  4. Cruise & Maritime Voyages Cruise Reviews
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise ... Read More
I am writing this review on the last “at sea” day on a 8 night cruise to the Norwegian Fjords on the CMV Columbus in August 2019. For any readers contemplating this cruise, the main issue you should be aware of is that this cruise is a floating care home. The average age of a guest is well into their 70’s and the oldest passenger I came across was an astonishing 98! I have never seen so many strollers, walking frames, walking sticks, mobility scooters and wheel chairs in all my life! At age 62 I must be in the 5% of guests under the age of 65. I have nothing whatsoever against this passenger profile, except that I really do not want to be a part of it! Spending 8 nights having to battle through the maze of associated mobility aids and having to suffer the significant inconvenience to more able-bodied passengers which this presents, is not a holiday for me – it’s just a hassle. If you fit with this profile I am sure you will enjoy yourself. The ship itself holds 1400 passengers, and has been rebranded several times in its history as it moved between owners and refits. The overall quality of finish is average to good, and the style of décor reflects its niche in the market for elderly Brits wanting to be away from home but in familiar surroundings. Although a shame that CMV has decided for some reason that plastic and silk imitation plants and trees are more pleasing than real ones, resulting in a rather tacky funeral feel to the Taverner’s bar and a tired wilting appearance to the potted trees in Connexions. Cabins are nice and well maintained, if not a little dated in furnishings. The rest of the ship flows around deck 7 with its British bar (traditional London style) and the more modern Connexions bar (which appears to have been modelled on a conservatory). You will also find the main Waterfront restaurant on this deck. The other eatery is a self-service buffet style and is on deck 12. The best outdoor bar is the Oasis bar, which was surprisingly pleasant with its panoramic view and comfy sunbeds. As far as the food is concerned, the evening dinner on the Waterfront restaurant is good (but not great) in terms of selection and quality. I would recommend the 2nd sitting, as this allows more time before having to change, a 1st sitting in the theatre and plenty of time afterwards to relax in the bars. The self-service restaurant is to be avoided at all costs. The food is dismal, the atmosphere chaotic and the seating arrangements far too limited and uncomfortable for the number of guests (and walking aids!) trying to occupy them. In short it is a cattle market of stress inducing trauma. Think about your blood pressure and avoid this place like the plague. Far better to spend your time enjoying a great coffee in the coffee shop by the pool area. The best coffee I have ever tasted. Drinks prices on board are very reasonable indeed. £3.30 for a pint of Fosters, a 4cl Gordon’s gin at £3.60 and alcoholic cocktails around £4.80. Having said that CMV offer a range of pre-paid inclusive drink packages and these offer exceptional value in my view. Dress on board is casual and informal, with appropriate minimum standards in the indoor bars and lounges in the evening. There were 2 formal nights during the cruise. It’s always a good measure of your fellow passengers to observe their interpretation of “formal”. I would estimate that 40% were traditional “black tie” enthusiasts, and a further 30% made some sort of effort (however marginal) to smarten themselves up. The remaining 30%? – well I think the less said, the better! The staff on board vary considerably. Our cabin steward was fantastic, friendly, personal and did a really good job at keeping the cabin clean and tidy. The restaurant staff were generally efficient and on the whole appeared to enjoy their jobs. With a couple of exceptions, all of the bar staff were as miserable as sin, without a smile for anyone, and with the ability only to communicate in grunts (if at all). Not once in a whole week were we approached at our table in the bars and asked if we wanted to order a drink. We had to attract someone’s attention (which on occasion would be successful, but more usually resulted in total avoidance) or queue at the bar and get our own drink (eventually, and after having to endure surly and indifferent “service”) Shore excisions were, as usual, overpriced, but reasonable well organised. Check before you book to see if you can make your own arrangements to see the “ attractions” – we did and saved ourself at least 30% on the CMV cost. The evening entertainment was disappointing. For starters the Palladium theatre is small with awful sight lines of the stage. Unless you bag a seat at least 30 minutes prior to showtime you can forget seeing at least half of the stage. The resident entertainment dancers/singers, can’t. That is to say they try hard, but there is only one guy and one girl who came even remotely close to being able to sing in tune. The rest would get immediate “red crosses and a loud buzzer” from Simon Cowell. Dancing was slightly better, but production values and variety were very poor. This was a major let-down as we have been used to very professional and talented entertainers on other cruises. From the 7 nights we had a comedian (the same one) for 2 nights, a magician (the ships entertainment director) for 1 night and the dancers/singers for the remainder. The comedian was not bad, although should really have retired his act some time ago. The magician was just plain embarrassing. So overall an exceptionally average cruise, not helped by the clientele, the ships facilities and the crew. If a British “flavoured” floating care home is your thing, with a heady mix of cheap drinks, bingo, quizzes, and “end of the pier” entertainment - then you should definitely go for it. If not – you should save your money for an alternative cruise. You may need to pay a little more, but it will be money well spent. It was good to try CMV, but once is enough. At least until I am 80! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
Stunning place to visit Weather was fantastic Ship, very tired needs to retire as well do some staff No regrets going. But definitely won’t cruise again on this ship Service in outside bars very slow ( we waited 3 hours ... Read More
Stunning place to visit Weather was fantastic Ship, very tired needs to retire as well do some staff No regrets going. But definitely won’t cruise again on this ship Service in outside bars very slow ( we waited 3 hours before being attended to ) we were told if not happy move to an area that has waiters, one night asked for surf and turf for dinner 24 hours in advance was told no as it was a formal night Choice of foods not great Invited to a cocktail party ! Without any cocktails. Beer ,wine ,orange juice ! We done our own thing at the ports out of the 4 Bergen I didn’t enjoy The other 3 had better scenery very quiet and piecefull Entertainment very limited but the night shows were very good the dancers and singers work very hard VIP drinks package was well worth the money We met some lovely people glad we have done the fjords Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a ... Read More
Overall, I would say we were happy with this cruise from Rosyth to Longyearbyen then back again. I'm not convinced I would cruise again with CMV, it would depend on the itinerary. The Good: The price was reasonable as we got a last minute deal, yet had a better cabin than those who did not get the same deal... The cabin was clean. There was a good choice of food at the buffet. The Bad: The food was mostly always look-warm/under-cooked/overcooked The fish on the menu was not fresh. Keep your receipts to check later. The Ugly: Some of the staff obviously did not want to be there. e.g This is the only cruise I have been on to date where upon returning aboard we were met with complete silence from the staff scanning the boarding passes. I reported something serious to be told by staff they were busy and "not to worry as we are almost home". Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The Fjords are stunning, but the Magellan leaves a lot to be desired. Principally, the sewage system seems to be in permanent difficulty. We were by no means the only people to have to call for someone to fix the loo-flush. Also, there ... Read More
The Fjords are stunning, but the Magellan leaves a lot to be desired. Principally, the sewage system seems to be in permanent difficulty. We were by no means the only people to have to call for someone to fix the loo-flush. Also, there was a permanent, very heavy smell of sewage within the cabin. During sailing the cabin doors are closed, so one could think that it was only ones own cabin that had the smell. However, on disembarkation day, when all doors are open, it became clear that this was a problem throughout the cabins on Level 5, and most likely on other levels too. We were in cabin 5127. We reported the problem re the flush and it was attended to promptly. We also had to call the plumber during the night, to fix the flush. On reporting the smell, a plumber came and simply did not understand that it was not the loo, but the sewage pipes under the floor. I should also mention that there was a case (there might have been more) of NoroVirus on level 5. Two passengers were quarantined to their inside cabin (no window) for two days. We were instructed, at the start, about hand hygiene. However, the staff did not always adhere to this, nor did many passengers. Entertainment included a Journalist talking about his experiences. Oh my goodness, he had no idea how to deliver such a talk. It was woeful. Dana was the principal entertainer, and of course she is the consummate entertainer. The staff were all excellent. The evening meals were very good. Indeed, the Starters chef was brilliant. Queuing and table-hunting at the breakfast and lunch buffet was a pain. If having breakfast or lunch in one of the restaurants, you had to sit at tables of eight which can be difficult. Suffice to say no more Magellan for us. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We have just returned from a Marco Polo 6-night cruise, having sailed on her two times previously. All was as expected and food was as good as ever - however, and it's a BIG however, We were encouraged to book by CMV sales a Junior ... Read More
We have just returned from a Marco Polo 6-night cruise, having sailed on her two times previously. All was as expected and food was as good as ever - however, and it's a BIG however, We were encouraged to book by CMV sales a Junior Suite (811) as I was taking along a small collapsible mobility scooter which they said could be adequately stored in the "Walk-in Wardrobe" and also the cabin was "Much" larger than the DL (Deluxe Ocean View) cabin we were thinking of booking. Not only is there NO walk-in wardrobe in cabin 811, the cabin itself is much smaller than the DL grade of cabins. As advised, we complained to the Guest Relations Manager on day 1 of the cruise and on day 2, three officers (GRM, Hotel Director + another) visited our cabin and confirmed that the wardrobe is a standard one and the size of the cabin is not as described. They could also see that we had to store one of our suitcases behind the dressing table in front of the window, thus obscuring further the already obstructed view. I received two letters from the GRM whilst on-board and an assurance that we would be upgraded on our next cruise with them in September. Currently I am awaiting a return call from CMV about this, as all grades above the cabin we have booked have been sold - we already have free gratuities and a drinks package, so I wonder what they can offer us??? When I asked CMV what their opinion was regarding advertising (on their website) this cabin with a walk-in wardrobe and charging a premium to be in an inferior one compared to a DL grade, they had no reply. I shall be seeking legal advice on this matter if we do not get suitable compensation - also I will contact the powers that be that oversee all infringements regarding The Sale of Goods and Services Act. The cruise itself was average, mainly because of the inclement weather and the fact that Dover was substituted for Antwerp, which we have never visited before. I understand that the ship will be having a refit/upgrade in December and the Stabilizers are due for repair, a fact which was highlighted as she did not sail too well through the heavy seas as before. One hopes that cabin 811 is re-categorized to a lower grade as it is clearly not up to Junior Suite status. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband & I have taken around a dozen cruises with various lines inc. P&O Royal Carribean, CUnard, Celebrity, MSC & Fred. We took this short cruise to determine how we felt about the ship and cruise line before thinking of ... Read More
My husband & I have taken around a dozen cruises with various lines inc. P&O Royal Carribean, CUnard, Celebrity, MSC & Fred. We took this short cruise to determine how we felt about the ship and cruise line before thinking of any longer duration. We fortunately caught the cruise coach from London Victoria to Tilbury - we had no delays and went straight to check-in on arrival at the port, unlike many other passengers, many of whom waited over an hour & a half simply to get into the car park, after having done battle with the M25 traffic. So far, so good. We arrived at our cabin, deck 6, at the rear of the ship - quite large in size - slightly surprised with the twin bed formation - but we got used to it - apparently we were told there are only 10 'Queen' beds on board. However, the beds were comfortable and the pillows, small but reasonable too. However there were no tea-making facilities in cabin which is surprising for a cruise line that prides itself on a traditional British cruise - we need our tea!! Also you need adaptions to use the plugs, again unexpected. The shower curtain however was a real pain! It's about 2 inches too short to reach the floor, so the bathroom floor gets wet and the curtains will insist on sticking to you when trying to shower. Don't get me started on the noise!! I've never heard such a din - not just the usual drone but banging, clanking and high whining vibration especially when starting the approach to a port - so 5am wake-up call was to be expected. Food was good, tasty although portions were not large, but with a potential 5-course menu - it wasn't necessary to go hungry and if you fancied trying an extra of anything our waiter was very happy to oblige. Our Wine steward was also very helpful and pleasant and it was a very nice touch that a complimentary drink was offered on the last night on the Company" -cheers!! There was one formal night, and most dressed appropriately however there were an odd few who only managed to sport a tea-shirt and jeans. One big complaint - I only drink Soya milk, which was available on the Buffet at breakfast but unavailable anywhere else on the ship for a coffee - it was quite a task to actually take a cup of milk from breakfast and ask one of the Baristas to make me a Latte using it. Afternoon tea was fairly standard - buffet style but one day had lovely raisin scones with jam and cream - this was followed the next day by Cheese scones still offered with jam and cream - different.!! Late night snacks were brought round the lounges on the 1st & 3rd night, unfortunately there were not enough to go round on the first evening - or some folks got more than their fair share! Middle night of cruise saw a "Magnifique Buffet" with ice sculptures and carved fruit/vegs - lots of sea-food available, much to my husbands delight. The entertainment team were good, shows were of reasonable standard, especially the ABBA inspired show. But the best was the Cabaret provided each night by members of the Entertainment team. We enjoy dancing - this was not as good on the ship as others we have experienced. The dance floor was on the small side but the main problem was the musical duo couldn't seem to maintain any sort of tempo throughout a song, so what initally appeared to be a rumba or cha-cha would slow down or speed up and then the inevitable key-change so just went on, & on ..... We both experienced some treatments in the Spa and really impressed by both our therapists - very good treatments, really relaxing and reasonably priced. What a shame that the tannoys are not turned off (or at least down) to prevent the sudden announcements fro breaking into the relaxation time. However one of the biggest gripes of the whole expereince was the first Port - Ghent - 8 shuttle buses for everyone who wanted to take themselves independently into Ghent - a 26 min drive away (hour- round-trip). We had been waiting for a shuttle for around 40 minutes when the crowd were told there was an hour delay - so taking the hour round trip into account, we (together with a considerable number of others) gave up and spent the rest of the day on-board. Many people were very unhappy with this situation and the cruise director got quite a bit of stick for this. Next stop at Amsterdam was better - just a 10 minute walk into the centre. We never saw, or even heard the Captain, or indeed any of the Senior Staff, which was unusual. All announcements were made by a the Passenger Director (or something).A large number of the crew were from Ukraine, according to the information in the ships bulletin, who tended to be rather off-hand, with smaller numbers of Indonesian and Filipino waiters who were as attentive as ever. We docked 2 hours late on our return to Tilbury as a result of the adverse weather conditions experienced overnight. We were in quite a storm. However, after nearly a dozen cruises, including across the North Sea, the Baltic, Fjords, Bay of Biscay and a Transaltantic - this was the worst experience I have had, pitching and rolling and in fact, the first time, ever - I succumbed to the sick-bag (sorry) . We were amused to watch the usual window washing whilst in port - this consisted of a hose-pipe fitted with some shower-like attachments being dangled over the side and swung from side to side - ingenious! We met some very nice people and have answered our question - would we go with them again - Sorry - not for us. We like smaller ships but this was not really up to speed in our opinion. Fred do small much better, as do some of the other smaller ships available with other lines. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My wife and I chose this cruise to the Baltic and St Petersburg because we wished to enjoy the experience of visiting the ports to which the ship was destined - in particular St Petersburg, which we had never visited. As my wife is ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise to the Baltic and St Petersburg because we wished to enjoy the experience of visiting the ports to which the ship was destined - in particular St Petersburg, which we had never visited. As my wife is disabled and dependent on a manual wheelchair to move around, it was important that at each port of call we would be able to go ashore and to journey around that location, even though we understood that we would not be able to make us of the various coach trips offered, as none of the coaches would be wheelchair-accessible. We took care to ascertain that at each port the ship would berth alongside, so that nowhere would disembarcation involve having to use a tender to get ashore, and also that the 'Marco Polo' had side loading ports through which the quayside could be reached by appropriate gangways. Let me first say that the facilities aboard were superb, and we were highly delighted with both the cuisine and the accommodation provided (we had booked an accessible cabin, one of only two such aboard the ship, having explained the nature of my wife's disabilities). We were pleased with everything aboard the ship, including the friendliness and help provided by all officers and members of the crew. The cabin was excellently and comfortably equipped, and both the cabin stewards and the catering staff provided exemplary service throughout the voyage. Because this is an elderly ship, the thresholds from one part of the ship to another were sometimes rather prominent and thus difficult to cope with in a wheelchair, but we accepted this as an inevitable consequence of the ship's construction. We have been on other cruise lines' ships in the past, and found that the 'Marco Polo' compared well with our previous experiences aboard P & O and Thomson. The grave problems which emerged, and resulted in our having to give an 'average' raing to the cruise in spite of the excellent features mentioned above, is that we found it impossible for my wife in her wheelchair to disembark from the ship at either St Petersburg (our primary reason for choosing this cruise) or at Stockholm. The reason was that at both ports, instead of a ramped gangway which we could have negotiated, and which was used at the other four ports of call during the cruise, at these two ports mentioned above the ship deployed a stepped ramp which could not be negotiated in a wheelchair, even with my own assistance. Thus we were unable to make the planned shore excursions together, and my wife was compelled to remain aboard the ship at both ports throughout their stay, and was unable to go ashore either in Russia (where we had pre-booked a private tour of the Hermitage) or in Sweden. As the only passenger who was dependent on a wheelchair for getting around, she became the sole person aboard who was denied any opportunity of disembarking from the ship at either port. It is thus clear that this ship, while it has adequate facilities for the disabled passenger in the two disability-eqipped cabins aboard, is totally unsuitable for any person who is dependent upon the use of a wheelchair for going ashore, even with the full-time assistance of her (or his) spouse or carer - a total disappointment which ruined our holiday. What makes it worse is that we were given no warning of this eventuality until six weeks before the sailing day, at which there was no opportunity to cancel the holiday without losing all that we had paid (we had paid the costs for the cruise entirely by the end of the previous December), and even then we were only told that use of the stepped ramp was a possibility, not a likely scenario. Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We are a middle aged (50s and 60s) Australian couple who took back to back cruises, first to Iceland, second to Russia etc in April and May this year. We chose these two cruises for the destinations offered and the fact we were able to ... Read More
We are a middle aged (50s and 60s) Australian couple who took back to back cruises, first to Iceland, second to Russia etc in April and May this year. We chose these two cruises for the destinations offered and the fact we were able to pick up a 2 for 1 offer, very attractive as we have to factor in the cost of airfares to fly to Europe. We have cruised 10 times previously, on a number of lines, in a number of regions, including two long cruises of similar timeframes as the two we are reviewing on Magellan. Overall, we would rate the experience as two and a half. As the second cruise offered exactly the same food, daytime activities and production shows, we were able to compare. Embarcation in Newcastle was fine for the first cruise, a muck up on the second (no-one appeared to know how to deal with passengers who were staying on; the Reception staff were clueless). Lifeboat drill has been discussed previously in the Reviews: it was certainly the most informative we have sat through but, as stated by other reviewers, the procedure to follow would cause chaos. Thankfully, we did not have to go a second time. Cabin 5015 aft was large, light, plenty of hanging space, but more drawers would have been appreciated, particularly bedside. The shower was as hot as you liked, with excellent pressure, the best ship shower we have encountered. It was so quiet, which is a blessing as nothing can ruin a cruise more than a noisy cabin. Even with the huge seas we encountered on the Iceland cruise, the cabin did not rattle, creak, bang... and the cabin steward went about his job quietly and efficiently. Ice was requested at 6pm each day and it appeared as requested each day without fail. However, the cabin was terribly hot and as stated by many reviewers, it is impossible to change the cabin temperature, you can only change the air flow. This will need to be addressed before the world cruise as it would be unbearable to try and sleep in a cabin when cruising in the tropics, Asia and northern Australia. Production Shows These were the best we have enjoyed over all our cruises, yes, better than the wizzbang American ships. The costumes each night were amazing, and the singers and dancers could not be faulted. Some of the American ships would benefit from seeing what is achieved by this group of singers and dancers. Birthday We often cruise when one of us has a birthday and on every other ship you can buy a cake, flowers, balloons, blah blah. As they are grossly overpriced we don't bother. Magellan gave us a wonderful surprise; a cake delivered to the cabin, a card, and a printed birthday message from 'your cabin steward' who shyly handed it to the recipient. All free, totally unexpected. Well done Magellan. Ship tours were expensive, as they are on all ships, but the ones we did were well organised and we have no complaints. Food Abysmal. The worst we have seen offered on a cruise ship. Quality control in the kitchen needs serious attention. There was enough food in the buffet - soups, salads, hot dishes, cold dishes, desserts, cheeses, but the quality of so many dishes was very poor. The soups and salads, bread rolls, pizzas and daily roasts were mostly okay, however, the hot dishes - pasta, rice, meat dishes, fish, vegetables - and the desserts were a real hit and miss affair. Lamb dishes were old mutton dishes, chicken dishes were poor quality bone in cuts, rice was cold, pastas were bland, vegetables were either mush or hardly cooked, and the fish dishes inevitably contained fish full of bones.for example, one of us had sword fish and raved about it, the other took a piece and it was like eating rubber. As for the dining room: on the Iceland cruise the Dover sole was melt in your mouth, on the Russia cruise we recommended it to our table mates and it was inedible as the pieces had not been completely scaled, and fish bones abounded. One waiter was too over the top and annoying, the other was morose and glum. Lectures On the Iceland cruise, 12 nights, we had two speakers who gave a variety of talks on diverse but interesting topics. On the Russia cruise, 14 nights, we had one man who gave four lectures, all about a group of tigers in India, and his lectures consisted of showing photo after photo of the tigers. One maybe two lectures would be okay, but FOUR lectures about the same tigers? Entertainers The old comedians on both cruises were well received by the predominantly older aged passengers. The violonist and pianist were excellent, the singer in the Captains Club has a strong loud voice like Janis Joplin, which does not work at all with quieter songs. Activities To be expected, and geared to the age and physical condition of a large segment of the passengers, who enjoyed them. To sum up, there were a lot of very happy passengers who are obviously the target group for this particular ship. The destinations were very interesting to us, the price was very good, however, we would not cruise on Magellan again. Read Less
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise