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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was perfect. This was my first cruise so I wasn't sure what to expect. I absolutely loved it! I met a lot of very interesting people and we ended up sharing our cruise together - mainly in the bars and restaurants. I was very impressed with the arrangements for solo travellers - the company works hard to make them feel welcome with welcome drinks, lunches, dinners etc...and it worked. It was unnaturally hot for Norway, so the pool area was very busy - I gave Bergen a miss as didn't fancy a tour in 35 degrees. Norway in a Nutshell tour is well worth doing - the views are mind-blowing. Flam railway is great fun! If walking is a bit of an issue (it is for me) - it is quite a walk to the hotel in Voss which the company doesn't warn about. It may depend on where the train from Flam stops though. I probably wouldn't do the tour to the dam again - I would stay in Eidjfiord and have a wander. All the bars are great - I visited every one frequently. The cocktail list is extensive. I chose the premier package that includes tips, drinks, wine etc...and definitely don't regret it. It is great value. The food isn't five star - but neither are we paying for five star. It was fine though - desserts provided much amusement trying to guess what they tasted of. Some people complained that the food should be better - bear in mind, that going to a Michelin restaurant costs around £250 per person upwards and that will manage expectations. My happy place? Sitting at the back of the boat behind the Plantation buffet - having either breakfast or dinner with a beautiful view of the fjords - priceless! I loved it! Already booked another and I got home less than 24 hours ago. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use ... Read More
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use the tender. Food at dinner in the Waterfront restaurant was sometimes tepid, sometimes it was very difficult to find a seat in the upstairs buffet, I think most of us enjoyed the food most of the time. Wide choice in the buffet. There were few lectures can't comment as I only went to one, fell asleep during it. The talks on our destinations were mostly concerned with their excursions rather than the place itself. The public rooms were comfy and pleasant, pity the library was closed much of the time. I personally found nothing of interest in the on board shops. And the duty free was expensive. Cabins had a fridge plus tea and coffee making facilities, which was very nice. The ship appeared very clean' Evening entertainment was patchy. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not ... Read More
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not Tilbury due to a ‘minor technical issue’. This didn’t affect me too much as the transfer from Victoria Coach Station would now go direct to Dover, rather than Tilbury. Dover is actually a much nicer Cruise Terminal than Tilbury. Changes to embarkation were notified to me in a timely and informative manner by text and phone and the coach transfer to Dover and embarkation was smooth and efficient The ‘minor technical issue’ was later revealed to be related to the starboard propellers and repairs were due to be carried out in Dover prior to sailing, but we were later to find out this was not possible due to the poor sea conditions and bad weather. Columbus set sail for Amsterdam later that evening, arriving early the next day. Amsterdam was lovely; vast arrays of Christmas lights; huge Christmas market and a very comprehensive and informative city tour by coach and canal boat. The Shore Excursion Team’s organisation landside was efficient Once we had set sail from Amsterdam, we were advised that due to the fact that the repairs could not be carried out in Dover, Columbus would not be calling at Gibraltar and would go directly to Tenerife where she would stay for 24 hours whilst the repairs were undertaken. That meant 5 days at sea! Many passengers were upset over the missing out of Gibraltar but I wasn’t too concerned. We received compensation for the ‘missed port’ and Columbus proceeded fairly slowly with a very noticeable judder which I assume was due to the imbalance of the propellers. This was most noticeable in bed (as it rocked us to sleep!) and in the Waterfront Restaurant. MV Columbus was suitably and imaginatively decorated for a Christmas Cruise and gifts in the cabin on Christmas Eve were a nice touch. The staff and crew were proactive in wishing guests a ‘Merry Christmas’ and the public areas of the ship were always kept spotless, especially the toilet areas where a member of staff seemed constantly to be in attendance During the 5 sea days there were a full range of activities, lectures, quiz and game shows organised, but probably no more or less than would have been offered anyway. A film was shown in the Palladium Lounge most afternoons, as it was too cold to use the deck screen. The Cruise Director, Iain Bagshaw, gave a run-down of the daily programme twice a day and held a 15 minute ‘Chat with Iain’ each afternoon. He was friendly enough but one got the feeling that ‘it was just a job’ and he didn’t really show any genuine enthusiasm. The lucky and observant ones saw both whales and dolphins. The weather remained cold and wet and most of the time the open decks were closed due to high winds. Cruising through the Bay of Biscay wasn’t too rough, but certainly not a millpond. Even with her damaged propellers, Columbus managed to remain fairly stable in the rough weather. There was nightly and sometimes afternoon entertainment presented by the Columbus Singers and Dancers or the ‘Guest Act’ which for the first half of the cruise was the comedian / impersonator Christopher Gee, who was actually quite good. Entertainment was very mixed. The team were pleasant to talk to and enthusiastic, but seemed to lack professional training. Angelina stood out and boosted the credence of the vocalists. The ‘Abba’ and ‘Round the World’ shows were probably the most notable. The dance team’s coordination was generally quite good; the 2nd Guest Act (who transferred from Marco Polo in Lanzarote), the comedian Les Bryan was embarrassing to watch. The food and service in both the Waterfront Restaurant and Plantation Bistro was of a continually high standard. Christmas Eve Dinner was excellent. My Cabin Steward always had a smile and time for a chat whilst providing a faultless standard of service. The inside cabin on Deck 10 was spacious and perfectly adequate. The vast majority of bar staff were pleasant and attentive, although some needed some additional training in their job and demonstrated poor customer service skills. We arrived in Tenerife at about 20:00 it was very nice to be able to get off for a few hours and have a drink in a local café. Columbus berthed at the improved cruise terminal which is now a good 20 minutes walk from the town centre. Coach transfers were provided for those with walking difficulties on the next day, although I walked in and out on each occasion. Immediately after we berthed, a specialist team and local divers arrived and started to work on the propellers. They completed their work about an hour before we departed the next day and we have to assume that they were successful, although no mention of the success or otherwise was made by anyone on the ship. The weather was partly sunny and temperatures in the low 20’s. I did not take an organised excursion, but took the local bus to Puerto de la Cruz for an enjoyable day of exploration costing €8, whereas the same cruise excursion transfer was priced at £22. Local knowledge comes in handy! We proceeded to both Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and then Arrecife in Lanzarote on the following days, for about 6 hours in each port. Transfers were arranged in Arrecife, but not needed in Las Palmas, as we berthed close to the entrance. Whilst walking along the coastline in Arrecife, Marco Polo could be seen approaching the port – she looked surprisingly impressive! The now familiar judder was gone, so whatever had been done to the propellers in Tenerife must have been successful. Arrival and departure in both ports was as per the itinerary. The weather was disappointing with mostly cloudy skies, quite a strong win and only a few short periods of sunshine. This was certainly not what I had expected or what I had been used to in Tenerife over the last 25+ years at this time of year. Columbus was joined by Marco Polo in all the Canary Island ports and was dwarfed by Columbus when berthed alongside. We also had two huge TUI ships and a German ship with us in Tenerife and Lanzarote. The penultimate port was Madeira which turned out to be the most memorable, but not for the reasons we had expected. We anchored early in the morning to the right of the terminal quite near the Queen Victoria. Again it was overcast, light winds and a small swell. However there was a forecast of rain in the late afternoon. The Tender Service stared at 09:00 and passengers with mobility issues were advised to observe the procedure before deciding if they were capable of transferring to the tender with minimal assistance. I found it surprising that many with ‘walkers’ and ‘Zimmer frames’ were allowed to use the service. I transferred at about 11:30 and by that time the swell was increasing and getting onto the tender was quite tricky. Many people in other tenders were sick on the 10-15 minute transfer to the dock. Within the dock area, the swell presented a few tricky moments when trying to get off onto land. The two TUI, the German (Avia?) and a Fred Olsen ships were berthed, although the Fred Olsen ship left early evening to view the fireworks from the bay. I spent a couple of hours exploring the Christmas Forest and Market, checking out the restaurants and viewing (but not taking) the cable car, as the clouds were obscuring the mountain from about half way up. They certainly take Christmas seriously and put together a fantastic display – really capturing the Christmas Spirit. I then decided that as it was getting quite cold and windy and the clouds were gathering quickly, I’d make my way back to the dockside to catch the tender back to Columbus. It was New Year’s Eve, so being on board early would allow sufficient time to prepare for the New Year’s Eve Dinner at 17:45. On arrival at the dockside, I was met with a queue of about 150 people who were also waiting to return. It transpired that the Tender Service and all afternoon excursions had been cancelled by the ship at noon, as the weather had deteriorated making tendering not a particularly safe or viable option. There were about 600 passengers on Madeira with no idea of how they were to get back on board, or even if that was going to be possible. Columbus was observed steaming up and down the coast trying to find a more sheltered location to re-commence the Tender Service. Those that were not aware what was happening could have been quite traumatised by seeing this, thinking that the ship had left! We understand that there were frantic conversations between the ship and the Harbour Authorities trying to find a solution to get the passengers back safely and the result was that the only option was to commence the tendering service, with the assistance of a tug to try to keep Columbus in a stable position. My utmost praise and admiration must go to the crew on the Tenders in Madeira who, despite a huge swell, successfully managed to get passengers back on board in atrocious conditions. Once back on board (some 7 hours after I had intended), cold and wet with dampened spirits, it was too late to attend the New Year’s Eve Dinner, which was to have been one of the cruise highlights. Many passengers suffered sea-sickness, cuts, bruises and emotional trauma. One tender made three unsuccessful attempts to set passengers onto the platform, totalling nearly 2 hours of bobbing about in the huge swell. One 93 year old, complete with ‘walker’ suffered bruising to one arm and cuts and a sprain to the other during the re-boarding. He was certainly a character and said that it was the best adrenalin rush he had experienced in years! A few were shouting, verbally abusing the Madeiran dockside staff, ship’s representative and other passengers and demanding to be flown home and their money back. The vast majority of the Brits just quietly queued in the freezing cold rain and waited patiently until a solution had been devised. The New Year’s Eve firework display on Madeira was indeed impressive and helped to brighten the spirits of those who had been stranded on Madeira. There was free champagne and although it was still quite windy with light rain, it was definitely worth seeing. Columbus then cruised on to cold and misty Lisbon for half a day and to our surprise duty free goods in the new terminal building here were much cheaper than they had been on the Canaries. The mist lifted as we left and Columbus left bound for another 2+ days at sea through a very a very stormy and rough Bay of Biscay. It is just as well that I quite enjoy the days at sea, as we had 10, but I prefer them when the weather is warmer. A Christmas cruise has always been something to look forward to, something special and memorable. Unfortunately this cruise will probably be remembered by some with more negative than positive thoughts although they should probably remember that the weather and sea conditions are unpredictable and that CMV cannot be held responsible for these. Despite the weather, missing Gibraltar and the difficulties in Madeira, the cruise was enjoyable and value for money. The Columbus made a magnificent effort to capture the Spirit of Christmas with decorations, carols, displays and themed events. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have time.) But I did see the equipment and was suitably impressed. I was rested and had learned new skills. I had FUN. The food was great,and I was on a very restricted diet. But the catering manager really looked after me.The staff and crew were lovely. Again I felt looked after yet respected. The sanitation rules were quite strict but I felt physically safe to use the handrails and public facilities due to seeing them almost consistently cleaned. Ive even adopted the sanitation procedures at home and my hands and nails have never looked better. As for the enrichment activities.I am now the proud owner of a lovely hand made flower and beautiful pop up card. I could never do anything like this before. The craft centre activies were great.Lovely people teaching and a great social event too. Now to the entertainment.I read in another review that there was only one guest performer.True. But he performed twice on my cruise and both shows were completely different.After seeing him the first time I couldn't wait to see him again. The dancers and singers were fantastic.Im a music teacher (violin and piano)and ex dancer so I really do know what Im talking about.Well trained talented people who were a joy to watch and listen to.Another special mention should go to the band.Excellent musicians. As for the two young female pianist and violinist.Absolutely beautiful.So hardworking and so very talented. The magician Ian who was cruise director was another hardworking and talented man. I hate magicians generally but I thought Ian was very good and was also a lovely approachable person with lots of personality and always made time for anyone. The last time I felt like this about a holiday was in Orlando at the Dusney parks. I felt looked after and valued. i will definitely chose to go with C&M again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose it for the destination The food was awful 2* is being generous. The breakfast was the same very day greasy hard bacon cheap nasty sausage never changed . Every day was a stir fry or some obscure meat like beef cheeks nasty cheap ... Read More
We chose it for the destination The food was awful 2* is being generous. The breakfast was the same very day greasy hard bacon cheap nasty sausage never changed . Every day was a stir fry or some obscure meat like beef cheeks nasty cheap food by the end of the cruise so many people were eating from the kids section as the food was slightly better. if you are vegetarian you would really struggle veggie curry and rice or cheese and salad . No late food apart from 11 to 11 30 when plates of Iceland type buffet food was taken Around the bars. You felt like a penguin being given fish . Most staff rude especially reception we went to complain about the lack of sun beds 450 for 1400 passengers.the receptionist rolled her eyes and picked up the phone twice while we were talking . People were taking sun beds when someone went for food and leaving belongings piled on the floor . There were arguments and near fights every day . The Crewe had their own deck with around 30 beds that weren’t being used we got a sun bed twice in 15 days and it was taken when we went for lunch . People were sitting on chairs taken from the buffet as there was nowhere to sit.we ended up going to the speciality restaurants they were a bit better but you shouldn’t have to pay . Entertainment was awful singers screeched out of tune people got up and walked out including us. We went to Tenerife on a Sunday everywhere was shut . Some of the places visited were too short 4 hours not enough time . Kids in pools couldn’t use till day ten when the made one adult only We lost tv signal on 3rd day . Incompetent management it all needs a massive review All in all this was my tenth and by far the worst cruise I would never sail with them again or recommend them to anyone I know . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have done about 10 cruises altogether with Royal Caribbean, P & O and Thomson. This particular one seemed to be interesting, we choose first by Ports of Call then by cruise ship. Firstly I should say we were blessed with super weather everywhere except Dublin. The three Tender ports were easily accessed and Prince Charles was in one place and Princess Anne in another! Some thought this a plus, others not! The evening food offering in the main restaurant was we thought the best we have experienced on any cruise. Good choice on each course, served promptly by pleasant staff. The quick meal option was like all the others we've had, bit crowded...(and not a chip in sight) .breakfast in main restaurant was not all that well organised... We found evening shows in the main, wonderful entertainment..Some folk seem to expect "exactly to their taste" every evening....That's never going to happen. The only poor performer was the Tenor...the Magician was brilliant, he is also Entertainment Manager...best we've experienced... In the Atrium 3x nightly were a wonderful musical duo pianist and violinist, their performances were superb. The cabin on Deck 10 was large and kept clean. Bit dated I suppose as was the bathroom. But shower was easy to adjust and large enough. My critical comments relate not to the ship but to the cruiseline. We understood we had booked 1st Sitting. We had this in writing. It transpired that dining room has space for 700+ & CMV had told 850 or so they had 1st Sitting so the poor Restaurant Manager was dealing with VERY irate passengers for at least 2 or 3 nights. It was said no sittings were guaranteed! That is totally unacceptable, some folk were diabetic and needed their food and why should they have to eat upstairs. We accepted it, as the irritation could have spoiled things, and as a result on 2nd sitting shared a table with a delightful Swedish couple with whom we got on the with especially well and plan to keep in touch with. But CMV should definitely address this thorny and totally unnecessary issue. The other matter of contention is the thorny one of gratuities ..there is absolutely no reason on earth why these cannot be incorporated into the cruise fare. To adjust the £7 per person per day you go to Reception once you've received interim account, collect a form, and say what you are happy to pay per day which we did. Folk had come from Russia, Sweden, New Zealand, America, and Croatia that we know about to do this cruise which was an interesting fact too .. Finally then a wonderful holiday friendly people lovely ports and the strange thing is far more folk of our acquaintance have asked about it with interest than they ever have about the ones on 'posher ' ships and more exotic locations.... Ps Some folk can moan about ANYTHING - one lady was outraged that her egg was too soft one morning, and another rather nice couple were "very disappointed " there was no choir on board as there had been on their last ship Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I sailed from Dundee, not Newcastle but the option to put that on the review wasn’t there! First cruise for me and I went alone. Boarding was quick, efficient and simple. Plenty of staff to show you the way to your cabin. I felt the ... Read More
I sailed from Dundee, not Newcastle but the option to put that on the review wasn’t there! First cruise for me and I went alone. Boarding was quick, efficient and simple. Plenty of staff to show you the way to your cabin. I felt the whole trip (to the Norwegian fjords) was extremely good value for money. Excursions were well organised and informative. On board activities were fun and well attended. The restaurants were efficient, friendly staff and good food. The Chef’s Table was a superb evening. Book it if you get a chance. Cabin was clean and spacious and tended twice daily. If I had read some of the awful reviews before going I might have cancelled but I have absolutely no complaints. This isn’t a 5 star luxury miner so if you want that, go elsewhere. It is a small(ish) friendly ship which I really loved. I will sail with this company again. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We wanted a winter cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having called into the co op travel agents in Lincoln ,this one was recommended to us by one of the cruise specialists.we couldn't have enjoyed it more! The staff on board were ... Read More
We wanted a winter cruise to celebrate my 70th birthday. Having called into the co op travel agents in Lincoln ,this one was recommended to us by one of the cruise specialists.we couldn't have enjoyed it more! The staff on board were all amazing and friendly- nothing too much trouble. I was ill a couple of days into the trip and needed to use the ships medical department. The treatment I got was first class and with a couple of days intensive treatment I was fit to enjoy the rest of the cruise. Food on board was delicious and plentiful and was presented in the first class restaurants as if in a top class hotel. There was a less formal restaurant but the food was excellent in there too. Entertainment was first class with terrific shows each night as well as many and varied day time activities. There was also a wide range on shore excursions ( not cheap as Norway is expensive) and we took advantage of a few of them which we thoroughly enjoyed. We made some good friends who we hope to cruise with again in the future with this line. Now, try as I might, I can't think of any negatives. There was an incident of burst pipes which I believe caused flooding to some areas but the staff worked so hard to sort the problem and did so quickly. I did overhear some guests complaining about various things but they all sounded quite trivial to me. I do feel that some folks complain for complaining X sake!! However, everyone is of course entitled to their opinion. We certainly enjoyed ourselves and would highly recommend cruise and maritime and the Magellan to anyone. Many thanks for a memorable trip. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Worldcruise Amsterdam-Amsterdam early Jan.-early May 2018. What went right is too much to mention. What went wrong is too much to mention. This is sad for the staff that did their work the right way, e.g. my cabin-steward S HTIN LIN ... Read More
Worldcruise Amsterdam-Amsterdam early Jan.-early May 2018. What went right is too much to mention. What went wrong is too much to mention. This is sad for the staff that did their work the right way, e.g. my cabin-steward S HTIN LIN MYA from Myamar. Under the same conditions again? Hmmmmmmm. Special mentioning deserves the australian border-control. Substandard, disorganized , incompetent. On my question to this peculiar woman that this (ill)-treatment seamed inhospitable to me her initial answer was "how to they do it in you country" (sic).All passengers going ashore were kept waiting a long time for no good reason, all passengers returning were kept waiting a long time for no good reason. Clearly because i asked. Two passengers had not reported the way they wanted.... Files a complaint 12/06/18 (so 12th. of June) with the australian government/department of home affairs. In several places the border-control was ridiculous. On my question why this way, you can guess the answer: safety pfffff, the easy way out, creating anoyment. On request some additional information. The food was quite good, in seating-restaurant and buffet=restaurant. Activities were plenty, quizzes, dancing, cooking-lessons/-demonstrations, etc., presented as should be. Service in order ( at the front desk staff always smiling, confronted with an error the answer was blurry and the smile turned vague - oh well). Entertainment high level, certainly taken into account the Columbus is a small ship to today's standard, so limited possibilities on the small stage. Ship's performers were excellent, visiting performers too in most cases. Staff were attentive and suited for the job. Excursions ware sometimes very unorganized, e.g. long waiting (about 20 minutes) on the stairways, some were not to standard so money was for half returned. What bothered me was maintenance/cleaning all the time, with staircases and parts of deck closed. Avoid the easy mistakes and the "hmmmmm" will turn into "yes". So i am curieus for the upcoming reviews. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose this cruise because I'd wanted to see Shetland for ages. Embarkation was extremely smooth and fuss free, as was disembarkation a week later. I thought Columbus was really beautiful. My cabin (single, inner) was very ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I'd wanted to see Shetland for ages. Embarkation was extremely smooth and fuss free, as was disembarkation a week later. I thought Columbus was really beautiful. My cabin (single, inner) was very nice indeed; clean, comfy and very roomy, there were twin beds and plenty of room for two. I usually ate in the buffet because I prefer not to take too long over meals, especially being solo. I thoroughly enjoyed the talks from the antiques experts. I hadn't expected to like the evening entertainments because it's not usually my thing, but the ones I went to were excellent, especially the last night's version of Queen music. Cabin service was very good indeed, my cabin was always in tip top condition. I enjoyed all four shore excursions, although I think they are a bit pricey. Some people do their own thing but it's harder on your own. I really only have three very small caveats. One is the price of the photos you get taken the whole time. I know there's no obligation to buy them, but what a waste! Another is the almost over-attentiveness of the waiting staff; If I wanted a drink I'd ask! Lastly I wish there had been more than one complimentary tea and coffee station. I only drink tea, and it was four decks and the length of the ship away! Surely there would be room for two or three? Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
‘Columbus’ sailed to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon from Tilbury on 11th August and whilst I’m sure that there will be those that will find something to moan about, if you cruise with CMV and expect a ‘Cunard’ ... Read More
‘Columbus’ sailed to Gibraltar, the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon from Tilbury on 11th August and whilst I’m sure that there will be those that will find something to moan about, if you cruise with CMV and expect a ‘Cunard’ standard, then you will be disappointed. I found the whole experience far exceeded my expectations and my previous experiences with P&O. Whilst there was not perfection in all areas, overall, it was excellent and definitely value for money. This was a multi-generational cruise and there will no doubt be those who will complain about there being children on-board. However, this change was advertised over 12 months prior to sailing and there was surely the option to cancel or rebook on another cruise if this was unacceptable. The CMV coach transfer from Victoria was professionally organised and embarkation smooth and efficient with the luggage being delivered by a happy, smiling Cabin Steward within 10 minutes of entering the twin inner cabin on Deck 10. There’s no point in going on a cruise and spending all day in the cabin, so provided it is clean, comfortable and of a reasonable size, that’s acceptable. This inside cabin was just that and a minor problem with the shower was sorted out within 10 minutes after notifying the excellent Cabin Steward, Puta Sukma who replaced the towels and consumables at least twice a day and kept it spotless. It was traditional in style and provided adequate hanging and storage facilities. The Safety Drill on the first evening was well organised, most people realising its importance. The cleaning and maintenance staff worked extremely hard throughout the day and night to maintain the initial impression that it was a clean and well maintained ship. Bar and lounge staff were friendly and attentive, as were the staff in the dining areas. great dining companions on Table 208. The presentation and quality of the food in the Waterfront Restaurant surpassed some fine dining restaurants and an enjoyable 7 course dinner could be taken each evening. If desired, breakfast and lunch could be taken here too. The Plantation Bistro provided variety and convenience for breakfast, lunch, dinner and of course there was the ‘mandatory’ afternoon cream tea and constant access to tea and coffee throughout the day. Breakfast was indeed a time when everyone could find something to satisfy and included fruits, cheese, cold meats, pancakes and of course all the items for a ‘Full English’. The Fusion Restaurant in the evening provided an interesting alternative, at cost, as did The Grill. There was certainly no shortage of food available and you could have breakfast in the cabin if you wished! Not sure when (or if) members of the entertainment team managed to sleep, as they seemed to be constantly hosting, organising, performing or accompanying excursions. As the cruise progressed, so did the standard of the shows culminating with two super offerings on the final two evenings. Themed party evening were organised and during one a demonstration of the making (and consumption) of paella and sangria proved very popular! There were exceptional performances from the dancers, singers Jordana and Angelina, the classical duo of Tatiana and Lana, not forgetting Maria the aerial performer. The Palladium Show Lounge is poorly designed as the safety barrier restricts the view from the circle on Deck 8, so getting a seat downstairs is preferable. The Dome Nightclub was popular and well attended, providing for young and old until the early hours. Some of the quiz session were good and some quite hilarious. And then there was Tony Parkins the Cruise Director…enough said! Berthing in all ports was convenient to the town and complimentary transfers were provided. There was a reasonable selection of shore excursions and sufficient time in each port to do an excursion and have free time. If you prefer to have everything planned / organised, then a shore excursion is the (expensive) answer, but using local transport can be less expensive and gives you flexibility. Comprehensive port information was always provided the evening prior to berthing. Berthing at Lisbon was delayed by 90 minutes due to thick fog, but a modification of the itinerary allowed for passengers to have the same length of time on-shore. In all other ports the ship arrived and departed according to the published schedule. This was a multi-general cruise on a ship that has no specific child-friendly areas or facilities and there were some who were obviously not aware that children would be on board. Admittedly there were some children who could perhaps have been better supervised (by their parents), but they were in the minority and their presence added to the vibrant atmosphere on board. Every day ‘Sailor Sam’ and team managed to organise a tremendous range and variety of activities with few resources for these younger guests and it was delightful to see parents and grandparents getting involved too. Disembarkation at Tilbury was efficient, but seemed very a slow process due to the ship requiring final clearance and all the luggage taken off. Passengers had to leave their cabins by 8am, the luggage having been collected the night before and stored ready for transfer to shore. Express disembarkation for those who wished to carry their own luggage was possible 15 minutes after berthing at 10am, whilst regular disembarkation started at 11:20 and again was smooth and trouble free with, surprisingly, no further Passport or Customs inspections. Had it not been for road closures in London, the return transfer to Victoria would have arrived by noon, as it was, the journey only took just under an hour and a half. Two pools which were almost always in use, large sun decks, hot tubs, quiet areas, the elegant Raffles Bar (and much more) with a constant programme of activities, demonstrations and tours all combined to make this a memorable, eventful and enjoyable two weeks in the sun on calm seas. This was 14 days of sun, fun and superb food. Magnificent ship, enchanting ports, exceptionally hard-working, friendly crew, excellent entertainment team and shows, wide variety of kids activities. None of this would have been possible without the tremendously hard-working staff who didn’t always get it right, but couldn’t be faulted in their efforts to please. Best cruise I've had for years. Magnificent. Well Done to all on 'Columbus'. CMV will certainly have my custom in the future. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I was actually on the Baltic cruise 10/8/17 but for some reason cant choose that date. Very few cruise lines offer single cabins at a reasonable cost (+25%) or sail from Northern Ports (I live in Scotland) - CMV offered both along with get ... Read More
I was actually on the Baltic cruise 10/8/17 but for some reason cant choose that date. Very few cruise lines offer single cabins at a reasonable cost (+25%) or sail from Northern Ports (I live in Scotland) - CMV offered both along with get together events throughout the cruise for single travellers. On other ships I have felt marginalised by the guests being mainly couples and often quite lonely - not the case at all on Magellan. The cabin (on deck 6) was of a good size with twin beds/king size bed (when put together). Lots of storage space and a good sized shower room. No kettles though which meant a trail up to the free hot water machine on Deck 10... only on the last few days did I discover you could have a jug of hot water delivered at no charge. The air con was noisy but otherwise a quiet cabin - those on lower decks tended to be noisy. The food was excellent and the Kitchen catered for my food allergy brilliantly. The food was not 'luxury' grade but for just over 2,000 for a 14 night cruise i didnt expect that. I was on the very early 5:30 sitting and did feel the miss of, unlike other cruise lines, no late evening buffet otherwise all OK. The entertainment was poor compared with other cruises, the singers good individually but whoever booked them could not have envisaged them singing together as whenever they did their voices just did not compliment each other. The acoustics in some of the bars was poor and made the classical musicians sound tinny - they were much better when in the main show lounge. Craft and other activities were plentiful and of a good standard - i enjoyed some writing and watercolours classes. I did think the port presentations were really dumbed down - if you want to know more I suggest you get a guide book or research in advance. Embarkation great - staff attitude very friendly/good service all very good EXCEPT the tours desk - beware they know nothing about the (over expensive) tours they are selling- I am disabled and needed to check accessibility and ended up on free port wifi doing it myself! Emailing museums etc. Magellan gives an authentic small ship - old style cruising experience with libraries and sun decks instead of wave pools and climbing walls - I liked it so much Im going again next year BUT Im going to book my own port tours! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This cruise was chosen as it included 2 days in St Petersburg. The Church on the Spilled blood has been on my bucket list for a long time. Embarkation was a little disorganised, but everyone was very nice, disembarkation was swift ... Read More
This cruise was chosen as it included 2 days in St Petersburg. The Church on the Spilled blood has been on my bucket list for a long time. Embarkation was a little disorganised, but everyone was very nice, disembarkation was swift and easy, full marks there. The ship was looking very good and had had the refurbishment it said. It is now CMV's flag ship, but it will need constant TLC to keep looking good. Expect constant attention to the ship while on board, please don't moan The medical services were very good and older people are treated with respect. What a shame that the shore excursions did not match up to the rest of ship, the staff, the food and very nice people on board. I would not go on the ships excursions again, but I would be happy to travel with CMV again.. in general, it was minimal time to see the sites, but 30 minutes plus in the souvenir shops, as a lady said...' I am fed up with being herded about like sheep'...and one guide rushed us about Tivoli Gardens at such a pace, the older ones of us only got to him as he moved off to the next item! The Columbus has had lots of bad reviews during it's first few sailings, and as I expected, these problems had mostly been resolved. The trip was very good generally, but it would have been so much easier if the people manning reception actually spoke english, rather than just knowing a few words of the language. Evening Dining in the restaurant was mostly very good,breakfast was better in the buffet, but the buffet let it's self down with the hot food , just not hot, even at the start of service. As people said, 3 star prices, 3 star food... but it was good with plenty of choices The entertainment had mixed reviews, Sorry, the singing..... it was a bit ordinary and the comedian was just rude. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Chose this cruise after friends recommended M V Columbus. Had cruised on Marco Polo about 8 years ago and was not very impressed, Columbus is a lovely ship and gave a much better experience. Worst point is the car parking. Expensive ... Read More
Chose this cruise after friends recommended M V Columbus. Had cruised on Marco Polo about 8 years ago and was not very impressed, Columbus is a lovely ship and gave a much better experience. Worst point is the car parking. Expensive at £11 per night, but, the two awful points are (1 The directions to the car park from ship. Baggage handler told us to leave the dock and follow signs. THERE ARE NO SIGNS ! After touring the innards of Port of Tilbury we only found our car park by following the shuttle bus. Only a small fabric sign indicated the facility, the sign was low down and not visible when the endless queue of container lorries blocked our vision (2 The car pask is marked "CEMEX" a industrial cement facility, when we returned to our car it had a filthy layer of cement dust covering it ! After this poor start things improved dramatically. The ship is excellent and has been refitted to a high standard. Staff attentive and good natured. Entertainment on board was of a good standard and variety. The show team in the Palladium Show lounge were excellent. Only marred by the unctious and arrogant cruise director who strolled around with his nose in the air. Food was very good in both restaurants, only spoiled by fellow passengers in the Plantation Bistro many of whom had no awareness of others and regularly elbowed their way to the food. I was pleased with my inside cabin as was others in my party of 9. My friend in cabin No 10109 had to be moved due to a banging noise in the cabin which was handled promptly after a night without sleep. Beverage prices were reasonable (£3.30 for a large beer) Our cruise was to Iceland which is hugely expensive. Even the shuttle bus from ship to town (often free at most ports) was £18 for a journey of around 7 minutes !! The shore excursions were equally expensive. Have booked on Columbus for a future cruise Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Decided to try CMV and Columbus as now I am single they seem to offer favourable deals. A taster cruise seemed to hit the mark. This was Columbus inaugural cruise for CMV and whilst I think it has great potential it was a little ... Read More
Decided to try CMV and Columbus as now I am single they seem to offer favourable deals. A taster cruise seemed to hit the mark. This was Columbus inaugural cruise for CMV and whilst I think it has great potential it was a little disappointing. So whilst the rest of this review maybe a little critical if they sort out issues it could be good. I found the ship similar to P&O Oceana in layout (travelled on this in April), where all the essential elements are available on the Promenade deck including show lounge, pub, lounge, shops, restaurant The good points Ships was clean and furnished in a more modern style On Board SPA and Service was excellent Staff were friendly and very approachable Embarkation was timed (11:30) for and was smooth with cabin ready when I got on board Car Parking procedures fine Cabin and Cabin Stewards as good as any Drinks prices were reasonable £4ish for a cocktail The less Good Biggest issue for me was Tepid food in main restaurant for dinners and breakfast, this improved slightly over 3 days. Things not complete, pools, hot tubs, sauna Wine service in dinning room first day appalling, wine arrive with desert No daytime itinerary to speak of (this was not advertised as cruise light) Shows OK but first production show was a little dated Sound on upper level of theatre made it difficult to discern singers words, music too loud for performers. Optional Grill restaurant not open for this cruise or the Chefs table Lack of Cold water pressure on desk 10 No enrichment program Many of my fellow guest suffered from card account registration issues so could get into room but could not buy anything, this led to very long queues in reception most of the time. I Also note that the list of passengers cards not correctly swiping on exit of ship went into 2 pages at both stations. Worthy of a little more explanation In General there needs to be a settling down of procedures, process and staff effectiveness. I imagine that as this is CMV largest and newest ship they had a challenge getting a crew together without stealing too much experience from the other ships. This really showed in the dinning room where things were not going to plan (they did improve over the 3 days). Lack of wine waiters meant the assistant waiter/waitress had to perform that function and their inexperience showed plus the card-swipe mayhem. I did try the fusion Indian restaurant the last evening and whilst the ambience and food were good, service was poor. It simply lacked leadership, staff doing things in the right order. What role each had. When I was there there were only 16 other dinners whom were at least into 2nd course, but I watched my starter being brought from the tandoori oven just on the deck, bought into the restaurant, placed on a preparation (not warmed) area whilst the staff were confused about whom could deliver it to customer. That took 4 mins so was not pipping hot. This was a lack of management but my impression was that the restaurant manager was also inexperienced. If not he would have observed and directed more effectively and with a relatively low number of covers sorted things. So have been on many cruises and many cruise lines (Celebrity, Azamara, P&O, Princess, Fred Olsen, Holland America, NCL, RCCL, Thomson) and had no pretensions about what market position CMV were targeting. Expected a Fred/P&O type experience but this was not achieved. However i will monitor review as I like the ship in general more than I expected and some of CMV intermarries look favourable. I wont rush to book another, but neither will I rule them out. 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
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
A ship not fit for travel especially on such a long cruise. I have disembarked early in Malta. After a disasterous first month it did not really get any better. It became a ferry for bargain hunters to fill cabins. From the Magellan ... Read More
A ship not fit for travel especially on such a long cruise. I have disembarked early in Malta. After a disasterous first month it did not really get any better. It became a ferry for bargain hunters to fill cabins. From the Magellan cough ,llness to broken AC systems that left guests sleeping on open decks, and water poring throughdecks it was the Companys treatment of passaners that made it worse.. What should have been a trip of a lifetime had become quite the opposite. I was not alone. Over 200 passengers met and voiced their complaints on board. Entetainment and the cruise director are a shadow of what to expect on even a three star ship. Just the cabin was of passable quality. Oters ad floods and fumes and moved many times. The food was of a good quality until the chef left for another vessel. The poor layout of decks means there are no comfy seating areas or places to dine alfresco. The Eros bar area is poor and totaly unaceptable in this day and age. Managemnet on board is non existant when problems arise, like water in rooms, to fumes in the AC sysyem.... problems were endless. A gastro illness was last straw for me. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
Cruise and Maritime. MV Magellan, round the world maiden cruise, 120 nights. Sailed from Tilbury UK. I joined the Magellan, on the 5th of January 2017. I have previoulsy sailed with Holland America, and Voyages of Discovery. I ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime. MV Magellan, round the world maiden cruise, 120 nights. Sailed from Tilbury UK. I joined the Magellan, on the 5th of January 2017. I have previoulsy sailed with Holland America, and Voyages of Discovery. I Picked this one as it was my 65th year. I made many friends, I particulary enjoyed the Restarant Open seating dining at breakfast and lunchtime. In the evening a seating plan was in use. The Bistro deck also had a Buffet style arrangement. Guest Relation's put on events for single travellers which was good for me, also other social events were staged, e.g. Quiz,Dance, and Bridge sessions to name a few. A range of guest lecturers kept us entertained on a range of subjects appertaing to our cruise itinery. a Full range of excursions as you would expect, reasonably priced in my oppionion. I enjoyed the trip so much iam going on CMV MV Columbus in january. This time around I aim to undertake more ship board life. Standards were genearlly good, if you are a top of the range traveller, this style would not be for you.However it was exceptional value for your pound. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
Just came back from a fantastic short trip around Ireland on the marco polo, Ive cruised with 4 different lines before and marco polo is by far my favourite. It really does offer a unique experience that you never get on the more modern ... Read More
Just came back from a fantastic short trip around Ireland on the marco polo, Ive cruised with 4 different lines before and marco polo is by far my favourite. It really does offer a unique experience that you never get on the more modern cruise ship so anyone with any interest in ships at all will enjoy. Staff we found very helpful and irina our cabin stewardess was excellent. We enjoyed the itinerary and embarkation and disembarkation where well organised. Ships was clean and tidy with beautiful open decks and excellent food in the main restaurant and they offer lots of buy one get one free offers which made it excellent value for money. The only slight down side was the queues in the bistro and if your going for a long cruise over say 2 weeks you might struggle to fill your days as it doesn’t have the amount of entertainment a mega cruise ship has but that’s what makes it a unique experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
The embarkation process was very quick and easy which was appreciated after a very long journey. Our cabin was clean and tidy but thought the balcony was small.[little bit noisy] The ship was bigger then any others we had been on ... Read More
The embarkation process was very quick and easy which was appreciated after a very long journey. Our cabin was clean and tidy but thought the balcony was small.[little bit noisy] The ship was bigger then any others we had been on and seemed without much character We were on 2nd sitting for dining and found the staff very good MR.sabari and giving us much attention,with a smiling face.we love it,even in busy time he showing a warm smile and the way service is great.we never had these kind of service and conversation.The food was ok but have had better on other cruises. The entertainment was the worst by far we have seen over the years with cmv seeming to love ex Britain's got talent losers or lookalikes their main offering which is not what you expect. The shops were ok but the staffs attitude and service were very poor. In summary, every thing was average..except dining experience. Read Less
30 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I chose this cruise as it visited some great cities: Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm, I booked through Solos holidays so I would have other solo travellers to have dinner with. From the moment I ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it visited some great cities: Copenhagen, Warnemunde, Tallin, St Petersburg, Helsinki and Stockholm, I booked through Solos holidays so I would have other solo travellers to have dinner with. From the moment I arrived at Tilbury I knew it was a mistake. The waiting room to board was like God's waiting room - full of the old and infirm. I was asked twice within 30 secs of boarding by crew if I was 'alone' - thanks for reminding me. Cabin was very out of date, in dire need of a refurb. I paid £468 extra for an outside cabin (window, no balcony) and then found out 2 people in the Solos group had been given outside cabins without paying the extra. Daily programme (4 days at sea so you need some activities): they were the activities my grandma did in her old people's home : making a card, making a needle case, chair aerobics, line dancing, bingo. Plus: I could run up and down the stairs with no obstruction - all old people queuing for lifts. Food at dinner was nice, breakfast and lunch were average and a scrum to get a seat/ elbow the fatties out of the way. Drinks package is good value. On sea days when the sun came out it was impossible to get a seat in the sheltered area, full of ancients asleep with their mouths hanging open. It's a shame, although the destinations were great, the experience on the ship left me v disappointed with this holiday (and it cost me £2k plus so was not cheap). Read Less
27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Chose this cruise as I had always wanted to visit St Petersburg. Magellan, despite her age is in fair condition and my inside single cabin was comfortable and clean, indeed the cabin steward did an excellent job whilst remaining ... Read More
Chose this cruise as I had always wanted to visit St Petersburg. Magellan, despite her age is in fair condition and my inside single cabin was comfortable and clean, indeed the cabin steward did an excellent job whilst remaining unobtrusive. Food on board was just about what I expected for the price paid. The buffet breakfast remained unvaried throughout and there was enough choice to satisfy everyone. Lunch, I stuck to the 'buffet' , again provided plenty of choice and quality was average. Dinner, table service often slow but good variety and the quality slightly better than breakfast or lunch. Entertainment was average and if you were on second sitting for dinner, involved you going to the early show which lasted 45 mins and then you rushed straight to your table. I found the crew friendly, attentive and eager to please. Drinks, were of average quality and price and if you are an average drinker I would recommend taking the 'Drinks package' which at £17 per day is very good value.The overall standard of cleanliness and hygiene on board was very high. Excursions, though not cheap were well organised and overall value for money. Overall, I enjoyed the whole experience and would consider cruising with Cruise & Maritime again. Read Less
24 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
First time cruising as a single traveller. I am a very experienced single traveller both business and pleasure. Embarkation and disembarkation all very well organised. Cabin (inner) clean and tidy - well looked after during voyage. ... Read More
First time cruising as a single traveller. I am a very experienced single traveller both business and pleasure. Embarkation and disembarkation all very well organised. Cabin (inner) clean and tidy - well looked after during voyage. Dining - lots of choice - something for everyone. Service - staff professional and polite. But not for the inexperienced single traveller - meals - not sat with other single traveller just couples. First meet up was organised when at second sitting dinner, second meeting - just wanted our names for an end of cruise lunch (?), turned up to two meeting points for going on your own excursions - no one there (gave in)! Turned up for the end of cruise lunch - and was sat with one woman who has come with her family. Though everyone was friendly on board and quite often you would sit at breakfast or lunch and someone would talk to you. Would I do a cruise again? Yes but not with this company. Basics required set aside tables at breakfast and dinner for single travellers. Pre dinner drinks meet up point at both sittings for dinner. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Cruise to Iceland on Magellan. As usual really enjoyed it and met some very nice people on board. Sadly there were the usual moaners, mostly about the food. If I have any criticism personally, it might have been slightly over salted for ... Read More
Cruise to Iceland on Magellan. As usual really enjoyed it and met some very nice people on board. Sadly there were the usual moaners, mostly about the food. If I have any criticism personally, it might have been slightly over salted for some people's tastes, but I found it just perfect. My cabin was large and roomy, best showers of any ship I have been on and I have been on quite a few. All kept spotless by lovely cheery staff smiling and chatting even though they seem to do very long shifts. The weather was very rough but you don't go to Iceland for 30 degree heat and a suntan. Although some passengers never cease to amaze me as one woman thought she could be out on deck sunning herself and the brochure was misleading showing blue skies! The lectures were very good being varied and entitled living on Scottish Lighthouses, Van Gogh Sunflowers and The Aurora Borialis, saw a great film as well - Bridge of Spies. The scenery was spectacular and unfortunately a bad trip for quite a few passengers who were airlifted off the ship and ambulances waiting at quayside to take them to Hospital, however this was quite thrilling to watch for the rest of us and I hope all are well on the road to recovery by now. Going back to other reviewers moaning about the food, I'd like to know what they eat at home or in UK restaurants. There was always a choice of 4 to 5 starters, two soups, two salads, 4 to 5 main courses, 3 to 4 desserts, cheese and biscuits and coffee or tea to finish. The soups may have been on the thin side, however if you can manage 5 courses stating with a hearty lentil and bacon, then you are doing well. Choices included venison, halibut, lemon sole, ginger chicken, the pistachio ice cream was fabulous. Bear in mind this is a very reasonably priced cruise, you can't expect the same as Crystal or Seaborne. Go with that in mind and you will have a great time. Read Less
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