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Sail Date: August 2019
We were a family group of six, siblings and spouses, and for all of us a first time. It seemed good value but you’ll pay hefty prices for services, drinks and excursions so be cautious about your budget. It’s an old boat but quite ... Read More
We were a family group of six, siblings and spouses, and for all of us a first time. It seemed good value but you’ll pay hefty prices for services, drinks and excursions so be cautious about your budget. It’s an old boat but quite charming with teak decks and some quirky features. It’s difficult to fault the staff who work extremely hard and are almost all polite, friendly and helpful. The exception are the reception staff who, apart from one individual, were unhelpful and abrupt. They seem to need more training in customer service. This was a very staid and generally fairly boring cruise. The customers are on the whole very elderly, and, on the round British cruise, almost all British. The activities are limited and I found them uninspiring. Bad lectures, boring games and quizzes. The performers for the evening show work very hard but the staging leaves a lot to be desired and sound system is poor and flattens the voices of the singers. Take several good books or something to do for the lengthy periods at sea. The food - what can I say- two weeks of very boring and mostly bland food. I’m a vegetarian and the options are v limited. For example, spinach and pasta swamped in bechamel served with chips. I eat fish - but served with relentless monotony with sliced boiled potatoes and carrots. Two weeks of the same meal :(. Meat eaters complained of tough, leathery meat and we were often served luke warm or cold food. We had a booked table in the evenings but ate buffet meals breakfast and lunch. These are better but cafes often v overcrowded and no seats. There’s always bread and butter puddling and custard at lunch time and warm scones for tea. But a buffet salad for a vegetarian - chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumber, olives and cold Brussels sprouts every single day. A couple of slices of cheese. I was desperate for fresh food and leafy veg. Excursions are well organised but expensive. And not very adventurous. If you don’t book an excursion, some ports, Cork for example, mean lengthy complementary bus transfers to get into the city; Lerwick is a short walk from the dock; Kirkwall has a v efficient free bus. Mull was a tender, but v lengthy waits to get onto one if you wanted to go ashore because passengers on excursions take priority. Honfleur a shuttle bus but v close; Bristol a long way from the port, Dublin 30 minutes in shuttle but easy to do; didn’t go into Belfast but it was also a shuttle similar to Dublin. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a repositioning cruise and the itinerary looked amazing. I normally only give good reviews or just not review at all, if the experience was bad. However, I want people to know about this. Some things you can not make a big deal about, others are unacceptable. We were sold a bill of goods from the Cruise and Maritime Florida office. We knew the ship was older (originally Holland America - then sold to P&O - and now in the CMV fleet). However, we were told we were boarding a completely refurbished ship. That was not the case at all. There were plumbing issues throughout. Many toilets overflowing and hot/cold water issues. There were also HVAC issues. Some cabins and public areas were FREEZING and others were HOT. We had to complain 3x before someone even came to look at our cabin. It was meat locker cold. We covered up the A/C vents and kept our balcony door open most of the journey so I did not have to wear layers of winter clothes in my cabin. The thermostats were so ancient, you could not even turn them off. The cabins had nice bedding and towels - although we had to beg for bathrobes/dressing gowns (which we were told came with our level of cabin). Cabins were all original and aging - stuffing coming out if seams of the couch, peeling wallpaper, etc. It really needed updating. We had a tub with jets, but they never worked. Dining was hit or miss. Some meals were good, others not so much. In the bistro it was not serve yourself so you had to ask for portion size of specific foods. Some of the staff had little command of the English language, so they would put the wrong things on your plate. Some stations had long lines and it was not laid out very well. Also for some odd reason, people were stealing the salt and pepper shakers - so we had to keep getting up and borrowing ones from other tables. Things like this you pass off as new crew, different ship in the fleet, things will be off. I do accept maiden voyage glitches. However, there were a couple of things which were completely unacceptable: 1. We were told to board the ship on 22 April by CMV Florida office. However, when we arrived jetlagged in Singapore to the cruise terminal a porter acted like we were idiots and told us to come back tomorrow. No ship today. We were stunned and lost - not even having a hotel booked. CMV had all our contact information (phone, email) and yet they did not even tell us in advance that the date was incorrect. This is just plain and simple poor business. 2. The people working in reception on the ship initially were cold and rude. I brought receipts to them the first day for compensation for our hotel/food costs the night before (as I was instructed to do by CMV) and they basically told me I was an stupid and should have known when to board. This woman actually said, "How can anyone be so stupid to board on the wrong day? It clearly states boarding on 23 April." as she was emphatically pointing at the CMV Vasco da Gama brochure. I have NEVER EVER been treated so disrespectfully by a reception person on a ship. And I was being nice just dropping off the receipts. I never received any transparency or an explanation about this horrible mistake. It took them nearly 4 days to respond and give us a bottle of wine for our troubles - which we didn't need since we already bought the drink package. I would never take another cruise on a CMV ship. They are terrible with customer service. However, I will say this - the crew, in general, did their best with what they had to work with. Most were kind. The ports were very cool and varied. The passengers we met onboard we awesome. Despite all the issues, we had a good vacation! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a ... Read More
Cabin We were given a tiny, windowless cabin on the lowest deck known as Carabic. The smell of diesel is so overpowering it leaves a taste in your mouth as you leave the tiny lift. We paid for an inner cabin and the offer suggested a free upgrade that never happened; despite this the cabin was serviceable and kept spotlessly clean by Lillia our Cabin Stewart. The two twin beds were smaller than a regular single but were rewarded with fresh crisp linen daily along with the white as wave towels. The cabin was serviceable and a little larger than I expected. The draw space and hanging space was well utilised for storing the plethora of formal wear needed on the cruise. 3 single wardrobes housed rails, the safe and a set of small draws along with a tie rack. The top space held the life jackets and could be used for storing larger items. The storage of suitcases was difficult but we squeezed them under the beds, this would be impossible with the hard shell cases but our smaller softer cases compressed to fit. The bathroom optimised the available space and provided a shower with a detachable head; the pressure was good and left us feeling refreshed. The toiletries supplied were limited and of a poor quality. The descenders in the showers were tricky to use when slippery and wet but we had brought our own and recommend travellers do the same. The standard of cleaning in the cabin is outstanding and I have never had a better standard anywhere in the world. Twice each day the room is cleaned and turned back at night, clothes folded for you, bins emptied, dressing area organised. It feels like Mary Poppins has visited each time you return. Captain’s Club This comfortable area is rarely unoccupied, in the day it’s bright clean interior attracts people hoping to relax and have a drink and at night it is a waiting area for people preparing for the show lounge cabaret. A delightful pianist and violinist play at various times on most evenings but they could not be enjoyed because they became inaudible within the busy room full of chattering guests. A beautiful resource that is sadly under appreciated and lost amongst the people. Sadly this area is understaffed and many guests treat the overworked staff appallingly. I have witnessed so many occasions where guests have berated, abused and directly verbally attacked the young staff. The waiting time for drinks is over 30 minutes or more and there does seem to be a favouring of those guests without a drinks package over those who have the package. This highlights another anomaly in the pricing of the drinks package. If I ordered a quadruple whisky this would be included in the package BUT a latte coffee would not. This seems rather unfair and does not encourage sensible drinking. My main issue with this area is the lack of tables for two persons. Most of the tables are laid out as 4s and so it negates any privacy or time for couples to enjoy together. Most of the time the lounge is quite full and so people sit with you and want to chat. A lovely thing to happen on a friendly ship but there are times when I would have appreciated some time alone with my husband. This layout was further hindered by the many Zimmer frames, walking trollies and walking sticks that created an ever changing obstacle course for people to negotiate. Scott’s Bar This is a lively little venue however after 10 all entertainment moves to this bar and sadly the area is far too small for the number of visitors using it. It was almost impossible to see both the show at 9 in the show lounge and then get a seat upstairs. Sadly we missed out because if this. The bar staff in this area are good and much quicker than in other areas of the ship. Many of the soft furnishings in this area are broken and are uncomfortable but this is only if you are fast enough to get a seat. Marco’s Bistro Terrible! This restaurant is appalling and I am afraid it has deteriorated during the cruise. The food is luke warm at best and stagnant and congealed most of the time. The choice is poor with mostly chopped meat dishes and diced over cooked soggy vegetables. The sweet section at lunch and dinner are poor with small portions of poorly presented sweets that include many cold puddings and whips. The majority of food has a soft blended texture ideal if chewing is best avoided! The cutlery includes only soup spoons rather than desert or tea spoons, so one must stir tea, eat cake and cereal with a soup spoon. Usually there is a shortage of cutlery throughout the restaurant at all 3 meals. My biggest annoyance was having to collect food in relays as people would take your seat between courses. Lone diners would find it impossible to eat all courses in the same seat. Main Restaurant This area is stunning and despite the tatty table cloths, with more pulls than a grandmother’s stocking, it is warm and welcoming. The staff try hard but the lack of organisation makes this a doomed enterprise. We were sat on a table of six and we were so close to other tables that the waiters played limbo to get about carrying the trays. The menus allowed for a choice but really what you received was like Russian roulette. I ordered ice cream and got sorbet, ordered pasta and got pork! This seemed to happen every night to at least one person in the table. The delay between courses was ridiculous with a 90 minute wait on Christmas Day between starter and main. This improved to 50 minutes on Boxing Day. We eventually complained and the time between courses reduced but the game of roulette continued. Midnight snacks Pathetic! These are carried around on a tray and given out in tiny portions on serviettes. I was blessed with grease down my ball gown as the waiter spilt them all down me on Christmas Eve! Not the wonderful plan I had for my dress which is now ruined. Deck Bar Swimming pool! More of a puddle than a pool. I heard it called a splash pool, a great name as it just splashes icy water over people sat at tables around it. The slippery deck is then a risk to the shuffling older people who hope to sit by it. No one used it as it is covered with a net, a complete waste of deck space and a blooming pain in the neck! The bar out here is well stocked and enticing but the wait time for a drink is so long you contemplate jumping overboard! The waiting staff meander about, avoiding eye contact and rarely engage with people. I have found this the worst area to get a drink and have often given in and had a self service coffee rather than nothing. Entertainment The entertainment team includes some excellent singers with talent way beyond this ship. Callum, Anneka and Savannah brighten every room when they enter and their talent shines through. The others are not quite as talented but what they lack in ability they make up for in enthusiasm. Mitch makes everyone smile and excelled at Elvis and some swing but he struggles with more challenging songs. Not all of the songs the entertainers sing suit their voices and even the best of them murder some songs. The Wuthering Heights needs to be pulled ASAP! Daytimes are dull. Little if any entertainment goes on and much is not hosted. The entertainment seems to be aimed at the older generation with Knit and Natter and Bridge. We attended the Creative Writing and although we enjoyed the sharing of creative works the gentleman who ran the session was poor. He talked. A lot! He then got everyone to write and share. The feedback was peer feedback with little input from him. There was no development of people’s skill, no feedback or development of ideas. The next session repeated exactly the first in format and activities. The room was too small and the delivery needs to be improved. The tutor led session was didactic and lacked any imagination. Ironic given it was a creative writing class. The exception to the poor daytime activities was the Morecombe and Wise Comedy lecture that was excellent. It was well planned, entertaining and engaging, giving rise to much laughter and good spirits. The presenter was knowledgeable and very talented. Excursions The excursions are very expensive however they are well organised and have a high standard of tour guide. We did 3 different excursions and booked a fourth that was unfortunately cancelled. The first tour of Gibraltar was on a minibus and took us to the Rock, the Caves and the museum. The guide was excellent and entertained and informed us. He was relaxed and the tour took longer than expected but it was worth every second of my time. The second tour took us around a very foggy and rainy Funchal. To be honest the tour should have been cancelled due to the weather. The views were totally covered by a thick blanket of fog making visibility about 3 meters maximum. The guide tried her best but coffee and cake at a golf club and a walk to a wine tasting cost us £48 each. Very disappointing! The 3rd trip around a freezing cold Lisbon was a march, following a bossy school mistress who barked at us and constantly repeated herself. When people asked for rendezvous times she wouldn’t give them insisting we stayed with her. The visit to the monastery allowed no time to contemplate the beautiful place or enter into prayer. It was a fast walk through and a sit on a pew whilst she talked and talked constantly repeating herself. Disappointing. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the ... Read More
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the self service was closed ( but found out later it was open) there should have been a kettle in our cabin that was missing so no warm cuppa. First evening meal in the restaurant was not very good, also we ask for a table for 6/8 given one for 4. Then found out the ship had not been repaired so had to miss Gibraltar so that meant 5 day's at sea with not a lot to do. Ship repaired in Tenerife. 31/12 arrived in Madeira> My husband went on a excursion I didn't because it was a tender. I am disabled (having a bad day) so I stayed on board. He left me at 8.45 I next saw him at 7.15 because they stopped the tenders for safety reasons, leaving hundreds on shore either sat on the tenders or stood out in the rain, last people got back around 11.30 all missing their Grand New Years Eve meal as we did. A lot of people missed the fireworks at midnight as they were either too ill or too tired to stay up. We did see the fireworks were spectacular, they were what nearly all the passages had gone to see. The disembarkation was a joke we had crew members with cases or large bags pushing passed paying passengers to get of the ship, maybe like a lot of the passengers they too couldn't wait to get off. After showing our sea passes there were new staff walking towards us to get on the same way as everyone was getting off. They were so rude bearing in mind their ages compared to the passengers, who were mainly OAP's or disabled like myself. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were ... Read More
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were happy to go elsewhere. We therefore booked the courier service through SAGA to take us to Tilbury & back. The day before we left the embarkation was changed to Dover where extra repairs had to be made apparently although why was never mentioned by the captain or the crew. Embarkation was fast and efficient but from there it all went downhill. The excursion to Amsterdam canals was organised during the daylight hours and the famous lights were not evident. A waste of time & money. As soon as we left there we were informed that the scheduled stop in Gibraltar had been cancelled as the repairs had not been effected in Dover. So after 5.5 days at sea suffering with very mediocre food in the main restaurant and indifferent entertainment in the Palladium we arrived in Tenerife earlier than stated. The excursion booked was thoroughly dangerous on roads unsuitable for big coaches and little or no safety barriers on bends with 400' or more drops. So decided to cancel rest of excursions but no refund given and money taken to cancel! Best was New Years' firework display but some 600 or so very bruised and battered passengers may not agree after suffering appalling conditions tendering to the mainland in rough seas when no other cruise liners were offering this and then being left for hours to fend for themselves when the weather worsened. All in all we felt that there was a lack of care for the passengers exhibited by the officers and heads of departments, although the staff on the ground so to speak were friendly and helpful. The wine cellar choice was little short of abysmal. If you drink dry wine only you will be ok as that is all they have and the spirit measures are extremely small. Luckily we took out a VIP package and came out on top. The best drinks were definitely the cocktails and the lovely coffees. Food was poor except for the buffet on the top but not easy to get drinks up there. The whole ethos of Christmas was missing. Embarkation was a total shambles and as there was a DOA in one of the cabins even more delay ensued with a free for all at the exit to the dock building. Would we go again.....answer no as it appears the shipping line is more interested in making money at all costs than looking after the comfort of it's passengers and our experience was worse than the previous trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person ... Read More
We chose to cruise on Astor to check the ship out on a short cruise while contemplating a longer cruise on it. The prominent marketing in Australia of this boat sailing out of Perth-Fremantle using "pay for one and the second person travels for free" was an inducement. The daily charge of $10 Aust per person turned out to be more than better ships that we have cruised on. This is an old German ship which doesn’t have up to date procedures; e.g. a huge key and fob for entry to the cabin and a swipe credit type plastic card to transact on board both to be carried at all times, long slow queue to disembark and hand in the key etc. The mostly European crew were surprisingly curt. The PA system was unintelligible resulting in passengers looking at each other puzzled and asking ‘what did that announcement say?’ We bought the drinks package for $34 per person per day. We could have saved about $100 by simply buying drinks as we went. There was no advice about how to ‘register’ for the drinks package before you ordered your first drink at embarkation and paid full price. There were too many exclusions in the drinks package and no clarity about what was included; e.g. coffee was not included. The same drink was a different price depending upon which bar it was bought at. There was a receipt to be signed every time a drink was purchased, only one drink to be purchased at a time resulting in not being able to buy a friend a drink on your drinks package card, but a separate cash receipt had to be signed with that charged to your on board account which was tiresome and petty. There are only 2 dining rooms, a dining room with waiters and starched table cloths, and a cafe. Both are reasonable depending upon what you want and whether you want to be served. Both are small and usually busy with queues at the only coffee machine. The food is average compared with other ships on which we have travelled. Passengers shared serving utensils at the buffet and breakfast which is a potential health hazard not found on other cruise boats. Before we embarked we understood we had arranged for our party of 8 to all sit together each evening, but the dining room concierge refused to honour this. They insisted that it was "free dining". The staff wouldn't let a couple sit at empty tables for 2 insisting that they join people at larger tables that were not full. This resulted in the newcomers at the table being ignored by the serving wait staff who had previously served those at the table who had arrived earlier. One night at the main dining room all but 2 of our group were at the restaurant door ready to be seated, but the concierge refused entry until all were present. This resulted in 2 ladies over 90 (one on a walking frame) having to stand for 15 minutes outside the door which was rude and discourteous. Some dining room staff (such as those clearing tables) went about their tasks oblivious to the diners, with the result that there was some ‘congestion’. The average age of the cruisers was about 75 and more than several had walking frames or wheelchairs. The ship is not set-up for these devices with door sill projections at the entrance to some cabins, toilets, and bars resulting in people having to step over them. They need ramps at each of these obstructions. There is no ramp at some ports so they use the ship's stairway. This is very difficult for those people who had difficulty climbing the steep stairway. The ship rolled about as it slugged its way South to Esperance. Several passengers were seasick. None of these experiences are particularly worrying, just tiresome, petty and inconvenient when you are on a cruise expecting it to be enjoyable and relaxing. A reconciliation of all expenses [fare, travel insurance, drinks package, on board expenses], associated with this 5 day cruise resulted in a cost of $770 a day. In hindsight, at this rate we would expect a better cruise experience than we had. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise as it was departing from Dublin so no flying needed for us! We had 2 wheelchair users with myself and my husband. Embarkation We arrived in plenty of time. Only downside is the port has no parking at the berth ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was departing from Dublin so no flying needed for us! We had 2 wheelchair users with myself and my husband. Embarkation We arrived in plenty of time. Only downside is the port has no parking at the berth they used for Magellan so my husband had to drop us off and drive up to Terminal 1 to park. Basic tent and fold-up chairs greeted us. It was bit tough getting the wheelchairs up the wooden ramps but I got there! Bags where whisked away very swiftly. Check-in was fast, we had all documentation ready, we had our photo taken and checked-in within ten minutes. Then the trouble started. We had to get the wheelchair users out of the wheelchairs (they can walk just very slowly) and walk them up the "ramp" onboard. This ramp consisted of extremely treacherous metal steps that were upright so you had to step over each one up to the top. Slow going and nerve-wrecking for an elderly person already a bit self-conscious of walking slowly! wheelchairs were ready after we scanned through. My husband had 1 wheelchair user up ahead of me and so got on first, rather than allowing them to wait for me and my charge. As a consequence they were shown to the room and we were stranded. I had to ask to be shown. Staff were unorganised and some rude, they just ignored you, or in my case, left the wheelchair behind a rail I couldn't get to and had to ask for it to be brought in to me. CABINS We had 2 interior cabins. One was an L configuration to allow the two folding wheelchairs in. Plenty of space, tv, storage and ensuite. Our cabin was double bed configuration and this does make the room appear smaller but still useful. Mirrors make the room lighter. Not enough power points. Cabin steward very attentive and on one occasion, came tot he rescue when one relative fell out of bed he rang us straight away and we got her up. All was ok. He asked how she was every time he saw her after that! ENTERTAINMENT Poor. There really was very little going on. A few singers, a band that played the same every night. Bingo and activities conducted by bored staff so really was a waste. Shows in main lounge was boring most nights, the comedian was good but short (no idea why people reported it was offensive!) trying to get a good seating area free from poles and suitable for wheelchairs was a nightmare. EXCURSIONS None were suitable for wheelchairs on this cruise due to that bloody ramp. The fright they got going up the ramp at the start put them off ever going back down it unless it was the last time! So we could only really go on 1 excursion, Hornfleur. Myself and my husband got the free shuttle up to the town center and saw the sights ourselves. Very nice shopping areas, architecture etc. We watched the rest of the excursion disembarkation from the deck as most where by tender. All I can say is that if I was anyway nervous or on a stick I would probably never sail again!! They manhandled poor old dears like luggage! Shocking. FOOD The restaurant was very good, made all the better for our table servers. The first night he hand cut the steak for our relative and then fed it to her like some Roman Villa scene. She laughed and it was just perfect hosting, knowing boundaries and politeness, not being pushy etc. Just super. We ate dinner here every night and were never disappointed. The buffet is just a bit too much like a canteen. All breakfasts and lunches similar, no atmosphere. SPA Prices similar to other cruiselines. Was disappointed not to have been shown to the relaxation area or thermal area after my treatments. The first treatment was a full body massage & facial. This was amazing. I cannot remember his name now but it was a deep but not sore massage, the way a massage should be. As a bodywork therapist myself, it surprises me how few therapists know not to dig deep for the sake of it but rather pay attention to the muscles and perform deep massage when the client is ready. This stops the treatment from turning into torture! The second treatment was a hot stone massage. I enjoyed this but not as much as the other package. Again I was given no tour, no access to the other areas of the spa and no add-ons recommended or specials. BARS We noticed the English pub had a bar menu on embarkation day but the next day the menu was gone. Maybe it only runs on certain routes? It looked a nice lunch menu of pies, stews, sandwiches etc. and would've been nice to try for a change. Drinks prices similar to at home, we had the drinks package and it was well worth the price. TIP: ask for Smirnoff instead of Vodka, for some reason my husband would get double measures instead of a single measure. Same happened to me when I asked for Bacardi. They do ask for cards for all in the group to make sure everyone is paying what they should. This was sometimes extremely rude when we got drinks but our relatives had tea or coffee. The supervisor made a big deal out of how they didn't have the package and needed the cards....she has arthritis and was struggling to get the card at time of ordering but cards where all on the table for anyone to check from then on. The sinatra lounge was always packed and had piano or jazz music in the evenings. The casino is tiny with about 20 machines, a blackjack table and roulette. Its on the main thoroughfare. Overall, I felt it was a glorified ferry. I had hoped it would feel like a small cruise ship but no, it felt like going on the sea ferry across to England just without my car! We definitely wouldn't do this cruiseline again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose the Cruise because I could board at Liverpool. I was very disappointed with the poor choice of food in Raffles buffet at breakfast and lunchtime. It was very difficult to find a seat to eat a meal since it is so small and this was a ... Read More
Chose the Cruise because I could board at Liverpool. I was very disappointed with the poor choice of food in Raffles buffet at breakfast and lunchtime. It was very difficult to find a seat to eat a meal since it is so small and this was a particular problem on sea days. Lots of staff on Reception but most appeared poorly trained and they constantly had to find more experienced staff to consult. Overall, there appeared to be a total lack of communication between staff in all departments. When problems arose, few of them were willing to help solve them. The problem always remained with the customer to sort out. II thought the theatre entertainment was good and Dana was a brilliant revelation. The remaining organised activities during the day were poor. Trying to find seats in the bars and lounges in the evening was difficult because there were too many passengers for the limited facilities of the ship. Read Less
93 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Really do not know where to start with this one ?. The initial Cruise was book to depart from Tilbury on the 16th February 2017 for 15 Nights in the Land of the Northern Lights (P704).....................however, the Departure port with ... Read More
Really do not know where to start with this one ?. The initial Cruise was book to depart from Tilbury on the 16th February 2017 for 15 Nights in the Land of the Northern Lights (P704).....................however, the Departure port with then changed to Bristol Avonmouth and the Cruise brought forward to depart on the 13th February 2017. We booked this Cruise with CMV because we live in Kent and Tilbury is around 40 miles from us.............excellent departure port. Now it begins to fall apart. We are travelling with my totally disabled Mother In Law whom is wheelchair bound, so we have booked a disabled taxi ti get us from Herne Bay Kent to Tilbury Cruise terminal at a cost of £50 return journey. We now have to contact the taxi Company and tell them that we now need to get to Bristol Avonmouth some 200 miles from our home address and this is now going to cost us an extra £500 on top of our Cruise costs to get to Bristol Avonmouth, is that fair ?. I spoke with CMV and explained the situation regarding the extra mileage and costs and where they interested....................NOT REMOTELY !!!!, and refused to even assist with any help regarding the cost of the taxi fare, nothing at all, so now I have the Cruise to pay for plus an additional £500 taxi fare on top of that. CMV were not interested at all, they have your money for the Cruise, why should they worry, they have Got You !!!!. Eventually, after many long and protracted telephone conversations, they did concede to pay part of the taxi fare, well, no they didn't, they offer to pay us £75.00 towards the taxi fare, but this would be paid as 'Onboard' spend to my cabin. THIS NEVER HAPPENED, they got away with not paying anything. This really is a rubbish Company. I move on though, three days before our departure day CMV decide to call us again and this time the departure port has moved again, so we booked for Tilbury, then changed to Bristol Avonmouth and now we are going to depart from Portland Dorset. I must say that the taxi firm were great, no price increase first of all, but then again the distance was reduced by 5.4 miles, CMV told us to keep our Embarkation time as we had been given which was 14:40 in the afternoon. Come departure day, taxi arrives and away we go to Portland Dorset and some four hours later arrive at the Terminal in Portland, it's empty !!!!!. Taxi has departed and here we are, sitting in some damp dingy building awaiting for someone from CMV to turn up and tell us whats happening.................did that happen...................NO !!!! not until 4:00pm when we where introduced to the Cruise Director, whom really did not have a clue, waffle waffle waffle but nothing. The ship at this time was sitting on a sandbank in Portland Harbour and had not berthed so was still full of disembarking passengers from the previous Cruise. There was no refreshments available or supplied by CMV for Customers at the Portland Terminal, absolutely nothing. More and more Customers were turning up, but still no information was coming forward from the Cruise Director as to when we would be moving onboard. Very slowly some disembarking passengers came ashore, their luggage thrown on the back of some old open backed truck and once at the Terminal they had to unload it themselves before they could go, This went on for A COUPLE OF HOURS. Eventually, we were passport processed and moved into another damp dingy room awaiting transport to the ship. Called to get on the transport at 19:40 hours, as we were first in, they kindly took us first out...............more problems. My disabled Mother In Law is wheelchair bound and could not get into the Coach to the ship, despite me telling the Cruise Director multiple times that she would need to be transported to the ship, nothing had been done, had it not been for a kind hearted bus driver I am pretty sure we would have been left at the terminal and watched the ship depart.................we did eventually get to the ship having been subjected to more security searches than you would get at London Heathrow, and at the bottom of the gangway once there we were subjected to a torrent of abuse from a female Security Officer onboard the ship shouting that we cannot come onboard with the wheelchair. Fortunately, an Officer instructed some of the Crew to come and assist us with the wheelchair movement onto the ship.............at last we were onboard after seven and three quarter hours of dis organised ciaos...............really a total disaster thus far. Once on board found our cabin which was supposedly disability adapted, it's not, and certainly not for use with a wheelchair bound Customer. The cabin was fairly large but the WC was totally impracticable, the equipment we needed to get in to the toilet kept grounding on a roughly made ramp, making it difficult to get into the toilet. The water from the tap was a constant orange colour, the assistance bars around the toilet were permanent not the fol up type, so we could not get the wheel chair close to the toilet easily, just a horrible nasty place to be. We sailed at 03:00hours hours late but their fun had not finished even now, at midnight they decided to do 'Life Boat Drill', after all the time we had been messed about now this........................Oh the end of a perfect day..............somewhere in the World but NOT on the MS Marco Polo.. The ship itself is quite a nice vessel, even though she is 52 years old, the decor is nice and the public areas are tastefully completed. The food..................where do you start? The Waldorf is the main Restaurant, and I was on the first sitting, Portions very small, very limited choice on the menu, found every cut of meat tough to cut and eat, veg I found tasteless, not a good experience, infact we stopped using this place and used Marco on Deck 8 for all our meals breakfast\lunch\Afternoon tea and Evening meal...........better selection, food alot tastier and a staff always helpful, nice place to be....................quite enjoyable with great views to. Entertainment: The Guest Speakers were very good as were the two acts brought on and Comedian and a Magician........................but sorry to have to say it but the onboard Entertainment Team were appalling, The Dancers were good, the Vocalist were awful. Really do not want to spend to long on this, but I certainly would never pay to watch any of their shows, they were abysmal from start to finish. Port of Call Excellent Ports, dismal departure times. Really could go on writing about this Cruise for a long long time and alas could say nothing nice about it. This really is a awful Cruise Line, fortunately I have done it and will never do it again with CMV. This is my fifteenth Cruise and by far the worst ever. I would advise anyone with a disability not to use CMV, they are more interested in the able bodied Customer and they are not afraid to show this. From start to finish it was a total disgrace and I think that CMV should hang their head in shame for their performance on this Cruise, possible learn a few lessons infact a lot of lessons. My God Bless them and all who Sail with Them Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
This cruise is not good for disabled people, the gangways are to narrow, my wheelchair wheel came off two times. The toilet in the cabin is too low and I needed help in getting off of it. They state that a wheelchair must be below 23 kg ... Read More
This cruise is not good for disabled people, the gangways are to narrow, my wheelchair wheel came off two times. The toilet in the cabin is too low and I needed help in getting off of it. They state that a wheelchair must be below 23 kg and if you have a electric one that is impossible. If you cannot walk and are wheelbound some ports you cannot get off due to having steps. The food is cooked well but does not have the selection of other cruise lines I have been on. The staff are helpfull and polite but most of them don't smile or look happy. No 24 hour buffet. If you want room service you have to pay quite a lot, other lines either charge a nominal fee or it if free. Overall I got the impression everything was done as cheaply as possible and I would not cruise with this line again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Good points first -Price , Magellan the ship itself , food and drinks plus and the Baltic cities we visited. Bad points - the entertainment shows and music were very old and dated . Too many very old and or infirm people on this ... Read More
Good points first -Price , Magellan the ship itself , food and drinks plus and the Baltic cities we visited. Bad points - the entertainment shows and music were very old and dated . Too many very old and or infirm people on this cruise so gave the atomosphere one of a derby and Joan club at sea ! Cities such as Stockholm only had a 4 hour visit time which is much too short Entertainment was very much aimed at 70/80 year olds with the newest music I heard all cruise was by Abba and the band played what I would ( bad ) lift music The entertainment staff had to come up with their own ideas for shows etc , a case in point was one of them ( slightly) looking like Buddy Holly (but sounding nothing like him ) so you got a Buddy Holly tribute act....but a terrible one ! If you value the entertainment on board your cruise alongside the destinations you have been warned !!! Read Less
Sail Date: September 2015
We only booked this cruise because we both wanted to see Jersey and Guernsey, unfortunately that didn't happen. We choice to park at tilbury and this was a brilliant service the staff at the car park were very helpful and gave ... Read More
We only booked this cruise because we both wanted to see Jersey and Guernsey, unfortunately that didn't happen. We choice to park at tilbury and this was a brilliant service the staff at the car park were very helpful and gave clear instructions. We noticed there that the other passengers seemed older than us. (We've just turned 60) most people were well over 70+ Embarkation was fast and on the ship we were met by staff and a very nice lady showed us to our cabin. The food was not of the best quality but there was plenty of it. The soups and the bread were very nice. Afternoon tea was very strange Apple crumble and custard and small hard scones with artificial cream and dry cake. We bought the drinks package even though we are not big drinkers, but it was well worth it as the cocktails were very nice and included brand name soft drinks as well. We both enjoyed Amsterdam and Zeebrugge and looked forward to the Channel Islands, but unfortunately the Captain announced that because of the high swell we wouldn't be going and instead were going to Cherbourg and Rouen instead. We and lots of other passengers thought this strange and more likely to do with the age and disabilities of the other passengers.( the weather so calm and sunny) as they would have to use tenders in these ports. We felt let down as we wouldn't have booked a cruise around France, so will never use this company again Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2015
This is a lovely Little boat. At 46,000 tons it is towards the top of the Small category. For a vessel of this size the cabin quality is good (4/5), but it is a little crowded. This was now our 12th cruise and certain factors ... Read More
This is a lovely Little boat. At 46,000 tons it is towards the top of the Small category. For a vessel of this size the cabin quality is good (4/5), but it is a little crowded. This was now our 12th cruise and certain factors disappointed. We prefer ‘Freestyle Dining’ and dislike being stuck on the same table with the same handful of guests every night. We are happy to share a table if necessary, but not for 6 nights in sequence. In consequence we switched our system to tracking down a good lunch meal ashore and skipping the evening dinner. The on-board alternative, the ‘Bistro’ was convenient, but the standard of food offered there was poor. (1/5). The standard of food in the main dining was well below expectation (2/5) and is our one major criticism. Had we tried this more often we might have met a better meal, but were unwilling to take the risk. The vessel has an Engine problem. It behaves like an old car. Very under-powered when ‘push’ is needed. It was extremely noisy when pulling away from the dockside or travelling in a river, probably against the water flow. We complained and the problem did disappear, but at the cost of very low speed running. To take 4 hours from Amsterdam to the river estuary indicated that the engine(s) were running at low power. Any faster and the vibrations would make the cabin furniture rattle. Coastal running over short distances worked well, but it might prove to be too noisy on a long, (Transatlantic ?) run. I await further comments. (If it was a horse I would shoot it.) The passenger mix favours the elderly, supported by the relatively low cost per person. We found the number of ‘wheelies’, Zimmer frames and wheeled walkers, motorised chairs, crutches and walking sticks surprising and soon realised that the Captain would not be able to offer the ‘Ship to Shore’ transfers using the lifeboats as tenders. It would have been extremely dangerous to even try. This was probably why the visits to Jersey and Guernsey were cancelled and replaced by Cherbourg and Rouen. I would congratulate him on this choice. We also wanted to go to the Channel Islands, but realised that it could not be done safely. CMV will have to rethink some of its itineraries or this will often arise Read Less
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