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6 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We booked this cruise as it seemed an ideal way to visit Iceland and the Faroe Islands, something a bit different. Another bonus for us was embarkation in Dublin - no flights! We were onto the ship in 5 minutes. It was very quick ... Read More
We booked this cruise as it seemed an ideal way to visit Iceland and the Faroe Islands, something a bit different. Another bonus for us was embarkation in Dublin - no flights! We were onto the ship in 5 minutes. It was very quick indeed. Cases were at our cabin before we were, so top marks to the porters. The ship was, as we knew, an older model, but very good in most aspects except the size of our cabin which was limited in circulation space. I'm no spring chicken, and we knew the CMV demographic, but the age group on this ship was quite the oldest we've ever seen. There could only have been about 10 people under 60 and you had to feel sorry for them!! The buffet was therefore a pretty slow process, as you were constantly holding back behind less agile passengers. We thought Fred Olsen had the market cornered in respect of the nursing home market, but this was a real eye opener. Food was excellent, and our drinks package was more than adequate. Entertainment was not great however. The one show I did venture in to see could only be described as up to the standard of our local amateur dramatic society. Singing and dancing were not up to much. Others of our party did go to further shows, and were appalled at the comedian, but felt the 'crooner' was good and there was a classic night which went down reasonably well too. Music in the bars was decidedly average, but after a few pints didn't seem to matter too much. Reykjavik: We were picked up at the dockside by a local tour company for the standard Golden Circle tour. Geysers, Craters, Waterfalls, Tectonic plates, 8 hours in total, but half the price of the CMV tour, which covered less. Isafjordur: 5 of our party took a walk around the town itself, but I hired a bike and went around the coast for 20 miles, pretty spectacular views, really enjoyed it. Clear blue skies for the afternoon. Akureyri: Went whale watching with a local company, again, cheaper than the cruise ship excursion. Spent an hour watching one particular whale in waters which had hardly a ripple. Took a walk around the town in the afternoon. Again, sun in the afternoon. Klaksvik: Not very much to see here. Just a stopping off point for excursions but we hadn't booked anything here. Dull and wet. Thorshavn: Bigger town, more to see, hired a bike again and climbed out of the town and rode along the coast. Faroes are very bleak and the weather was dull and misty which disappointed some, but is only to be expected. Liverpool was our last port and it was great to visit again after many many years. Lots to see, even if you never left the dockside area. All in all, the number of sea days (5) felt like just too much. Now I know you can't move Iceland any closer, but 2 days in a row on the Magellan was too much. I bring a kindle for reading purposes, but didn't use it at all, so the time must have passed rightly, but the 11 day trip did feel a bit too long for us all, and that was down to the days at sea. All in all, we got what we expected I suppose. We've seen Iceland now, but wouldn't be rushing back. Unlike Norway, for example, which we've returned to with Fred, and would love to go again. Scenery more spectacular and easier to get to! Would use CMV again without a doubt, if the itinerary was appealing. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We were a group of six friends on the Scottish Isles 8 night cruise from Newcastle finishing somewhat bizarrely in Liverpool. Embarkation was extremely fast and painless. We are gold members and have priority boarding but everyone was ... Read More
We were a group of six friends on the Scottish Isles 8 night cruise from Newcastle finishing somewhat bizarrely in Liverpool. Embarkation was extremely fast and painless. We are gold members and have priority boarding but everyone was boarded quickly. As soon as the car pulled up our luggage was taken and we never saw it again until it was in our cabin. We have been on 4or 5 CMV cruises and enjoyed them all but predominantly on some of the fleets older ships. Whilst the Magellan is not new it is in good condition very quiet and stable. We were upgraded to a superior inner room so didn’t have to row on this trip(we always choose the voyager guarantee and have never failed to get a decent cabin. The food was very good even if the portions weren’t huge but after 5courses I had had enough. We all had a drinks and tip package which I thought was exceptional value. The house wines were ok and all the usual branded spirits available though it seemed odd to me that some coffees were chargeable. We tended to use the main dining room for dinner/ lunch and the bistro for breakfast. We tried the main restaurant for breakfast but the service was too slow for us. The entertainment does seem a bit like a lot of singing and dancing but in different costumes each night but it was light and reasonably proficient We had a comedian for two nights who was OK. He clearly had been doing cruise ships for some time and his material showed this. We weren’t onboard much during the day so didn’t take advantage of the other activities onboard. We won the quiz on the first night but quit while we were ahead. First port was Dundee where we saw a quite a large exchange of passengers. Weather was good so we strolled ashore visited the Discovery and the new V&A (great outside but much wasted space inside) but an enjoyable hour and a half. We also visited Broughty Ferry Castle which was worth a visit. Next stop was Shetland where the weather was a bit wet but we still managed a significant Lerwick town trail walk which now includes Jimmy Peres’s House from the Shetland TV series. Next stop was the Faroes where we had a 35 minute shuttle bus ride to Torshaven which was interesting in itself. We enjoyed another walk around the town looking at some of the older properties with their distinctive grass roofs. An enjoyable day out. Orkney was our next stop in cloudy weather. We have been to Orkney a couple of times so dint see the need to visit scara brae which we would have if it had been our first visit. We were fortunate to witness what seemed the wedding of the year at the cathedral. We also witnessed the “ blackening” of another engaged couple which seemed to involve sitting in the back of an open truck which friends covered in molasses, gunge etc roaring around the town making a lot of noise. The poor groom to be was cling filmed to a stone cross in the churchyard but was freed before the wedding party arrived. A beautiful day and we arrived in sunny Skye to be tendered ashore to meet up with our prearranged tour bus. This was a private tour (sky mini bus tours)for the six of us (£42 each ) and it was really excellent. The beautiful weather helped as did the two knowledgeable locals who did the driving and guiding. We stopped at all the usual sights some of which were quite busy it being a Sunday and having excellent weather. We had a lovely lunch in an old hunting lodge called Flodigarry House which also had Flora McDonald's house in the grounds. The bus dropped off at the docks for our tender. - an excellent all day trip. Next stop Belfast in mixed weather. Here we enjoyed the hop on hop off bus (we negotiated £50 for six old fogies!). We did the full tour then got off at the Titanic exhibition which was excellent. That took a couple of hours but I really enjoyed it as it was a lot to do with the history of Belfast rather than just the sinking and subsequent recovery of the ship. It even included a mini Disney like shipyard ride. On the bus watch out for low hanging branches as my pal had his glasses and heating aid knocked off!!! Then on to Liverpool. Disembarkation was not so smooth due to not using the Ships tannoy to tell you what was happening ( it could be that as we were docked the ship was not allowed to so not to disturb the locals) it meant passengers were constantly querying why they couldn't leave the ship, pa better presence with better communication would have sorted it. There were some anxious passengers needing to catch a train/coach who were left in the dark. A very enjoyable cruise with excellent food and service - pity about the weather!!! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995. The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but ... Read More
I only chose Marco Polo in order to get to Greenland. The boat is very shabby and I don't think much has been done, cosmetically, since her last major refit in 1995. The computers broke down at registration, causing a delay, but they then let us on ship without any security checks. From that moment everyone's security was compromised until return to Tllbury. The first tendering at Kirkwall was terrible. Ticketing started at 0900 and we received ours at 0915 but had to wait ages - until we landed ashore at 1210. They didn't have enough tenders operating and those that were, were uncoordinated. A massive list formed at return time and the harbourmaster contacted the Captain to ask for more tenders. We heard from a number of sources that the Captain refused. After a written complaint I received a letter of management speak blaming the wind??? and the harbour authorities. We had an emergency muster alarm early morning whilst most were in bed. A Faulty alarm. These things can happen but it was badly handled and we weren't given any explanation or apology until the Captain was forced to make a PA announcment mid morning. Also some staff wandered around with bouyancy aids but lacking direction. At NUUK, the Greenland Capital, coahes didn't arrive for excursions. 1st excuse - traffic, then the excursion leader admitted that the coach company had forgotten and said, "That's Greenland". Why didn't she check up the day before? The boat is poorly managed, the Bistro staff are inefficient and lack decent training.If you show them dirty cups or cracked cups, you cannot be confident that they fully understand the problem and the cups continually re-appear. Cold plates for hot meals and warm plates for salads. etc. The Bistro is not good enough to compete with transport cafes. The cupboards are like '50's kitchenettes and even poorly painted. Llttle variety of breakfast offerings. However, we dined in the main restaurant every evening and the food was excellent. terrific selection, well made, hot and well presented.A different kitchen from the Bistro, but we presume still under the head chef? The entertainment was first class every evening and the guest speakers were above par. We will not sail with CMV again. We feel they are a disgrace to the cruising industry, and clearly operate Marco Polo on a shoestring. They tsake a very poor attitude to grumbles or complaints, argueing with passengers instead of trying to solve the problem. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to go to Greenland and when the offer came up grabbed it. However wished we had paid more with another operator. Paid for a better room when booking however found on when on board some people had been upgraded to our cabin ... Read More
We wanted to go to Greenland and when the offer came up grabbed it. However wished we had paid more with another operator. Paid for a better room when booking however found on when on board some people had been upgraded to our cabin category they had paid £1,000 less than us. Ship old, no comfortable chairs inside other than the 5 in the library. Chairs in dining room dirty, chairs in Show Lounge not fixed to the ground meant anyone sitting in them restricted the view of those behind. Food average selected mozzarella and tomato as a starter processed cheese was on our plate! No lectures about Greenland or Iceland. Best of all were the staff who were all very nice. Anyone thinking of going again with C&M I advise seriously consider going with another cruise line especially if you go to Greenland - better to pay more for an expedition ship or Hurtigruten. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. The embarkation port is close to us so was brilliant at the beginning and end of our holiday. Embarkation was one of the best we have experienced, very smooth and we did not have to wait for our ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary. The embarkation port is close to us so was brilliant at the beginning and end of our holiday. Embarkation was one of the best we have experienced, very smooth and we did not have to wait for our luggage. We chose priority disembarkation, where you take your own luggage off, which again was very easy and suited us. The ship is good but it was overcrowded. The cabin is very good, but a big step into the bathroom and the window was dirty, spoiling an excellent view. The highlight of the dining experience was dinner which was excellent. Breakfast, lunch and tea were average, with big queues for tea. The onboard ship's entertainment was outstanding, although visiting acts were poor. There was also a great choice of onboard activities and excellent guest lecturers. Service was excellent and usually with a smile. We found the ports of call very interesting and was one of the main reasons we chose this cruise. The visit to Narsarsuaq was cancelled, but we went to Minaatsoq instead. We also missed out on Prince Christian Sound due to it being blocked by icebergs. Shore excursions in Iceland, Faroe Islands and Orkney were good and value for money, but very poor value for money in Greenland. Our best visits in Greenland were when we explored on our own. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Actually chose this cruise due to an engine failure on one we booked. Interesting ports around the Uk where few other ships go. Though this is an old ship from Carnival, it was well maintained and clean. Had an inside cabin on deck seven, ... Read More
Actually chose this cruise due to an engine failure on one we booked. Interesting ports around the Uk where few other ships go. Though this is an old ship from Carnival, it was well maintained and clean. Had an inside cabin on deck seven, and was larger than those on Crystal! Food was surprisingly good, especially the dinners in the restaurants. Restaurants were also open for breakfast and lunch and were expertly staffed. Great place to go if one wants to beat the crowds at the main buffet. Drinks were well priced, and did not include a tip. One could actually get a pint of larger (German) for 3 pounds 60 pence! Tours were also top notch. Payment for these were from 40-70 pounds. Only problem I had was with the crew members that were not involved with the passengers (stewards-wait staff, etc) Many could not understand English-tough to communicate with. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I chose this cruise as it gave us five full days in Iceland among other ports of call. Iceland was fantastic, as were Shetland and Faroe Islands. Nothing happening in Invergordon, so best to take a tour from there. I knew the CMV ... Read More
I chose this cruise as it gave us five full days in Iceland among other ports of call. Iceland was fantastic, as were Shetland and Faroe Islands. Nothing happening in Invergordon, so best to take a tour from there. I knew the CMV Magellan was an older ship, only rated 3.5, so I didn't have high expectations. However, although the ship looks rather dated, the cabins were clean and functional and the meals at the restaurants were good - only average at the buffet. Where the cruise really fell down was the lack of organisation and planning for the activities. Most activities were a non-event, but listed every day in the program as an "unhosted" timed activity, e.g. Knit & Natter, Library, table tennis. Other activities were scheduled inappropriately, eg "Chance to Dance" - on twice nightly (not live music though) - both scheduled while passengers were either at the Show or at dinner! One night there was a display of the Chef's food presentation skills at 10.15 pm, when 2nd sitting guests were just leaving dinner. Why would they want more food and why would 1st sitting guests want a second dinner? There was also a dress up "School Disco" scheduled for 10.30 pm at night. The average age of the passengers was about 80!! The activities themselves were described by one fellow passenger as more attuned to occupational therapy activities in a Nursing Home. I couldn't agree more. They were insulting and very uninspiring. The restaurants were quite good, but staff couldn't organise seating. Many tables of eight only had two or four people on them, despite wanting a full table. It wasn't good enough to book seating six months prior. The nightly Entertainment Shows were mediocre. Although many individual staff were quite friendly, the majority of staff and entertainers seemed unhappy in their jobs. Also, I would not recommend booking a "Guaranteed Ocean View" cabin. We were allocated one right in the bow of the ship, with a porthole! We ended up having to pay about 900GBP to upgrade to a mid ship cabin with a proper window. I can only recommend you not to book this cruise line. Another passenger said he'd travelled on CMV's Vasco de Gama and it was even worse than the Magellan. Steer clear and choose another ship that knows how to provide passengers with a good holiday. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
This was our first, but hopefully not our only, cruise so we have nothing to compare against. As first-timers I will say one thing firstly: the instructions given each day were a great help and all the things I worry about (not knowing ... Read More
This was our first, but hopefully not our only, cruise so we have nothing to compare against. As first-timers I will say one thing firstly: the instructions given each day were a great help and all the things I worry about (not knowing where to go or what to do) turned out to be nothing to worry about at all. Your hands are well and truly held to ensure you know where you need to be and when. Embarkation was very quick (20 minutes from drop-off outside Newcastle Passenger Terminal to being in our cabin). The cabin was 4119 and was more than adequate for our needs. The ship has a slightly dated feel to it but is clean and bright. Large bars and public areas meant even at the busiest times it didn't feel cramped. We stuck to the Bistro (buffet) and the "Speciality Restaurants" as we're not formal-wear people. The food was flawlessly good. The "Speciality Restaurants" are really "pop-up restaurants" requiring reservations within part of the Bistro's area. The service and food there was absolutely wonderful. The arrival into ports was handled well and it was far easier to walk on/off than I'd expected. We had one anchor port on the itinerary (Lerwick) but they managed to dock in the end so can't speak to how good/bad the tender process is. The main issue was due to our fellow passengers (of a certain age and thus of a certain speed!) which did mean we took to walking out rather than wait for shuttle buses which would take forever to board or get off. We went on two excursions (Jewels of the North in Akureyi and Loch Ness in Invergordon) both of which were well-organised though suffered from similar "speed" issues as the getting on and off the ship did! We went to a few shows, activities and lectures. The shows were extremely well done and the show area is spacious with comfortable seating (lots of leg room which is very important to me!). The activities (quizzes, "gameshows") were amusing enough though we avoided the Knit and Natter due to concerns we might get too over-excited ;) (In all seriousness there was plenty to do for all personalities!). The lectures... weren't so good. One of the speaker's lectures were so full of errors I was able to spot them and I wasn't an expert on their subjects. The other had blurry photos and film which seemed pointless given the lack of quality. Service was great in parts (the restaurants), okay in others (we had a few mix-ups happen around our welcome package which were eventually sorted and refunds arranged without us asking so all was well) and bad, for the most part, in bars. Even if just 6 tables were in use out of the 40 or so available in a bar, you'd be lucky to get successfully served once every 60 minutes. Needless to say this meant we never woke up with a hangover! I'd hold special praise for our room steward and her colleagues on our deck. They were not just always polite when we passed them in the corridor but remembered us and engaged us in personal greetings. Our room was kept immaculately throughout our trip. Overall the positives far outweighed the negatives and we had a really enjoyable two weeks. We'll certainly be cruising again and CMV will at least get consideration when we come to planning our next trip. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have recently returned from a 13 night Icelandic cruise from Newcastle on the Magellan and all I can say is wow. This was our 10th cruise and definitely one of the best. I’ve sailed with CMV before, together with Celebrity and Royal ... Read More
We have recently returned from a 13 night Icelandic cruise from Newcastle on the Magellan and all I can say is wow. This was our 10th cruise and definitely one of the best. I’ve sailed with CMV before, together with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. The CMV ships can’t complete with the others when it comes to high tech modern features, but neither does they try to. What you get instead is great service, good quality food and drinks and the ability to travel from local ports, which is a major plus point for those of us who don’t live close to Southampton. The itinerary for this cruise was first rate and we enjoyed all of the ports of call, and Iceland itself is magnificent. We were blessed with great weather for the entire duration. I’ve heard the seas around Iceland can get a bit rough, even in summer, but we didn’t have any issues. There was one night when travelling around the north that the seas got up a bit, but the Magellan handled it perfectly and we barely felt a thing. The ship is a little old fashioned in its décor but that’s a minor issue. It’s kept spotlessly clean by a hard-working team. The ship was full for this cruise but there was rarely a problem getting served or finding a seat. I think the most we waited was five or six minutes and this was at peak time. The staff are very attentive and we would usually have our order taken in a couple of minutes. We chose the VIP drinks package which was great value compared to other cruise lines. This included all premium drinks, gratuities, bottled water for the cabin and an invitation to a private cocktail party. It also gave a 50% discount on speciality dining. We ate in Fusion, the Indian themed restaurant twice (stunning food), and also did Chef’s Table, a sumptuous 10 course dinner with wine pairings. Highly recommended. There is also a speciality steak night but I’m not a steak lover so we didn’t try this one. We ate each night in the Waldorf restaurant and the food was excellent. Always hot and good quality with plenty to choose from. I’ve heard complaints that the food could be luke warm but this was never the case in my experience, perhaps these complaints relate to buffet. We only used the buffet a couple of times for lunch as I’m not a fan of self service, but it seemed pretty good to me. As good as any buffet ever gets. The entertainment team were also very good. Some of the shows weren’t my cup of tea so I gave them a miss, but the ones I did see (Broadway, Queen) were very enjoyable. The late night cabaret in the Captains Club was always worth a look too. We’re a couple in our mid-forties and were definitely among the youngest people on the cruise, but I quite enjoyed this. We met some lovely people and had a great time. Things tended to wind down quickly after midnight, but because of the heavy itinerary we weren’t looking for late nights anyway. We did one excursion through CMV – Loch Ness, which was excellent, and booked another independently. In Iceland we took the 8 hour Golden Circle trip with a local tour company for a third of the price of the one on the ship, so I’d recommend doing a bit of research before you go. As it was our first time in Iceland we just went ashore at the other ports and explored on our own. Everything was within walking distance of the ship. Having done a few Royal Caribbean cruises in the last three years, I’d got a bit jaded with their massive ships which are increasingly marketed to families and young kids. They tend to be very noisy and poorly behaved. CMV with it’s adult only policy was exactly what I was looking for this time. I loved this cruise on Magellan and can’t wait to experience her sister ship Columbus in September. 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship is lovely and our cabin 4060 was spacious, comfortable and quiet. We had 3 wardrobes - full hanging, half hanging and shelves with safe. Bathroom compact but shower larger than the one on the Marco Polo. The restaurant ... Read More
The ship is lovely and our cabin 4060 was spacious, comfortable and quiet. We had 3 wardrobes - full hanging, half hanging and shelves with safe. Bathroom compact but shower larger than the one on the Marco Polo. The restaurant (Waldorf) was a bit strange to reach from our cabin. You had to go up to deck 9 walk past Captain's Bar, Sinatra's Bar and Tavener's Bar then down to deck 8. The 5 course evening meal had a good choice each night and there was always something I liked to eat. We had a Chocoholic Night one night and Magnifique buffet near the end of the cruise. Both brilliant. We did ship's tours in every port except St.Petersburg (Alla Tour detailed below) and Helsinki - rest day. Dundee and St.Andrews was a wet day. Aarhus and Edeltoft was good and a lovely village to walk round. Warnemunde and Schwerin Castle was good.Tallin was in a small mini bus so saw Upper and Lower Tallin as well as a tour of the area. Stockholm has a lot of road and building work going on so cranes everywhere. This was the only guide who was a bit hard to hear and understand as we think she was Spanish. Our final tour of Copenhagen and Dragar was very good. And Dragar was a lovely old village on the coast. Our visit to St. Petersburg was with Alla Tours and we did the Must See tour. There was 8 in our party and lunch both days was included. First day was 3 courses and second day was 4. Both delicious. Our guide was Katya - a local who was also an English teacher so understanding her was no problem. We were in all the places straight away and in Catherine's Palace the small groups go in through the servant's entrance and tour each room from the right hand side whereas the public and large groups tour on the left and were very crowded. Would highly recommend an independent tour company. When we left the queue apparently was over 40 mins wait in the rain. We visited Church of Spilled Blood, St. Isaac's, The Hermitage (wow), Catherine's Palace, Peterhof Gardens. Also went to the subway and a boat trip. Everything so enjoyable and lovely being in such a small group. Highly recommend anyone to do rather than the large ship tours.St.Petersburg is definitely a MUST SEE and would to have done and seen more. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on ... Read More
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on board entertainment, with good shows and smaller singing groups etc. The food in the restaurant is generally good to very good. The breakfast delivered to the cabin was not as good as the previous year as there was very little choice. We didn't eat in the buffet very often as it is very busy and difficult for my husband who has poor mobility. There are a wide range of excursions which include ones with reduced walking. Lovely public areas, attractive bars and seating. Staff all did their best when the ship had to end early. The compensation was generous. We are looking forward to another Norwegian cruise on Columbus next year. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Having read previous reviews we were worried about going on our first cruise. Please make your own mind up. We live 20 minutes away so embarkation was efficient and quick. No waiting around in airports for hours. Our room was bigger than ... Read More
Having read previous reviews we were worried about going on our first cruise. Please make your own mind up. We live 20 minutes away so embarkation was efficient and quick. No waiting around in airports for hours. Our room was bigger than we expected with plenty wardrobe space, tea and coffee making facilities and as part of our VIP package complimentary wine and several bottles of water. Sepnash our cabin steward was always friendly and cheerful even though he worked extremely hard cleaning our room at least twice a day. We tended to have breakfast in the waldorf restaurant which was always fresh with plenty choice. You didn't even have to make your own toast as there was always someone to do it for you. Lunchtime we tended to eat from the grill bar which was basically chips, burgers and salad. However there were plenty of others places to eat with plenty of variety. Evenings we ate in Kensington restaurant with themed nights including Greek and italian. Daytime entertainment was basic but a quiz at least once a day but for what we paid we couldn't grumble. We went to A few shows which we enjoyed and there was always entertainment on in the other bars including a pianist and duo. We loved Norway with bergen being our favourite destination especially the funicular railway. The views from the top were spectacular. We did the hop on hop off bus but this was a waste of money as we could walk everywhere as bergen is so compact. We booked 2 trips to Glamis castle and Flam railway which were both good. While we were in Flam we visited the micro brewery which we really enjoyed and if you like beer tasting this is well worth a try. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the restaurant and bars only a few understood the food & drinks orders .As it was a long wait in the restaurant and when the meals arrived they were undercooked or only warm as we treated ourselves to steak in the grill it was very tough and worth the money as my partner sent her back the kitchen to the disgust of the chef & waiter . In the bars the glasses were often warm (one of my pet hates ) one evening in the dome we sent the drinks and my glass back where the barman became very irate and slammed the beer glass on the bar . The excursions were offer priced and badly organised as on the last one it should have been a steam train only to be replaced with an old diesel of which no explanation was offered .In Helsinki & Stockholm we were only allowed about 3/4 hours a shore a joke! .The entertainment was very poor lasting only 45 minuetes also the guest speakers on board were very amateurish as they seemed not to no what they were operating .The best thing was disembarkation at Tilbury please note there are much better cruise companies . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small group and ahead of the crowds. Exceptionally quick and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Staff gave us a friendly welcome. Inner cabin larger than we expected, light, airy, quiet and clean. We’re vegetarians and never had such a varied choice of food: didn’t have the same meal twice for dinner. Waiters attentive. Great drinks packages. Prices around the same as at home rather than inflated. Friendly, efficient staff. Always smiling. I had the hot tub to myself most days! Wish swimming pool was heated though! Could always find somewhere quiet to sit inside and out with good deck space. I particularly appreciated the fact that there wasn’t music playing everywhere. Not really bothered about evening entertainment personally, but others seemed satisfied with it. Showed films on sea days in Palladium. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage at our door shortly after we got to cabin Cabin Steward Aung Soe quiet courteous and good at his job . Unpacked then time for Lifeboat drill which is mandatory Lovely views of the Tay from the deck things explained well staff very helpful with life jackets making sure no trip hazards from straps . Kensington 2 nd sitting our allocated dining which we went to every night with the exception of our first night and also one evening when we were going to an evening excursion in St Petersburg . Waiters Denys and Thia were excellent at looking after the 6 people at our table ?The ladies at the table 4 of us Recieved red roses one night and hand made origami flowers on one other evening .The company at table all lovely and we had a good time . Shows in Show lounge all good some I preferred .One evening the artist from Hamptons did a show in the main showroom and it was Fantastic Gerswin,s Rhapsody in blue one of the notable pieces but both artist gave great performances .Show Team good fun and Orchestra Great .Cruise Director Changed at Copenhagen to the same one we had on Iceland Cruise .We welcomed this as Toby is a great performer and joins in with the Show team . We discovered Hernan the Guitarist in Taveners Bar and most evenings caught a good bit of his performances Hernan a solo performer with great guitar skills and his music choices suited our taste . We caught snatches of game shows and cabaret in Captains club Particularly enjoyed Stephanie solo cabaret where she had chosen great old songs which suited her voice In Magellen Show lounge we enjoyed the From Russia with love show in particular. Food overal is very good .Bacon tends to be a bit hard at breakfast other than that I had no complaints .Always something on the menu choice I could have . Craft classes I managed to get to 2 which I really enjoyed Art classes my husband and I both Attended and found Nina,s classes very helpful .We attended Dave Wrights lectures and he filled the Show Lounge he was so good and informative about all of his subjects from the Romanovs to Mary Queen Of Scots .Didn,t manage to get to the pop music lectures from a different Lecturer as they clashed with other things we were doing .Prebooked leisurely shore excursions in most ports and enjoyed all of them especially the Russian Folklore show which was fantastic .Weather was mixed but overal not bad considering the time of year early May 2019 Overall we had a great cruise met some lovely people Both staff and passengers and returned to Scotland Getting off ship organised well waiting in allocated areas till staff member comes to collect you . Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing ... Read More
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing for about 2 hours, the cabin steward found it in the end. Not the best cabin that we have had, needs the bathroom updating. 2 comfortable chairs was a bit of a bonus but they were under the TV. There were a few problems with the cabin as detailed in the cabin review section. Evening dinning, good table shared by us and 4 other very nice people right at the back of the ship, so when sailing out of port we had a super view through the windows. Stewards were very good and the service (although very slow on the first night) improved though the cruise. We only saw a little of the entertainment which in the main was good, the young people in the shows worked very hard. The stewards in the public areas were also very hard working and pleasant. We were lucky enough to have a brilliant team with our group and our excursions were pre-planned before we left the UK so we only used the ship's excursions on a couple of days. The best of these was a trip to Sark. A very long day which saw us return to the ship too late for our regular dinner sitting, and as this was a formal night we decided to see if they could find us a table at the second sitting. Previously we had been told that we would have to dine in the Buffet if we were late returning from an excursion, but 4 of us just walked Into the main dinning area and were found a table. Great night glad we did not miss it as it was probably the best dinning night of the whole cruise. For the most the ports along the way were most interesting. The ones where the ship could dock alongside were very good to disembark from, the problems were where a tender was used. What a shambles, and not all the fault of the weather. It was obvious that there were serious tensions between the ship and in one place the outside tender operators, a situation that became very unpleasant at one point. In other ports where the ships own tenders were used, getting on and off was quite a challenge, at one point a member of the crew went overboard in quite a rough swell. I know that this ship had in the previous 4 months sailed around the world so the ship's company had experienced a long time away from home, but the senior members of the crew were probably the most miserable bunch of individuals that I have come across in a very long time. I don't think that I heard the Captain come over the Tannoy once during the whole cruise and at one of the evening events he exuded no enthusiasm at all looking as if he wished he was somewhere else entirely. Some of the staff were most belligerent, when you asked for information they were most dismissive and you were made to feel that you were interrupting them and that they could not be bothered with someone like you. As I have previously said we were very fortunate to be part of a bigger group, and as such we were able to share our views with others in the group. We were able to enjoy the company of like minded travellers. Had we have been on our own I think that cruise would have been quite an unpleasant experience. In conclusion my view is that we put this cruise down as one that will not be repeated with this particular ship. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
This is our 5th cruise, the 3rd on the Magellan. We were sent tickets and purple luggage labels, booked for parking at Newcastle. Boarding turned out to be horrendous, something went seriously wrong which CMV blamed on the Port Authority. ... Read More
This is our 5th cruise, the 3rd on the Magellan. We were sent tickets and purple luggage labels, booked for parking at Newcastle. Boarding turned out to be horrendous, something went seriously wrong which CMV blamed on the Port Authority. Eventually on board cabin 5193, right on the stern, deck 5, Baltic. All went well until 2-am, woke up by horrendous noise, props and bearings, followed by every imaginable noise a ship could make at one hour intervals. Phoned reception followed by visit to reception. Asked for change of cabin, refused at that time, was offered a temporary inside 4 berth cabin for the night, we refused that on the grounds we might have to stay there, so no sleep that night. Docking was even worse, continuous noise early morning docked at Dundee, we packed our bags. Visited reception for change of cabin, no can do until boarding has completed. Phoned local Dundee Taxi company for price back to Newcastle, they text me back £350. Waited and waited for info. Eventually told reception that unless we receive a like for like cabin before departure we will leave the ship and CMV can pay for taxi back to Newcastle. This seemed to do the trick and we were offered suitable like for like cabin on the same deck. Sorted and we thanked the staff involved. Day 2 was the start of our cruise, we can put all that happened behind us. New Cabin good, very clean, coffee and tea making facilities in all cabins which is a great bonus, lovely male Steward who was attentive throughout. As a rule we always try and give the Cabin Stewards a break, so making up room does not have to be every day, they are always there if you need them. Food as always very good, we never use the restaurants, that is our choice, we prefer to use the Bistro on deck 10, purely for choice and we can pick our time to eat. Always something there for everyone. Plenty to do and see on the ship on sail days or just relax and socialise. Noticed sick bags out at Dundee and at various other times although the sea was never rough, slight bobbing but gentle all the same. Unusual for us we decided to book shore excursions, we normally do our own thing, but as we had to book Russian excursions we thought what the hell. Actual excursions well organised and a good variety, (very good description of actual excursions so you know what you are letting yourself in for). Excursions are good value for money. All excursions start with a coach journey, this is where we noticed an abnormal amount of coughing. A lot of passengers were complaining of a sore throat. Further into the cruise the problem seemed to get worse, more people coughing, the general consensus was the air conditioning. Up to now we were not affected. We arrived at St Petersburg and disembarked for our excursion, half day at the Hermitage. This is a busy excursion and nonstop once you are in the venue. Two of our party went missing and were found outside, they did not seem well and said they needed air. Back on the ship by afternoon my Wife complained of a sore throat. As seasoned cruiser's we take every kind of medication just in case, so after taking this my Wife settled a bit and it was "carry on cruising". The second day in St Petersburg we were at the Yusipov palace and Waterways. This was a fabulous excursion for anyone going to St Petersburg. However it was marred by increased coughing, by the time we were back on ship it was noticeably worse among the passengers. Also we noticed passengers walking around with cannulas attached. My Wife's condition worsened throughout the day and evening, our own meds were not working. My Wife does suffer from COPD following Lung Cancer three years before. We always visit our G.P. before cruising for "Fit to travel purposes". By late evening things were that bad we had to visit the dreaded Medical Centre (no one wants to end up here). Upon initial assessment my Wife was immediately put on an I.V. Drip with Anti-Biotics (one hour) followed the next morning by another one hour I.V. drip with anti-biotics and face mask nebuliser. This was followed by two further treatments lasting one hour each. Various tests were carried out via a blood test. All tests proved negative. Diagnosis Pneumonia / Chest infection. Whilst these treatments were taking place a lot of other passengers were receiving the same treatment for the same problem, one elderly lady was very bad. This was a very busy Medical Centre. I have to say the care and treatment was first class. Eventually my Wife was discharged, however we were confined to Ship at Stockholm and no arranged Excursion at Alborg (we had a gentle walk here although limited). Elsewhere on the ship this was becoming an epidemic with coughing from every quarter so much so we spent a lot of time in our cabin to avoid the problem. The worse part was in the theatre where you could hardly hear the guest speaker for coughing all around. As far as I know and saw, one chap was airlifted off by Helicopter, he was being treated while my Wife had her last treatment, one person left at Stockholm for emergency operation. We heard of one being left at Russia and one at Alborg. Talking to a passenger (coughing became a talking point) a maintenance team turned up at her cabin to fix the bathroom door, (no problem known to her) however miraculously the door repair yielded a new shower head??? Make of that what you will. By the time we left Alborg my Wife was feeling better, albeit she still had a very sore throat which we treated with hot honey drinks. I have to ask the question. What was lurking aboard the Magellan? I have never known a problem like this on all our other cruises and it was quite worrying. Disembarkation, we were sent two light blue luggage labels the evening before. We came on with purple and guessed this was because of cabin change, light blue also denoted SAGA cruisers. Back to reception and after explanation we were given purple luggage labels (remember the car park), so on the day we disembarked with all the other purples, only to find we were an hour late and that service had ended. We were told we should have had lime green labels (yep I am still working on that one). However CMV were very good and we had a coach and escort back to the car park. Now I said earlier the "dreaded Medical Centre". The final bill for this was £4600.00. Now we have insurance but as with all insurances there ARE RESTRICTIONS AND RIDERS, one of our restrictions is COPD. As the diagnosis was Chest Infection Primary and COPD as secondary we are hoping the insurance passed the treatment as we were allowed to disembark. DO NOT CRUISE WITHOUT FULL INSURANCE. My Wife has visited our G.P. and further blood tests have been taken. She is still unwell and is being monitored. I would like to say that this was a good cruise, but the health issue has left us with no memorable thoughts. Of course the staff were brilliant as always, they all work very hard to please you. Will we cruise again? We have a cruise booked next year on the Marco Polo, but seriously after experiencing what we have just gone through........................... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a ... Read More
The Marco Polo seems to be popular with many (I spoke to a fellow passenger who had travelled on 7 voyages) but I suspect that those who like this 54-years-old ship are the same as people who choose to drive a 54-year old car rather than a new one. Not because it is better but because it is different. The eccentricities and signs of age are apparent as soon as we had embarked at Cardiff and were shown to our cabin (number 130 - chosen by the operator as we had elected to a guaranteed outside cabin rather than choosing one). The first thing one notices is that there are only two electrical sockets - a 220 volt continental point and a 110 volt US point (plus an unnamed push button whose use we didn't bother to determine). In 1965 travellers probably only needed one point - but with the plethora of electrical appliances that are the stock in trade of the modern traveller, one power point is not really adequate. The cabin lights were also rather primitive, with an array of ceiling lights none of which could be switched separately - it was all on or all off using the one switch by the cabin door - and two separate reading lights. When we arrived in the cabin the air-conditioning wasn't working although, to be fair, the engineer was on site in less than an hour and fixed the problem. This was our first contact with the staff and was characteristic of all our relationships with the staff who were invariably efficient, helpful and pleasant. So 100% for that aspect of the cruise. Having unpacked we need to find out the layout of the ship and then we discovered eccentricity number 2. The one thing that every passenger needs is a plan of the ship and this should be in every cabin - but not on the Marco Polo. Yes, plans there were a-plenty at reception - once one finds it. But why not in the cabins which is where they will be most needed? Having found a deck plan another eccentricity was evident (number 3 if you're counting). The ship's plan shows the names of all the decks: Navigator, Columbus, Amundsen, Magellan, Pacific, Atlantic, Baltic and Caribic - but the references in the daily activities guide (entitled The Explorer) gave only deck numbers (Eg. Deck 9 Aft). Of course it is not too difficult to write the deck number on the ship's plan oneself - but why on earth wasn't this done at the time of printing? Before leaving the cabin one other eccentricity was evident, although we didn't bother to mention it to the staff as nothing could have been done. Our cabin floor was as bumpy as if the carpet had been laid across a ploughed field; goodness only knows what was underneath. Finally, although we had paid extra for an outside cabin we might as well have saved our money as for 80% of the journey there were deadlights across the portholes. This is permitted under the normal terms and conditions but it is as well for prospective passengers to be aware of this possibility on the lower deck cabins of this vessel. There are two restaurants on the Marco Polo, one waiter service and one self service and the food is good in both although that in the waiter-service restaurant is more interesting. The waiter service was very good. It is a sad fact that many (maybe all?) cruise companies charge very competitive prices for their cruises and then seek to make up their profits on the extras. My own extras bill came to over £900, much of which was drinks. On board drinks will be duty-free and bought at a discount price, but any savings are not passed on to passengers. As an example, a glass of house wine was £6 and a bottle of beer £4.50 - both well over UK pub prices. A further indication of this can be seen at the water station where there is a stern notice which reads, "For Health and Hygiene reasons it is strictly prohibited to refill water bottles at the water station". Well, I suppose it is just possible that some infected person might have drunk from the neck of a water bottle and then refilled it when pressing that neck against the tap - but I doubt it's a very serious risk. More likely is it that Cruise and Maritime want to make sure that passengers buy the bottled water that they supply at a purely nominal £2,80 per bottle. Cruise lines do have a monopoly and a captive market on board and this was evident from the price and range of the items for sale in the ship's shop. Proudly advertised as duty-free it was clear from the prices that any saving of duty was offset by an increase in profit. I needed to buy a pair of swimming trunks and the modest pair they had for sale was priced at £21 - about twice what a similar pair would have cost at home. The same excessive prices prevailed for most of the items on sale and I rarely saw anyone buying anything. In part the paucity of sales could have been due to the poor stick selection, which was not appropriate for the passenger profile. My own guess is that the average age of the passengers as around 80 years and thus hardly likely to want to buy designer shopping bags or the like. But the one thing that they would all use and probably need would be a walking stick, since at least 50% of the passengers were using a walking aid of one sort or another. Walking stick can break, get lost or simply be forgotten but did the shop stock such things? No. The assistant there did tell me that sticks were frequently requested but that it wasn't an item they ever stocked. If would seem to me that the buyer needs to look harder at the passenger profiles. The entertainment was of the usual variety and standard and little more needs to be said. The shore excursions were good enough but, as is so often the case, pricey for what they were. In summary, one can understand why some people enjoy the quirkiness of the Marco Polo, but next time I will try a different line Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Friends alerted us to an attractive last minute offer for a cruise around Iceland on CMV's Marco Polo. None of us had ever cruised with Cruise & Maritime Voyages before, it's not a cruise line we ever seriously looked at, but ... Read More
Friends alerted us to an attractive last minute offer for a cruise around Iceland on CMV's Marco Polo. None of us had ever cruised with Cruise & Maritime Voyages before, it's not a cruise line we ever seriously looked at, but with an interesting destination and a low price, we were interested. The date was perfect, and Iceland had been on my wish list of destinations for a long time. So my wife and I booked a Standard Plus outside cabin, and our friends a Superior. Cardiff doesn't have a cruise terminal to speak of, the marquee didn't make a great first impression, but it was handy to have the car right out in front. Getting out of the port on the ship is an experience, there's a lock, and even with a ship of this modest size it's a tight fit. The Marco Polo is over 50 years old, and we knew from the beginning that it can't be compared with modern ships. There is an upside to it, of course, because the design of the ship has a certain nostalgic charm. Add the fact that it only takes about 800 passengers, and you will understand that on this ship you won't get lost in the crowds. It's not massive, and there is no cold or minimalist modern design (except in some abstract art on walls here and there). We were somewhat disconcerted to find that there were diesel fumes on our deck - even in the cabin. Although usually my sinuses are considered to be the most sensitive in our family, my wife had more serious trouble with the air quality in the cabin. Fortunately, the problem dissipated as soon as we were on our way - but kept coming back each time we were in port. As for the ship, if you read reviews about the Marco Polo, you'll find that most people agree that a lot of the key areas on the ship look quite nice, but that Marco Polo 'looks tired' in places. I generally agree, although I would go a little further and say it looks shabby in some spots. I mean, I understand the part about it being an old ship and not being able to make it look like a new ship. Fair enough. But there is no excuse for shoddy maintenance - serious damage to carpets and wall panels, duct tape where a socket should be, etc. These are things that make a place look poor, and there is no need for it. Maintenance can and should be done properly, and with an eye for detail, whatever budget you cater for, whatever kind of cruise you're offering, however old the ship. Speaking of maintenance, during the cruise we had to report four or five problems with our cabin: a dysfunctional bathroom light (never properly fixed, it did work, but not as it should), a safe we couldn't get into when it gave us an unjustifiable error (we had followed instructions in detail), a TV which seemed to have given up the ghost (fixed the same day), a safety rail connecting the bathroom door to the wall having been ripped out in rough weather (fixed the next day, leaving dozens of dangerous metal shavings on the floor, which our steward had to clean up when we discovered it after coming back to our cabin in the evening). I do have to mention that the people at reception are very understanding when you tell them about a complaint, and they immediately report it to the relevant department. The ship has some nice lounges, a good nightclub, an atmospheric a la carte restaurant, a buffet bistro, a cosy library, a show lounge instead of a conventional theatre, and several other public spaces, all of which have been decorated quite homely but cheaply. But I wonder if the ship doesn't take too many passengers, because almost every single space feels like it has too much crammed in - with very little space between seats and tables. This is especially true for the buffet bistro, and I'll go so far as to say that it's too small to accommodate the many people who want to use it at peak times. Whether you're on outdoor person or not, often you have no choice and you just have to take your food outside. (Nice on a cruise to the Med, but not always so nice when you're circumnavigating Iceland in weather just above zero degrees Celsius.) But all of this isn't what made me think of Fawlty Towers - it was what happened at mealtimes in the Waldorf restaurant, the a la carte restaurant, and the buffet bistro. On the face of it, the Waldorf operates much like similar restaurants on the ships of other cruise lines. Until you actually experience the meals. But let me tell you more about the place first. Decorated in pleasant colours, partially with a "stained glass ceiling" (it's plastic, CMV, don't call it what it isn't!), it looks and is quite cosy. Like elsewhere, each table has a permanent waiter assigned, and there are people milling about to offer drinking water, wines, etc. We always dined with our friends, at a table for four. And after a few days, we got into the habit of having a bit of a laugh at the service we were getting. Don't get me wrong, it was usually friendly service with a smile, but it wasn't always very professional. Providing cutlery was hit and miss: sometimes we got it, sometimes we didn't, and had to ask. Sometimes we got the correct cutlery for a dish, but more often than not it was the wrong choice, or it was put in the wrong spot. Or it was taken away when we actually had to keep it (we were expected to use the same cutlery for several subsequent dishes). The waiter only remembered men's names and dietary requirements, the lady was forgotten, including the rather obvious fact that she was vegetarian (one day I had to swap soups with my wife, because even after checking with the waiter if a certain soup could be eaten by my wife, it turned out not to be vegetarian at all - fortunately mine was). Tables had two table cloths, and clearly the bottom ones didn't get washed during the cruise. Some problems I suspect weren't the waiter's fault, I had the impression that the kitchen wasn't very good in timing orders. Sometimes one person would be left out, even if everyone had ordered the same dish. And sometimes courses arrived too quickly, one day my wife had two plates waiting for her while she was finishing the food on the first. I do understand it can get a bit complicated when you offer people five (!) courses, and not everyone orders the same number of courses, but I have seen that handled a lot better elsewhere. Breakfast and lunch can be interesting as well. They're not done in sittings, so you get shown to a table. One day there was no one to point me to a seat, so having reached the restaurant before the others, I sat down where we usually sit. I was immediately told off by an Eastern European unsmiling staff member who ordered me away from that seat, with the rather interesting reason "You can't sit there, because it's open seating!" Huh??? Doesn't open seating mean you can sit anywhere? Apparently not. I was assigned a different seat, and protesting that I was waiting for my wife and two friends didn't help, this rather curt lady wanted me at a table with five other guests. Only when I protested loudly that I was part of a party of four, did one of the waiters grasp what was going on, and explained it to the lady. By the time the others arrived I was quite upset. Not only had it been handled strangely, but I had been ordered about by a curt staff member, in a dictatorial tone, which isn't what I come on a cruise for, I expect to be treated nicely, friendly and smilingly. One of our friends had a similar experience at breakfast - returning to the table with a plate full of warm omelette (at least it was still warm at that point), a lady (same one?) wouldn't allow him to sit down! When he finally could, his omelette was no longer warm. Strange, and very unprofessional. Most mistakes were just laughable, though. They were the source of lots of giggles at our table. So many reminded us of Manuel's mistakes in Fawlty Towers. It was good, though, that we didn't come across anyone who reminded us of Basil Fawlty! I get the impression that not all the staff have been professionally trained - or maybe the ship didn't get the best ones, I don't know. I'll make an exception for our cabin steward, who was one of the best we've ever had. But some other crew members we had dealings with either weren't very good at what they did, or their English wasn't good enough to understand what we were saying to them. And some Eastern European staff clearly aren't used to smiling at people, or at treating passengers friendly. Speaking of being friendly, we generally got on well with the passengers, although some weren't exactly the sort we were used to. I was shocked, for instance, when a man in front of us at a show turned around and threatened a man sitting next to us with physical violence if he didn't shut up. And he didn't sound like he was joking! About the food - as far as I can tell, only the fruit was fresh, everything else seems to have come from the freezers or from tins. We had our suspicions that not everything was made from scratch either, with a lot having been bought in, like the cheap supermarket quality pizzas, to name an example. Kitchen staff also seem to have trouble understanding certain western dishes. For example, serving a Caesar salad with a lot of gravy is really weird! Having said that, we did enjoy most of the food. Yes, some was overcooked, some was too cold or too hard, but we enjoyed the majority of the dishes, and there was certainly enough to choose from. At some point during the cruise fish dishes started to taste a bit ' suspect' though, and we stopped ordering them. And then during the Q&A session with the captain and other leading crew members it became clear that they they prefer not to buy their fish fresh, so I suppose that explains it. Upstairs, in the buffet cafetaria (Marco's Bistro), things can get worse. Overcooked duck, overcooked chips, cream chilled to such a low temperature that it's almost as if you're served frozen cream (in big lumps, with only more or less usable 'melted' bits in between), scones not defrosted in time because they're still ice cold and hard in the middle - my impression was that there's no quality control here. I suspect that once something reaches the buffet, staff are just happy that it's there, and they don't care if it's in an edible state or not. Add to that the situation with glasses, cups and plates, and milk, all of which the place tends ro run out quite quickly, and regularly, and I can only shake my head. Not very well organised. And you really do need to organise a buffet very well for it to function properly, and not to be a place where food comes to die a premature death. Another thing I should mention about food, is the live cooking stations. In itself a good idea, I'm all for it. But as soon as you cook chips in advance, and then put them on a hot plate for a while, they're hard by the time people put them on their plate. The same goes for toast - providing toasting as a service for guests is great. Just don't pre-toast any bread, because I had hard to cut bread for days, until I had the idea to ask the man to give me freshly toasted bread. Just don't make toast in advance! But the chef at the egg cooking station in the Waldorf at breakfast is good at what he does. His overeasy eggs were much better than the overcooked poached egg I had in a dish at dinner. One of our biggest problems on the ship, was noise in the night. I know that our friends and a lot of other passengers didn't have the problems we did, so it must have been the position of our cabin (the most forward outside cabin on deck 6), but when seas weren't very calm (and they weren't for most of the cruise), there was a lot of noise. There was a continual loud banging, some kind of electronic-sounding noise, and there were loud noises every time we docked. All of these noises robbed us of a lot of sleep. A great pity, because the beds were comfortable, and without those noises I would have slept like a baby. Entertainment was in the show lounge, the Marco Polo lounge. Most nights the ship's singers and dancers performed shows, and occasionally there were guest performers. We weren't impressed with the guest performers. But the singers and dancers were quite good - certainly the dancers, and most of the singers. Considering the limited means at their disposal, without backgrounds, not a lot of space, and very few props, I think they did a really good job. Most of the shows were not only entertaining, but actually quite good. Something else we liked, was using the singers elsewhere on the ship. On the rear deck at sailaway, in the nightclub. Excellent idea. One of my favourite facilities on the ship was the sauna. On cruises I like to do two things every day, several times a day: have a swim, and use the sauna. Since the pool was netted off for the whole cruise, that left the sauna. It had a good, high temperature, and was open for 12 hours a day. Perfect. Ports and excursions were well chosen. We liked most of the ports - only Belfast will never be one of our favourites. The excursions were well organised, and stops well chosen. In fact, one of the excursions, Jewels of the North, was one of the best we've ever been on. It was great to see and experience some of Iceland's geological phenomena up close, and to get them explained so well. I'm aware that most of the above may come across as quite critical. So does that mean we didn't enjoy the cruise? No, it doesn't, generally speaking we did enjoy the cruise, and in a lot of ways very much so, in fact. It's just that I think the company and the ship's crew are missing a few tricks here and there, and I think they could do better. But if a chance comes up to go another CMV cruise, we would consider it - at the right price. We don't think their full prices offer value for money, but at the right price we could be interested. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an ... Read More
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an extra was the best I've ever eaten, and I thought very reasonably priced @ £16 - really sweet meat and beautifully presented and all the meals were very very good indeed - compliments to the chefs, most of whom were Indian, and I always feel they are the best! And drinks were reasonably priced too. I wanted a rest and to read and did just that and availed myself of the library on board. She's a small ship but offered all I needed and you don't have to walk miles to get anywhere on board! The pianist and violinist were great, and the Duty Frees excellent value. The crew were polite and most obliging, the cabins were small but fine. The outdoor pool was at this time of year closed off and we saw snow at times - well, we were heading towards Iceland - an expensive and very cold place, the highlight of which for me was a visit to the Blue Lagoon and that day we had lovely warm sunshine. The excursions are pricey but everything is included which saves a lot of hassle and guarantees a safe return on time to the ship. We did go out into the Fjord and saw a humpback whale, so that was another tick off the 'to do/see' list. The Faroe Islands en route were rather bleak with little to really do/see but it's a place to say you've at least visited, and our tour guide Samson was both knowledgeable and polite. Tea/coffee/hot water/hot/cold milk were available from early a.m. to midnight which is important to me as there are no in cabin facilities to make a hot drink. And a child free zone - yes! A good value for money trip, and well done to all who sail on the Marco Polo! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We boarded and informed the ship had only one engine. This was replaced 12 days into our cruise. This meant we were unloaded and loaded at small jetties spent hours on coaches and less time at our destinations. A lock broke near Frankfurt ... Read More
We boarded and informed the ship had only one engine. This was replaced 12 days into our cruise. This meant we were unloaded and loaded at small jetties spent hours on coaches and less time at our destinations. A lock broke near Frankfurt which put us back another 12 hours. The ship is not fit for purpose. The toilet system broke down 3 times. Internet very bad reception. T V was in German had not been switched to a English satellite. The food was O K but deserts terrible. Coffee in the restaurant to strong and cold complained to the Hotel Manager but no improvement. Staff in restaurant needed training not serving ladies first, reaching across to deliver or pick up plates. The temperature control in our cabins did not work. We some times had to endure unpleasant smells when docked closed to other ships. The ship needed net curtains to most cabins for privacy when in port or docked next to another ship. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose CMV for the itinerary that started in Singapore and ended in London 46 days later. The ship was a total delight - small but with many stylish lounges, a walk-around promenade deck, two sunny pools, and three free restaurant ... Read More
We chose CMV for the itinerary that started in Singapore and ended in London 46 days later. The ship was a total delight - small but with many stylish lounges, a walk-around promenade deck, two sunny pools, and three free restaurant choices in addition to the buffet. Our interior cabin 4117 was spacious, quiet, and very steady during windy portions of the trip. Since George and I enjoyed every day on board and would do this cruise again, suffice it to say we really liked the food, entertainments, spa services, reading lounges, cabin attendants, cruise directors, casino folks, craft classes, passenger choir, afternoon tea, the informative lectures, and so many other aspects of this cruise. The ambience was relaxed - like being home - rather than super luxe. That made the cruise restful. With many sea days, we were able to read some great books. How nice is that - cruising along and reading? We did not buy a beverage package and survived quite well on tea, coffee, water, and an occasional Schweppes Bitter Lemon over ice. Lovely cruise, lovely staff, a variety of cuisines, and at a good price. Thank you CMV!!! Read Less
11 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
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