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36 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We choose this cruise as the destinations sounded interesting. We had read some differing reviews of this trip so was naturally sceptical, however from the very professional and streamline embarkation at Tilbury to the disembarkation at ... Read More
We choose this cruise as the destinations sounded interesting. We had read some differing reviews of this trip so was naturally sceptical, however from the very professional and streamline embarkation at Tilbury to the disembarkation at the end of the trip we have nothing but praise for the cruise. The ship although old was very inviting and well maintained, we would suggest extra lounge areas, particularly as our cruise the weather did not permit going on top on the sun loungers. The cabins were extremely clean and comfortable and were regularly cleaned throughout the day. The showers are hot with great water pressure. There are four dining areas, although you are allocated a table in one of the formal dining rooms, this can be flexibly changed to suit the diners. The food was varied and at a high standard. We cannot fault the friendly and efficient waitstaff. As for the bar, we was undecided as to whether we should have a £17 per day drinks package and as I do not drink alcohol I had to have a soft drinks package £9 per day, apparently both people in one cabin must have a drinks package each. We believe it was well worth it as my husband drinks gin and tonic which had to be a double each time as the spirits were very week £8.a time a mocktail was £2.25 an alcoholic cocktail was $4 and with the extra spirit would cost £6, a half pint of beer was £2.50 a bottle of good Spainish wine was £15 per bottle. The entertainment was of a high standard and we enjoyed the nightly show in the theatre, there was always plenty to do. The staff were exceptionally friendly and helpful. As we are not regular cruisers we booked all our excursions with the cruise company however, other than St Petersburg we would in further get on the hop on and hop off bus, where possible at every stop except Stockholm there were one or two buses waiting, Fitness activities were too short at 15 mins a time, we felt this should be increased and more varied. I would defiantly recommend this trip to friends Read Less
38 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Like many posters I was originally put off by negative reviews, but luckily a friend had just travelled on Marco Polo & enjoyed, so I thought in for a penny! The fact it would cost me more (as a solo passenger) to do a 7 night cruise ... Read More
Like many posters I was originally put off by negative reviews, but luckily a friend had just travelled on Marco Polo & enjoyed, so I thought in for a penny! The fact it would cost me more (as a solo passenger) to do a 7 night cruise with another line to Norway in an inside cabin, (I had an oceanview) probably swung it for me. My embarkation slot was @ 11.30 & I arrived 11.25, having stayed at a nearby hotel overnight, my luggage was whisked away &, after stopping off to book my AI drinks package, I was straight into the queue to check in. It did seem at first a v long queue, but took no time at all to get to a desk. I was on board (obligatory photo not withstanding) & being escorted to my cabin at around 12.00. My cabin was at the very back of the ship, the view being of the ships wake, with a queen bed. It was a reasonable size with plenty of storage & the usual amenities. The shower room was also a good size, the shower itself powerful & I didn't have the problem some seem to encounter with the curtain (& let me say here, I'm no Kate Moss). There were 2 dispensers in the shower, I never worked out which contained shampoo & which body wash, but as I had my avon with me, didn't try too hard. Once the lifeboat drill was out of the way, reasonable efficient considering the amount of people wandering around not knowing where they were, I finished unpacking & headed off the Captains Lounge to begin my holiday with a Margarita, I like to start as I mean to go on. I had been allocated a seat in the Grosvenor restaurant on late sitting (20.15) & found myself sitting on table 159 with 3 couples (on previous cruises as a solo it'd been at an all solo table, but I had booked quite late this time), however they were all friendly chatty people & we got on fine. Apart from the 1st morning when I went to the MDR, I had breakfast in the buffet & always found something to eat whether light or cooked, there was plenty of fresh fruit & the more continental fare (cold meat & cheeses) as well as the usual bacon, sausage,baked beans etc. plus a station cooking omelettes, fried & poached eggs to order, if I'm being picky the bacon was too cooked for me (I hate the really crispy stuff they have in US), but I like all my food rarer than most. The majority of dinners I had in the MDR, I always found something to try & on many occasions had problem deciding what to chose. All the food I had was well cooked, tasty & well presented by our attentive waiter & his assistant. I'd read quite a few scathing reports on the food & do sometimes wonder what people eat in their everyday lives, I've eaten in quite a few top restaurants, some with Michelin stars etc., & whilst I wouldn't claim this was on a par, it was good for what is after all mass catering. I managed to catch a few of the musical shows in the main theatre, I found after walking round cities for a few hours I needed a lay down before dinner, which often turned into a nap, so I missed a few that I would have otherwise watched, those that I did see were enjoyable. Most evenings I & the rest of our solo crew were in Sinatra's where the pianist made conversation easier, we did go into the lounge on occasion if the show particularly appealed. Also managed to watch 3 newish (well to me) films in the main theatre on sea days. Of the other offerings I did a couple of quizzes, but not much more & I hate bingo. As I don't use a gym at home, have never felt the need to on holiday. Part of the allure of this cruise were the ports, unfortunately we were not very lucky with the weather. I took 2 cruise arranged trips & 1 booked with an outside agency, but mostly did my own thing. The boked tours were good & probably average price wise. The vast majority of the crew were friendly & accommodating, greeting you in lifts or as you passed them. My stewardess always smiled & said hello, enjoy your day etc.& kept the cabin in great shape. Our MDR waiters were always smiling, whilst keeping up with questions & requests, as were the bar staff. In fact they were so friendly & helpful that a lot of us commented on one girl who never cracked a smile, she was the exception to the rule. As a solo traveller I was a little apprehensive of being alone a lot, this has happened before &, whilst I am happy in my own company, it's always nice to have others around especially in the evenings. As part of the programme there was a hosted solos morning get together on the 1st full day, but also on arrival in the cabin there was a notice for a meet up in the club that evening after dinner. It turned out this was not hosted, but just a chance for people to introduce themselves which several of us did. They also arranged a solos lunch at the end of the cruise. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We have cruised with other companies. Our impression of C&M is budget throughout. This started at Hull where we waited in a marquee for embarkation. We then went through the P&O terminal and there was a computer glitch which ... Read More
We have cruised with other companies. Our impression of C&M is budget throughout. This started at Hull where we waited in a marquee for embarkation. We then went through the P&O terminal and there was a computer glitch which delayed our boarding. Ship- On board our first impression of Marco Polo was a traditional small ship but clean and quite well maintained. Layout was OK but cramped in public lounges. Elderly passengers had gone to sleep in lounges, including the show lounge. Cabin- Our cabin (618) was on a higher deck but above the show lounge. The walls were paper thin and we could hear rehersals from below. We did have a large window in the cabin and a good unobstructed view. The TV was old and the picture rubbish all cruise. Dining- Main restaurant 2 sittings. 1st is 6pm- too early, 2nd- 8.30pm too late. !st sitting problem if late from excursion. Food is budget but OK. Our waiter was not very friendly but efficient. Our wine waitress was good though. The self service restaurant was always busy and passengers tended to sit and talk and not vacate tables when finished despite others queuing. Overall we found many of our fellow passengers rude and pushed into queues and saved tables for others. Entertainment- Tony, cruise director passionate about what he does and tries hard. Dancers good, singers variable. shows generally quite good for size of ship. Live band good and lounge duo v.good. Guest lecturers talks very good. Guest acts variable. Show lounge lots of poles in the way and seating poor in that one row obscured the one in front. Lots of saving of seats and complaining when you sat in front of someone else. Service- Bar staff busy and many are rude. Several times told 'just wait'. Mainly Ukranian serving staff need some customer service training. Ports & shore excursions- Visited Faroes, 4 ports in Iceland, Shetlands & Orkney. Enjoyed all the excursions and ports several by tender. Talk by on board team on ports of call rubbish as just read the brochure. Value variable but some good itinaries. No children on board but mainly elderly/retired passengers. Would we cruise with C&M agian- no. Did we enjoy our cruise- generally yes. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This was our first cruise and in truth we had been rather sniffy about cruises before but we wanted to go to Iceland and CMV were offering a 2 for 1 deal so we gave it a go. The Marco Polo appealed as it was a small ship and looked like ... Read More
This was our first cruise and in truth we had been rather sniffy about cruises before but we wanted to go to Iceland and CMV were offering a 2 for 1 deal so we gave it a go. The Marco Polo appealed as it was a small ship and looked like a real ship as opposed to the floating blocks of flats that pass as cruise ships. So, how was it? The embarkation started off well, we parked our car (under cover) and our luggage was whipped away and we were shuttle bussed to the terminal. Here there was a long queue and a lot of waiting. We trooped through the P&O ferry terminal as if we were on a day trip to France. It is at this point that you realise the Marco Polo has 800 passengers and there was only one window where you picked up your boarding card. CMV do stagger the boarding times but two or three windows would help. However, we were soon on the ship and into our cabin (434), which was bright, airy and clean. It wasn’t quite as spacious as the pictures led us to believe but hotels do the same trick (shoot the picture on a wide angle lens) so we weren’t disappointed. The steward was very attentive and helpful and kept the cabin clean and tidy for the whole cruise. The staff (or are they all called crew?) were mainly Indian or East European and were friendly and wanted you to enjoy yourself. For some reason those on the reception desk did have a somewhat supercilious air about them as if they would rather be dealing with passengers on the Queen Mary. I don’t know, is there a class system amongst the staff with reception being at the top of the pile? The food was OK, perhaps a little bland for my tastes but CMV has worked out the demographics of their passengers and erred on the side of caution. Except for one meal, which consisted of a fish called Panga (Pangasius) a native of the Mekong Delta. Well, let’s just put that down to experience!!! There are two main restaurants: The Waldorf and the Marco Polo Bistro. The food was the same at both venues and whilst the bistro had the ambiance of a crowded works canteen it did offer the opportunity to sit outside on the aft deck which was pleasant. The Waldorf was slightly more formal, although the dress code was generally informal save for two nights, with two sittings for the evening meal. We chose the early sitting and you were aware as soon as the main course had finished that they were rushing through the dessert and coffee to clear ready for the second sitting. We were extremely fortunate that our table of eight all got on very well and meals were a delight. If you happened to be on a table where this wasn’t the case, then that could be a chore. We couldn’t really comment on the evening entertainment as we didn’t go but we did go to the lectures given in the daytime. These were generally interesting and well-presented although the one given by the shore excursion team about the ‘exciting places’ we were going to visit simply involved a girl reading from the brochure, verbatim. Not very illuminating. We booked lots of the shore excursions and these were well organised and pretty efficient. I know several people have said that they were expensive and, yes, you probably could have organised them yourself at a considerable saving but we didn’t want all the faff. There is the added bonus that if you are on an organised excursion and you are late returning they will hold the ship for you. A case of ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’. Disembarkation was very swift and easy, albeit we were up and off the ship by 7.15 am. This was just as well as the ship was running low on food and had run out of several basic items, breakfast cereal and bacon. So, what were our final thoughts on this our first cruise? We liked it. I accept that several aspects were low rent but then, in fairness, CMV are not charging top dollar for the cruise. We chose the Marco Polo for the reasons stated plus we didn’t want great atriums with shopping malls and restaurants with great big ice sculptures and it did what it said on the tin. If you want big glitzy cruises with all the bells and whistles then this ship isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you want a simpler time on a ship that’s a bit quirky then do as we did and give it a go. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We wanted to visit Iceland and, having initially looked at flights/hotels, this cruise, our first, fitted the bill. Although the good weather and calm sea helped, the cruise exceeded our expectations. Despite the previous negative reviews ... Read More
We wanted to visit Iceland and, having initially looked at flights/hotels, this cruise, our first, fitted the bill. Although the good weather and calm sea helped, the cruise exceeded our expectations. Despite the previous negative reviews on CruiseCritic, the Marco Polo was fine and we enjoyed our time on the ship. I guess if you wanted to find faults you could do but we found the ship had plenty of room and things to do - much more on the ship than you expect from the outside. A good set of stops (Faroes, 4 in Iceland, Shetlands, Orkney) and excursions, but independent excursions also no problem. Really friendly staff, food was good, cabin was what we expected, friendly passengers etc. Embarkation was a bit slow, but disembarkation was really fast and efficient. Wifi would have been good but free wifi at all stops so not a problem. So no real issues from us. A good cruise, now what next? Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
This cruise was to the Faroes, Iceland, Orkney and Shetland sailing from Hull. First impression was that the embarkation arrangements were mickey mouse as we had opted for the car parking arrangements. In the end however, choosing ... Read More
This cruise was to the Faroes, Iceland, Orkney and Shetland sailing from Hull. First impression was that the embarkation arrangements were mickey mouse as we had opted for the car parking arrangements. In the end however, choosing secure parking was a good move as we were the first to leave the ship on arriving back at Hull. My wife had never experienced a small ship cruise before and having sailed with Princess, Celebrity and Cunard it would have been easy to consider this a lesser experience. So, in general: a) Cabin was clean and spacious - superior ocean view (I think) despite no sofa and extra seat. b) Cabin service - excellent. c) Cruise Director - Tony Parkins - wonderful host. d) Evening entertainment in the Marco Polo Lounge - as good as anything you would get on the big ships. The Marco Polo Ballet (as they are called) were amazing. e) Waldorf Restaurant (1st Sitting) - Much too frantic for our liking and dropped out of formal dining half way through the cruise. f) Marco Polo Bistro - good choice of menu if you could put up with the lack of space especially at breakfast time. You needed to get up early. g) The waiting/res bistro staff were in the main youngsters from Romania, Serbia, India and the Ukraine. One criticism is that they would not defer to you and would expect you to get out of their way. Not happy about that and it would be a complaint. However, it was not all of them to be fair. h) TV in cabin - waste of time. Bad quality viewing. I) Shore excursions. - Strictly they were very expensive in Iceland and the Faroes for what you got. I am not surprised as the VAT rates are astronomical. The worst value was the Eastern Iceland Essentials in Seydisfjordur which at £69 per person was a "rip off" as there strictly was nothing to see and shopping stops are not my interest. j) Cocktails were very good value for money. k) Cruise cost - Two for one? Don't believe it. We paid well over £3000 for two and there is no way that I would have paid £3000 for just the one. Never. Generally then it was an enjoyable trip and being so small you could meet people and then meet them again unlike the big ships where you would never bump into the same people again. Not sure that I would use MSV again as the ship is quite old, but was an interesting experience. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose the cruise because of having travelled before with Cruise and Maritime on the Astoria which we enjoyed. Also the itinerary appealed to us. We opted for an inside cabin and was on deck 7. The cabin was spacious but it did have ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of having travelled before with Cruise and Maritime on the Astoria which we enjoyed. Also the itinerary appealed to us. We opted for an inside cabin and was on deck 7. The cabin was spacious but it did have bunk beds so if there were four people in the cabin, it would have been cramped. Other comments have said the cabins were noisy on this ship but we did not have a problem and found the beds comfortable. Our cabin was kept clean and we never had to ask for anything. Entertainment on this cruise was below our expectations mainly because we had to go to the show before dinner as we were on the 2nd sitting (8.15pm). On previous cruises, we have always had the show after dinner. We found ourselves at a loose end with nothing much to do. The entertainment is definitely geared for the First sitting passengers who had more choice. The food was fine with a good choice. However, we found it annoying when the waiters whisked plates away before everyone had finished their food. Also we always had to ask for extra coffee. We were disappointed with some areas of the ship that were 'cold' and 'uninviting'. We found some comfy chairs on one of the decks but it was a shame the fountain and pool had no water in it. The main pool also was not very inviting. We had some lovely trips and although the organised trips were expensive, we enjoyed the beautiful countryside. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The Magellan is an older ship that was purchased by CMV just a year or so ago. No glitz, no atrium, few balconies but comfortable and in reasonable condition. About 1200 passengers, just about all British who enjoy that they can drive to ... Read More
The Magellan is an older ship that was purchased by CMV just a year or so ago. No glitz, no atrium, few balconies but comfortable and in reasonable condition. About 1200 passengers, just about all British who enjoy that they can drive to the port - no flight needed. No children! The itinerary was super, a 12 night round trip from Tilbury not far from London. We took the train from Fenchurch Street station in the City of London to Tilbury Town and the ferry shuttle to the cruise terminal (you must show your train ticket to ride for free). The itinerary was: Invergordon (for Inverness), Kirkwall (Orkneys), Stornoway (Lewis, Outer Hebrides), Tobermory, Belfast (Northern Ireland), Dublin and Cobh (Ireland), the Isles of Scilly (Cornwall, U.K. ), and two French ports - St. Malo (near Mont St Michel) and Honfleur. The cruise line uses the older style of set dining times in its two formal dining rooms. There are different start times for each - in the Waldorf, the early sitting was at 5:45pm and in the Kensington, at 6:15pm. The late sittings were rather too late for us - after 8, I think. We had charming table mates, two older British couples who were travelling together. Breakfasts were served buffet style in the two dining rooms and in the self-service restaurant. However they serve you coffee and juice in the dining rooms, but not in the more casual restaurant. There were egg cooking stations. Boring sugary cereals suitable for non-existent kids (no children allowed) as well as porridge and weetabix. You could cobble together the "full English" but it wasn't appealing. "Breakfast in bed" is the only free room service - continental. I was prepared for average food. The service was excellent but the food did not match. It is Continental cuisine but their best dishes were curries. Their attempt at creme brûlée was terrible - curdled and not creamy. Gordon Ramsay would not allowed it to leave the galley! They made no attempt to cook seasonally nor to reflect the areas we were visiting. Few vegetables. The cheeses were labelled as assorted cheese. (Just finished a Marks & Spencer's sandwich proudly labelled with the name of the cheese - Wensleydale.) It seems a lack of care. Buy or make a few labels and put them on the cheese plate. Jamie Oliver and gastropubs haven't happened yet! Bacon at breakfast was undercooked in the Waldorf. The sausages were the sort with too much filler in them. The comedian joked about the single brown stripe on them! The food service officer was helpful and he ordered a special curry for us for the following evening. The soups were pretty good but the food felt institutional. They went amiss the most when they tried dishes like a bland creole starter. And their Waldorf salad was like baby food! They only served vanilla and strawberry ice cream - a bit melted, but they were the most reliable desserts. Once my travel companion scored banana and once chocolate ice cream. They do need a new chef for sweets. The cakes, tarts and squares were boring and not worth the calories - some teatime treats were labelled as "dry cake". The teatime scones were quite good. However most passengers (almost all were older Brits) seemed happy enough with the food. And we were happy to have wonderful lunches off the ship, including fabulous fish and chips and chowders. Alcohol prices were reasonable but only tea, coffee and "tap" water are available for free. My tea drinking sisters were surprised they didn't have teapots. (They do have them for room service.) There was a special get-together for American passengers and we Canadians got a last minute invitation from the "future cruise' staffer. (I had been whining a bit to him.) Free champagne! And a free group photo. Our TA used the Miami-based CMV office for our booking. There was more food available in bars from 10-10:30 every night and two gala spreads during the cruise - one featured chocolate fantasies and one had a whimsical theme - a roast chicken band plus a whole roast pig. However service didn't start until after 10:30pm. When the hotel director at the American event asked a few of us about the events, someone said it was too late and too much food right after their second sitting dinner. I suggested a gala brunch instead - we were only getting in quite late one day so that would have fit the schedule. I was told that it was impossible! I think they should focus on the core meals and get them right. They have pools, a gym and a spa as well as a library and a dedicated card room, plus lots of under-utilized outside space. Be prepared to visit further afield on this itinerary. We had a great archaeology tour in Kirkwall with WildAboutOrkney (Clive). We had pre-booked a taxi for a few hours in Stornoway with STS (Valerie) to see archaeology and black houses. Be sure to have the amazing fish and chips at Cameron's. We took the Stagecoach bus into Inverness to see Culloden. We had a super day trip to the Giant's Causeway, a rope bridge (Carrick-a-Rede), a whiskey distillery, a photo stop at Dunluce castle used in Game of Thrones and scenic drive along the Causeway Coastal road with Belfast City Sightseeing. Before returning us to the ship, our driver, Gary gave us an informative but unsettling tour of Belfast, its sectarian areas and graffiti and murals. Glad we did it though. Btw, we shared this excursion with cruisers from Oceania Nautica that had docked closer to the city. In Dublin, we had pre-booked a hop on, hop off bus (yellow) and pre-booked Kilmainham Gaol. Worthwhile. We rented a car from Sixt in St Malo for a visit to Mont St Michel then walked the walls in St Malo. We visited the market in Honfleur and had lunch with the rest of the tourists on Vieux Bassin. Two places we just explored locally - Cobh (the heritage centre) and Tobermory (a walk along the path in Aros Park). And in the Scilly Isles, we took the ship's morning tour to Tresco Abbey Gardens. We were tendered directly to this private island and afterwards, tendered to St Mary's via the ship - just stayed on the tender. Depending on the tides, there can be a long walk (40 minutes) to the garden but there were complimentary shuttles for those less able. Wonderful garden with a garden tour guide. I guess what got to me most about the Magellan was the lack of flexibility. Breakfast ended fairly early, even when the ship was not getting into port until noon. Most staff didn't seem to know what was happening, and didn't seem to be willing to give a best guess. But they were friendly! My sisters wanted to use one of the whirlpools but either they weren't on (and no one knew the hours for them) or they were cold. Just too much hassle. We had a higher than usual percentage of tenders because of our itinerary and an added one in Kirkwall because there were two warships there for a military anniversary. We were issued tender tickets (queuing in a lounge) but the people going on excursions didn't fill each tender, departing with quite a few empty seats. We thought they should let independents go ashore then since there was space. We did suggest this and thankfully the excursion person did start allocating extra tender tickets to independent guests. There was entertainment every night including a few production shows. We went to three very good comic shows during our busy trip. Quite a few venues for music and drinking. There was a lecturer (we went to one lecture on Oscar Wilde). They do have the dreaded photographers on board but I don't know how much they sold. Quite intrusive though. Wifi worked okay but not in our room. There was a repeater in the main hallway so we lurked there sometimes. Cheaper wifi service than on other ships I have sailed on. At the end of the cruise, we had to be out of our stateroom by 6:30am and we were told express disembarkation would not start until 8am (actually it started about a half hour earlier than that). Surprise, surprise, many people wanted to do express so they could just drive home! They didn't want to wait around in a lounge for their time slot. I do want to say that the crew was wonderful, friendly and helpful. Other passengers were welcoming and friendly. And the cost for our quad cabin was surprisingly affordable. But I felt stressed - too much rushing to get to dinner or breakfast on time. If you spoke up, you got more services, but I don't want to have to ask for favours. I would assume that since they do this itinerary regularly, they would know what is "usual", but they didn't seem to. If you do decide to cruise with them, don't expect to hear about the ship's excursions until about a month before you go. I suggest you do your own thing. The ship was very good about supplying tourist brochures the evening before and arranging for local tourism officials to come on board in the morning. They did supply free shuttles in a few ports. An oddity - the daily program did not give weather forecasts and for the first half of the cruise, the cruise director didn't provide this either. It didn't appear on the ship's webcam page on the tv either. It was hard for us to prep for a full day away from the ship, so we just prepared for the worst! We wouldn't select CMV again, especially if you couldn't have a meal a day off the ship! However the price was excellent for our quad room and I believe that the extra cost for solo travellers is much lower than average. Read Less
58 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my fifth cruise and my first review. I have also sailed on Costa, MSC, NCL and Celebrity. We booked this cruise because of itinerary and price, fully aware of the varied reviews. “We” includes my DH and 25 year old DD. ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise and my first review. I have also sailed on Costa, MSC, NCL and Celebrity. We booked this cruise because of itinerary and price, fully aware of the varied reviews. “We” includes my DH and 25 year old DD. We discovered that there is not a huge selection of British Isles cruises and ended up waiting an extra year to find one that fit our timing, our budget and our preference for lots of ports. We also selected this ship because it was British and felt it would enhance the “British experience.” The reviews were disconcerting, but then the reviews for Costa and MSC were equally varied and occasionally dismal. Both proved to be very nice. Overall I would give this cruise a 3.5 to 4 star rating because it met or exceeded my expectations based on other reviews. Pre-Cruise was a bit of a fiasco. We were not impressed with CMV booking and communication. We booked our cruise on the CMV website but the follow up communication was sparse and inadequate. We did not get a proper invoice and if I had not contacted them a month after booking, I am not sure we would have been told when final payment was due. We dealt with staff in Florida, who were responsive to our inquiries, but we should not have had to make inquiries – information should have been sent promptly and completely. Although we do not usually use the tours provided by the cruise line, it is annoying that the list of tours and prices is not provided until about 6 weeks before your cruise. (And in our case not provided at all until we requested it.) This seems a bit late for planning purposes, especially for an 11 port cruise. Although we opted mostly for our usual DIY adventures, the prices on ship tours seemed quite reasonable when compared to those offered on other cruises. DIY was less expensive, but then isn’t it always? On the plus side, CMV honored the original price of the transfer from London to Tilbury even though I had neglected to book it promptly. There was a huge price increase from when we booked the cruise vs when we wanted to purchase the transfer. When I mentioned my disappointment at the price increase, the CMV agent got permission to honor the original price. It was a substantial savings for us. Embarkation was very nice, although this was partly because our bus transfer got stuck in traffic (some royal function – no fault of CMV) and we were rather late boarding. We were personally escorted to our room and our luggage was already there. Much better than other cruises where we frequently would go search for our cases in a pile of luggage in the elevator lobbies. The ship was nicer than I expected from reviews. It is not glitzy and it is showing its age from the last refit, but most public spaces were pleasant and there was adequate space for the number sailing, in stark contrast to mega ships. Once you learned you could not walk from bow to stern on the eighth floor, getting around was very easy. We opted for an exterior cabin on level 7. It was not huge but similar in size to our ocean view on MSC, smaller than most balcony rooms we have had where our daughter gets a fold out sofa rather than a bunk. Moreover, because my daughter was using a bunk, it was easier to move around the cabin at night if my DH and I to sleep in twin beds arranged in an L shape rather than pushing the beds together. The three of us had plenty of closet and drawer space for our 12 day cruise. Our largest suitcases fit under the beds provided we lifted the beds up first. My main complaint was the lack of any hooks for robes or coats. The bathroom was on the small side and we were thankful we brought the shoe holder to hang on the bathroom door rack for more storage for toiletries. Small bars of soap as well as shower gel and shampoo from dispensers were provided. I would suggest bringing a full size bar of soap and some weights or clothespins for the shower curtain. The pull out clothes line in the shower was plenty to hold our swim suits, but we used an extra line for the things I hand washed. We have no complaints about noise but there certainly were the occasional loud rumbles in a ship that size. Our steward was excellent. We knew to expect “British cuisine,” a term I assumed was an oxymoron, and were very pleasantly surprised. As discussed below, we missed some foods usually offered on ships catering to Americans but I point this out not as a complaint but as a warning to others to be prepared – it is a British ship so expect British food. Also be warned there are no large glasses for water and ice was hard to come by but available if you looked and I was told the bars would give you a glass if you asked. We also would have liked some iced tea but maybe that would have offended the British sensibilities too much. Breakfast had a decent variety – not outstanding but we found something to keep our interest most of the time. Plenty of fruit and cooked to order eggs. Breakfast was offered from 7 to ten which we found ample time, even on days we could sleep in a bit but we tend to be morning people. We missed American style bacon, bagels, unsweetened dry cereal like Cheerios or Chex, and eggs benedict in particular. We bought some bagels and peanut butter on one of the shore visits and the toasting staff was happy to toast the bagels for us at breakfast. We would have liked a menu style breakfast in the restaurants rather than the same buffet available in the Bistro, but understand that takes lots of staff. We only ate lunch twice on the ship so can’t really comment. As I recall we were pleased with the choices in the Waldorf. Tea was offered and again, we didn’t partake often as we ate and drank well in ports. We did like the clotted cream and scones but could not bring ourselves to try semolina pudding in the afternoon. The ship has traditional fixed dinner seatings and no specialty restaurants which we liked. We feel “free style” and all the dining venues of big ships have ruined one of our favorite parts of cruising – sitting down with the same tablemates and sharing the day’s events. Service was excellent, portions more than enough especially if you took all five courses, and special requests were no problem. Our table of three Americans and four Brits agreed that for the most part the food was very good with the occasional outstanding (the tenderloin on formal nights comes to mind), the occasional “what were they thinking” and an occasional mixed result (my crème brule was a bit firm and tending toward grainy while the others who ordered it had a perfectly smooth and creamy dessert). There was a good variety of poultry, fish and pork. I had several delicious curries but otherwise there was not a lot of extra spice in the food, probably appreciated by the majority of cruisers. We missed large slabs of cow and we would have liked some parmesan to sprinkle on the pasta dishes. We had the 8:30 seating (the other late seating started at 8:15) which, like other cruises we have taken, meant we went to the early show, as is our preference on port intensive cruises. Unlike the early seating, we have plenty of time to enjoy the port, get back to the ship, relax, and dress for dinner. Because of the long port days, we did not participate in many of the ship board activities. However, we enjoyed the whirlpools at the back of the boat (I don’t think they filled the front one for some reason.) Although they were initially not quite as hot as we like, that changed a few days into the cruise. We went to several shows but skipped the magician (not our thing) and the second night of the comedian because we didn’t get the British jokes. The shows were comparable to those on other cruises – not Vegas but a nice diversion for the most part. It is hard to believe the demographics of the ship really are as skewed as the reviews suggest. Not only is the average age at least 70, there is not a large deviation from the average. My DH and I are in our late 50s and were some of the younger people on board, with the exception of our daughter and another young woman accompanying her parents. Do not come on this cruise ship expecting a vibrant night life - the running joke was how late the disco stayed open. And there seemed to be a larger than average number of whingers (great word we learned from our tablemates) who could find fault with just about anything if they tried hard enough. I confess our dinner group exchanged stories of the silliest things we heard someone complain about. Some folks cannot go with the flow. Overall, we had a fantastic time. To be fair, this was due in large part to the incredible ports coupled with even more incredible weather for the British Isles in early June. But we also enjoyed the ship and would recommend it to anyone who found a great itinerary but were otherwise concerned about cruising on the Magellan. The Magellan is obviously not a “destination” ship and those who cruise for the on-board experience – lots of activities and entertainments and continuous five-star dining – should avoid her. But for those who cruise for the ports, and just want a nice room, interesting fellow passengers and some good meals, she is a good ship to try. We would definitely cruise on the Magellan again with the right itineray. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was my first cruise so I don't have much to base my expectations on other than previous reviews. I have to admit I was nervous about going due to quite a few negative reviews from some of the users on this site but I was ... Read More
This was my first cruise so I don't have much to base my expectations on other than previous reviews. I have to admit I was nervous about going due to quite a few negative reviews from some of the users on this site but I was pleasantly surprised. When we arrived at the cruise terminal at Tilbury there was an extremely long queue waiting for the car park, the ship was late into port due to bad weather which meant that they were several hours late, this meant that passengers disembarking were not leaving the car park quick enough for the embarking passengers to get in, this caused us to leave 2 hours later than planned. If you can I would advise just getting someone to drop you off as this took less than half an hour to get onto the ship compared to several hours just waiting to get into the car park. The ship itself is not huge but still has plenty of room for everyone to have their own space. The room we purchased was an inner twin which was at a very good price through newmarket holidays. The pictures on the CMV website show very crammed rooms and I was worried I may end up sleeping in a cupboard, but when we were shown to our cabin we realised that we had been upgraded to an ocean view cabin but we had not been told that this was happening, the room was lovely and bright, the beds had clean white sheets and there were nice towels in the bathroom. Our tickets for shore excursions and info sheets about the next day were left on the bed and there was a cabin steward called Ivan who knocked on the door about an hour after we got there. Our rooms were cleaned every day and fresh towels were put into the bathroom. The only major problem with the room was the fact that our room was 2 away from the back of the ship on deck 5, it was exceptionally noisy at night, whilst we were expecting some noise and vibration, we did not realise just how loud the engines would be. At various points in the night we would be woken by the entire cabin shaking violently, when we were pulling into ports the noise would ramp up even further causing me to hold my ears, if the boat was turning or the weather was a bit rough you would most certainly not get a good nights sleep! Whilst it wasn't the end of the world I don't think I would have wanted to stay in that room for longer than the 3 nights. I will be choosing a cabin further forward next time as you could hear the change in engine noise by just walking up the corridor a few cabins. When you hear horror stories of accidents on cruise ships and people describe violent shaking I'm not joking when I say every night it felt like we had run aground. My advise is to pay a bit extra and choose your cabin location or risk getting an interrupted nights sleep. The dining on the ship was great, we were allocated the first sitting in the Kensington restaurant. On the first night the dining was pushed back from 18:15 to 19:30 due to some passengers still waiting to get through the terminal to be booked in. Whilst this wasn't too much of an issue with us the second sitting was forced to wait until 21:30 to get their food which was far too late for the older passengers who made up a large percentage of the ship. . Every night we were presented with a menu which had appetisers, soup, salad, main course and deserts to choose from. The menu also had good vegetarian options. The food was brought out piping hot and was of a sensible size. I had read review after review that complained about the food being cold I can only think that they spent every night in the raffles bistro, which seems to serve the same sort of food as the restaurants but in a self serve sort of fashion. There were mainly cold salads and deserts available with a few hot meals such as curry and rice. Breakfasts started from 08:00 and you could go up as many times as you liked hot and cold was available and the waiters would top up your drinks before you had finished the first one. The first night we missed the show due to being exhausted, but the second night was a mamma mia themed show. The dancers and singers were good, the last night they looked a little unprepared and it was not as good an atmosphere. You could have your drinks brought to you and they are reasonably priced with most cocktails being priced at £3.50/£4 and charged to your cabin account. They put on a buffet display which included a quite impressive dragon carved from chocolate and a frog made from watermelon. On the last night we encountered a large storm which meant that the ship was rather rocky, it was hilarious watching everyone dancing to the male singers version of Robbie Williams Let Me Entertain You whilst trying to remain upright. There were games such as call my bluff and passenger Mr and Mrs which was hosted by a comic host. Overall there was plenty to do and one night the nightclub stayed open until 5am which was apparently a record, I just feel for the poor staff who probably just wanted to get into bed! Most of the staff were very friendly with cleaners polishing and cleaning mirrors, staircases and public areas which felt like 24/7, there was never any mess and there were plenty of alcohol gel dispensers around and staff would offer it to you on the way into the restaurants, clearly a good effort to make sure no one falls foul to the dreaded Norovirus as many cruise ships have encountered recently. Whenever you walked passed a crew member they would always greet you and some even made an effort to remember you. The only time I was taken aback slightly was when at dinner our usually accommodating waitress rolled her eyes and exclaimed I've asked you twice already when I changed my mind from coffee to decaf (she definitely only asked me once and it wasn't even for me but the other person I was with). Before our trip we received news that due to port closures we would be visiting Ghent first then Amsterdam which meant that our previously booked excursions had to be cancelled due to not having enough time to get back to the ship before it left for the next port. Most of the excursions left at 11:30/12:00 and returned back to the ship for 16:30/17:00, the main problem with this is your are not given any provisions for lunch, considering you pay for a full board cruise you only get breakfast and dinner and you have to pay for your own lunch, we also did not get given time for lunch until at least 15:00 with the first day being given an hour for lunch and to have a look around. The second day we were only given 45 mins of free time which meant we ended up rushing back to the coach without actually visiting any of the shops or looking around the area. Considering you would have breakfast at around 8:00 lunch for the elderly people at 15:00 can be too late. We missed out on both lunch and afternoon tea on our trip, Perhaps there was somewhere we were supposed to go in order to get a packed lunch, but if there was this was not advertised anywhere. The Magellan ship was an adults only cruise liner, it was nice to go on holiday where everyone could get a little bit merry and not have to worry about putting any little ones to bed or getting them ready in the morning. On the day of disembarkation you were required to leave your room by 07:00, this would have been fine if we had docked on time by due to the weather we arrived an hour and a half later. Many of the public toilets on the ship were blocked on the last day and you were not able to gain access to any of the bathrooms in cabins. 1200 passengers all waiting for 5 bathrooms meant that queues were very long, Many of the passengers that we spoke to who had travelled on this liner before commented on the lack of preparation of the staff and the disorganisation of certain activities. When we first boarded we asked one of the staff members what time the ship would be getting back to port on the last day and he simply shrugged and said he didn't know. Maybe he was new or didn't quite understand what we were asking but if the staff don't know what time we are disembarking how does anyone arrange pick-ups and lifts back home. Overall my experience of the cruise was a good one, its not 5 star luxury and you certainly don't pay enough to demand that sort of service. The staff seem to work 14-15 hours days and they work hard to make sure the place is clean and everyone has whatever they need day or night. It would be better if they had a better shopping area, there were no areas on the ship to buy ladies toiletries, toothbrushes, shampoo etc, crisps were only available in cheese and onion or paprika flavour, the 24/7 drinks machine only provided water to those who don't drink tea or coffee. If you need anything medical be prepared to pay for it! A doctors consultation for an insect bite that had swollen up was going to cost £50+ just for him to say you need an antihistamine, anyone with half a brain could tell us that, I don't need to pay a doctor £50 to look at it for 30 seconds to tell me what I already know! If you want to be waited on hand and foot your travelling with the wrong liner and should be paying 10x as much with a liner like Cunard. Good first cruise experience, already looking for my next one! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this cruise mainly because of the ports proximity to home, what a mistake, while mostly charming the staff (bar staff, chambermaids, waitresses etc seemed to have no direction. The organisation of the cruise was nothing short of ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly because of the ports proximity to home, what a mistake, while mostly charming the staff (bar staff, chambermaids, waitresses etc seemed to have no direction. The organisation of the cruise was nothing short of shambolic. Arriving at Tilbury we parked with only a little aggravation. There seemed to be officials in high vis running all round the car park, however we late found out from fellow Parkers/cruisers, some had waited 3 hours to park. Anyway we embarked Magellan and were escorted to our cabin. I understand that the ship itself is a old lady that has recently been refurbished, it was ok...but not the luxury vessel it's claimed to be. On the first night we went for dinner at our designated time, only to find lots of potential diners standing outside. We were then told that a waiter from the restaurant had popped his head out of the door and said they would be serving us at 9.30' an hour after our actual time. We went, along with some fellow cruisers to reception where guest services advised that the delay in dining was due to the late embarkation of passengers owing to the delays outside the port terminal. We decided to eat in the bistro instead as subsequently advised by guest services, when we got to the Bistro it was closed. Back down to reception very unhappy, complained to the ships hotel manager who was not helpful. Eventually had dinner at 10.15. The next day we arrived in Ghent, there were arranged transfers from port to town. It seemed that all 1500 passengers were lined up by th ship, no ship staff anywhere in view. We waited about an hour for the transfer. Please bear in mind that we were not allowed off of the ship until after 11am, waited for the transfer (about 1 hour) journey into Ghent (about half an hour) and had to return by 5.30 at the latest, we didn't actually receive a 'lovely day in Ghent" as advertised. The problem was no one ever said sorry, there were many announcements about different things over the 3 days, but no announcement about delayed dinner or the wait for the shuttle. Customer Service clearly not important. Today, we had to vacate our cabins by 7am, leaving the keys inside. We finally disembarked at 12, like everyone on the ship we were reliant on the toilets in the bars etc. This was 5 hours of having to find toilets which were not ' out of order' or overflowing over the floor, disgusting. We were then called to disembark but a fellow passenger either collapsed or fell, consequently the gangplank was unusable. We then were led in a March round the ship to a further gangway which then had to be fitted with a bridge between ship and shore, this was so claustrophobic, but even then they were instructing other passengers to make their way to the exit, this could have ended badly, lots of the passengers were elderly. Would I cruse with CMV again? No never. Read Less
23 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
My husband & I have taken around a dozen cruises with various lines inc. P&O Royal Carribean, CUnard, Celebrity, MSC & Fred. We took this short cruise to determine how we felt about the ship and cruise line before thinking of ... Read More
My husband & I have taken around a dozen cruises with various lines inc. P&O Royal Carribean, CUnard, Celebrity, MSC & Fred. We took this short cruise to determine how we felt about the ship and cruise line before thinking of any longer duration. We fortunately caught the cruise coach from London Victoria to Tilbury - we had no delays and went straight to check-in on arrival at the port, unlike many other passengers, many of whom waited over an hour & a half simply to get into the car park, after having done battle with the M25 traffic. So far, so good. We arrived at our cabin, deck 6, at the rear of the ship - quite large in size - slightly surprised with the twin bed formation - but we got used to it - apparently we were told there are only 10 'Queen' beds on board. However, the beds were comfortable and the pillows, small but reasonable too. However there were no tea-making facilities in cabin which is surprising for a cruise line that prides itself on a traditional British cruise - we need our tea!! Also you need adaptions to use the plugs, again unexpected. The shower curtain however was a real pain! It's about 2 inches too short to reach the floor, so the bathroom floor gets wet and the curtains will insist on sticking to you when trying to shower. Don't get me started on the noise!! I've never heard such a din - not just the usual drone but banging, clanking and high whining vibration especially when starting the approach to a port - so 5am wake-up call was to be expected. Food was good, tasty although portions were not large, but with a potential 5-course menu - it wasn't necessary to go hungry and if you fancied trying an extra of anything our waiter was very happy to oblige. Our Wine steward was also very helpful and pleasant and it was a very nice touch that a complimentary drink was offered on the last night on the Company" -cheers!! There was one formal night, and most dressed appropriately however there were an odd few who only managed to sport a tea-shirt and jeans. One big complaint - I only drink Soya milk, which was available on the Buffet at breakfast but unavailable anywhere else on the ship for a coffee - it was quite a task to actually take a cup of milk from breakfast and ask one of the Baristas to make me a Latte using it. Afternoon tea was fairly standard - buffet style but one day had lovely raisin scones with jam and cream - this was followed the next day by Cheese scones still offered with jam and cream - different.!! Late night snacks were brought round the lounges on the 1st & 3rd night, unfortunately there were not enough to go round on the first evening - or some folks got more than their fair share! Middle night of cruise saw a "Magnifique Buffet" with ice sculptures and carved fruit/vegs - lots of sea-food available, much to my husbands delight. The entertainment team were good, shows were of reasonable standard, especially the ABBA inspired show. But the best was the Cabaret provided each night by members of the Entertainment team. We enjoy dancing - this was not as good on the ship as others we have experienced. The dance floor was on the small side but the main problem was the musical duo couldn't seem to maintain any sort of tempo throughout a song, so what initally appeared to be a rumba or cha-cha would slow down or speed up and then the inevitable key-change so just went on, & on ..... We both experienced some treatments in the Spa and really impressed by both our therapists - very good treatments, really relaxing and reasonably priced. What a shame that the tannoys are not turned off (or at least down) to prevent the sudden announcements fro breaking into the relaxation time. However one of the biggest gripes of the whole expereince was the first Port - Ghent - 8 shuttle buses for everyone who wanted to take themselves independently into Ghent - a 26 min drive away (hour- round-trip). We had been waiting for a shuttle for around 40 minutes when the crowd were told there was an hour delay - so taking the hour round trip into account, we (together with a considerable number of others) gave up and spent the rest of the day on-board. Many people were very unhappy with this situation and the cruise director got quite a bit of stick for this. Next stop at Amsterdam was better - just a 10 minute walk into the centre. We never saw, or even heard the Captain, or indeed any of the Senior Staff, which was unusual. All announcements were made by a the Passenger Director (or something).A large number of the crew were from Ukraine, according to the information in the ships bulletin, who tended to be rather off-hand, with smaller numbers of Indonesian and Filipino waiters who were as attentive as ever. We docked 2 hours late on our return to Tilbury as a result of the adverse weather conditions experienced overnight. We were in quite a storm. However, after nearly a dozen cruises, including across the North Sea, the Baltic, Fjords, Bay of Biscay and a Transaltantic - this was the worst experience I have had, pitching and rolling and in fact, the first time, ever - I succumbed to the sick-bag (sorry) . We were amused to watch the usual window washing whilst in port - this consisted of a hose-pipe fitted with some shower-like attachments being dangled over the side and swung from side to side - ingenious! We met some very nice people and have answered our question - would we go with them again - Sorry - not for us. We like smaller ships but this was not really up to speed in our opinion. Fred do small much better, as do some of the other smaller ships available with other lines. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We chose this short cruise to Amsterdam and Ghent to give us insight to what cruising is all about. The embarkation and disembarkation were a joke - on arrival we were a little early and after being sent to the wrong booking area we were ... Read More
We chose this short cruise to Amsterdam and Ghent to give us insight to what cruising is all about. The embarkation and disembarkation were a joke - on arrival we were a little early and after being sent to the wrong booking area we were directed to a pub to chill out. On return there was a huge queue and we had to wait for sometime before finally giving our luggage in and getting on board. Disembarkation- We were late in port due to the weather - we were should of alighted at 9.45 but it was around 11 or 12 when we were called. We got to the queue when an announcement was made to go to the aft as someone had fallen. We all duly went aft only to find we had to queue again and then the doors were closed. (more passengers were being called to disembark when we were still stuck there) The crew were becoming frustrated as much as us. Finally a crew member came into view and we asked why were we waiting, he disappeared through the doors and a little while later the doors opened, we gave out a cheer. When stepping onto the gangplank a crew member was calling a port person a 'stupid idiot' as he had not connected the gangplank securely to the ship so it was moving in and away from the side - someone could have had a serious injury. During the both occasions there was a lack of information to why we were held up. The cruise itself - cabin/bathroom was a good size, the food was very good but the waiter could have been a little more attentive as he got some orders wrong/mixed up. There was plenty of choice and different ways to have your meals (buffet style or in restaurants) The entertainment was good and the troupe worked very hard. We enjoyed the stop offs in Ghent and Amsterdam but time was very limited. Pick up and drop off worked OK for us but some people were waiting sometime to get a coach back to ship. For our first time it has put us off as we seemed to queue for everything and if we did decide to cruise again we would definitely not use the port of Tilbury. Read Less
42 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Previously travelled with Thompson, P&O, Costa, Celebrity & MSC Based on the prices, we wanted to try this cruise line, but the reviews have been so bad that we did let it put us off a bit, however, when we saw the 3 night ... Read More
Previously travelled with Thompson, P&O, Costa, Celebrity & MSC Based on the prices, we wanted to try this cruise line, but the reviews have been so bad that we did let it put us off a bit, however, when we saw the 3 night cruise to Ghent & Amsterdam we thought that would be an ideal trip to try them out. Before booking, we happened to see a 12 night trip round the British Isles that we really fancied and just happened to be the Magellan’s next trip after returning from Ghent/Amsterdam so ended up booking both as back to back cruises!! Have to say, I was very apprehensive about the trip because of the reviews, but tried to stay open minded as some of them did refer to their personal experience which of course can impact on your overall view of the experience. We were dropped off around an hour earlier than our allotted arrival time & was on the ship within the hour so was unaware of the issues with regard to the parking - did not find it very clear with regards to suitcases being taken from us, at Southampton when being dropped off as soon as you stop & get out of the car there are porters there to take your luggage from you, at Tilbury this was not the case, there were porters around but after asking we wheeled our bags to the opposite end of the cruise terminal where a porter took them from us - when we entered the hall, people had their luggage with them & the porters were walking around taking the luggage from them. Not sure if this was the normal procedure or just a little different as it was initially only for 3 nights & maybe not expecting much big luggage. As we boarded we were taken straight to our cabin, something we haven't experienced on our previous cruises. The cabin was an okay size with 2 single beds, bathroom was no smaller than what we've had on previous cruises, the shower one of the larger ones we have had and was hot & powerful, we didn’t have any problems with the shower curtain. There was plenty of wardrobe space & room for suitcases. Service: Found this pretty similar to other cruises, most of the are fine, some seem to go that extra bit for you & others don't seem to try as hard. Didn't take part in any activities. Entertainment: Main Theatre – show performed 7.30pm & 9pm, we were on 2nd sitting which meant we would have to go to the earlier show if we wanted to see it, problem with that is if you’re ashore all/most of the day then it was sometimes too much of a rush to get ready in time. All but 3 of the shows were performed by the same group of singers & dancers, just a different theme for the songs being sung. Did have a comedian one night that we managed to see, but missed the other 2 shows we would have liked to see (magician & band). Captains Lounge – a duo that were ok that had a couple of breaks when a quiz or game were played at around 10pm which would be followed by a cabaret which was the same singers from the show doing a solo or group session of more singing. Sinatras – a pianist, which was like background music, not quite our thing Scotts nightclub – was very well used & lively during the 3 night cruise but pretty empty on the 12 night cruise. Food : In the main dining rooms we were quite happy with the food, there were 5 courses you could choose from and the portions were not massive (the same as other cruises we have been on) but overall was enough to eat without feeling over full or bloated. The choice was not as fancy as some other cruises we have been on, but what we had was thoroughly enjoyable. Raffles bistro – the food was fine, we have had much bigger variety on other ships, but they did have much bigger counter/table areas to hold the many different choices compared to Magellan, but we felt there was enough choice to eat fairly well. The late night buffet was just waiters bringing out trays of nibbles, they would have 4 different items & would serve you one of each. Although they did have a couple of nights where the chefs laid out tables with very nicely presented food, but could never get close enough to get anything! Some of the tenders & shuttles were arranged by the local ports we were in, so assume not under the control of the ship? We never had any problems with getting on them or arriving at the drop offs having plenty of time in town, but then we always made sure we off the ship as early as possible which may be why. Coming back from Amsterdam during our 3rd night was pretty horrendous due to the storm & we were late docking in Tilbury due to the ‘adverse weather conditions’ but as bad as this was, it isn’t the fault of the ship or cruise company when the weather is so bad. The late docking did mean there was a lot of hanging around that morning as we had to be out of our cabins by 7am (if they want rooms to be ready for the next guests as they get on board then it has to be this early, otherwise, as with other ships you get on board but have to wait for them to tell you when the rooms are ready). Basically, this is an old ship, possibly one of the first style of this type of cruise ship and therefore the original design before they started building bigger/improved ships. Being an old design may well explain some of the noise issues in some of the cabins & problems with drainage, although we did experience some issues with the toilets on the MSC ship which was newer. It has been mentioned that cabins at the back may have been near engines & experienced lots of noise, our first cabin was more midship on deck 5 (cabin 5151) & we did not suffer from noise. Our second cabin was right at the front on deck 5 (cabin 5001) and we did experience some noise which would start about an hour before we docked or dropped anchor, it sounded like they may have turned a motor on which created a continual humming noise then it was like you could hear the anchor/ropes being lowered or pulled in – the noise was not massively intrusive, but was definitely noticeable!! Cruise ships are basically floating hotels getting you from port to port and we were quite happy with this one based on the price we paid. Would we travel with Cruise & Maritime again on the Magellan? Yes, we think we would be quite happy to travel with them again should they be doing a trip that we were interested in doing – but we would like to see a little more variety/guest performers in the theatre/bars. Ghent - shuttle to the town which worked fine when we used it, the town was very pretty - similar to Bruges Amsterdam - was approx. 10-15 minute walk to the main station which sits at the top of Amsterdam where we got on a hop on hop off bus. Very pretty in places, criss crossing the canals on both small & large bridges, very enjoyable. Invergordon - a couple of minutes from the ship takes you in to their main street, not much there really, we were off quite early & managed to get on the special non stop bus laid on by stage coach in to Inverness, at the bus station we were in time to buy tickets for a trip to Loch ness & Urghart castle. Plenty of shops etc to wander around Kirkwall - tender boats, just got there in time to get on the T11 tour to skara brae & the ring of stones, get to see quite a bit of the island. Stornoway - tender, not much there really, went on 3 hour walk which was exhausting but thoroughly enjoyable Tobermory - tender, really pretty little place that sits low around a bay with high ground raising above it, got on a tour bus & had some very nice views, also did tour in the distillery, very nice. Dublin - shuttle from port or walkable in around 50 mins, got on hop on hop off bus, had lunch/drink in Temple Bar area, very nice. Went to Guiness storehouse & was a bit disappointed with it, felt like a very big area with not too much to see about how guiness is made Belfast - shuttle. did titanic museum which was really good & hop on hop off bus Cobh - a pretty little place with a wonderful cathedral Scilly Isles - tender, really liked it here, went on a walk around the garrison island. St Malo, France - tender, very nice old town surrounded by wall, lovely beach/promenade walk, need the tide to be out to enjoy the beach Honfleur - shuttle, really pretty with some beautiful old buildings, it was market day & the stalls were set out in front of some the buildings so couldn't get decent pictures, but still very nice. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
We went on this cruise as a taster, just to see what CMV was like. The week-end before we had been on the Harmony of the Seas also as a taster. one extreme to the other you may say !! Anyway Harmony we were glad to get off.(see review). ... Read More
We went on this cruise as a taster, just to see what CMV was like. The week-end before we had been on the Harmony of the Seas also as a taster. one extreme to the other you may say !! Anyway Harmony we were glad to get off.(see review). Magellan we wanted to stay on !! A lot older, a lot smaller, a lot less brash and flash; but a lot more like a ship and a far better atmosphere on board. The shows were good, a lovely Captains Club lounge where we danced 2 nights running. No nice dance lounge like that on Harmony. Also the drinks prices were very good, and no added 18% on top! The food wasn't brilliant but reasonable. Dinner was good. A lot easier to get a table for breakfast in the buffet. We had an outside view cabin which was as roomy as Harmony, the shower room a bit bigger. The décor on the ship was very smart, all clean and tidy. All in all having read a few bad reviews about this ship we were pleasantly surprised ! Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise as the Ports of Call were all just where we wanted to go. As we live in Debyshire Hull was so easy to reach. Once on board not so sure on our choice, cabin sloped down hill making quite a high step in to shower etc. ... Read More
Chose this cruise as the Ports of Call were all just where we wanted to go. As we live in Debyshire Hull was so easy to reach. Once on board not so sure on our choice, cabin sloped down hill making quite a high step in to shower etc. Food was a great disappointment being of poor quality and level of service left much to be desired. As one of the few not ill in the bad weather on crossing north sea, I witnessed in the glorified cafe called a 'bistro' dirty pots cleared, but tables not cleaned or when they were the same cloth was used without being rinsed and no anti-bac spray used. This was the theme throughout, when meals required a sauce like mustard or mint these were served in their jars with residue running down the side!!! Waiters at meals did not realise it was bad manners to clear the table before everyone had finished eating even crossing people eating to changing cutlery. Entertainment staff tried very hard, but needed more support, even one of them told me that Oliver Twist would not ask for more! Ports of call were all good, did many trips ourselves, others were ok Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
This was the second time we have been on the Baltic Cities & St Petersburg cruise, and just as with the first time, it was thoroughly enjoyable. We sailed from Hull in East Yorkshire and the operation there was so smooth; drove car ... Read More
This was the second time we have been on the Baltic Cities & St Petersburg cruise, and just as with the first time, it was thoroughly enjoyable. We sailed from Hull in East Yorkshire and the operation there was so smooth; drove car into a large parking shed, unloaded bags, they were loaded onto a van, we climbed aboard a bus with our hand luggage and were driven to the 'check-in' area. Check-in was very straight forward and we were on board the Marco Polo in no time. A buffet was available as soon as we embarked and was as expected - delicious. In fact, all the meals on board ship were lovely and there was always plenty of choice. The entertainment - both the ships own team and special guest artists - was really, really good, in fact, excellent. There were two guest speakers - again both were excellent, and although we didn't join in, the craft activities room was always full, so were obviously excellent too. Our cabin was on the Caribic Deck and even though you could hear the propeller, this didn't stop you from sleeping. If anything, it lulled you to sleep. The cabin consisted of two beds, a 3 door wardrobe, 4 sets of drawers and a bathroom (shower only) and a safe. Our cabin stewardess kept everything spotless. Would we go again? Definitely - there is so much to see at each of the ports visited. Cruise and Maritime provide an excellent choice of excursions to make sure that you experience everything there is to experience. 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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I always wanted to see Norway and this cruise suited my price range. Having cruised on several different cruise lines and living in southern Europe, we are more used to Italian or American cruise ships with a mixture of nationalities. ... Read More
I always wanted to see Norway and this cruise suited my price range. Having cruised on several different cruise lines and living in southern Europe, we are more used to Italian or American cruise ships with a mixture of nationalities. After booking, l read several mixed reviews on Megellan and CMV, and was not expecting great things from the actual ship, but was very pleasantly surprised. Embarkation was quick and efficient in Tilbury and for the first time our suitcases were by our room before us. Our cabin was very large, probably used as a family cabin before, and chosen for that reason. The bathroom did not have much storage space but the shower was the best l have ever known. Electrical sockets were Italian but advertised as English, and there are no fridges in the cabins which is not ideal. Plenty of shortage space and hangers though. Everything was several floors up but exercising on the staircases is much needed on a cruise! The food and service in the restaurant were excellent, again one of the best we have experienced, and most the people and staff on board were so friendly and chatty, we soon made lots of friends. The entertainment was more than adequate for a smaller ship and the singers and dancers worked very hard all week and were much appreciated. The ship is not new and the vibration was more than we had experienced before, seemingly getting worse the higher up the ship you went. Our cabin on 4th deck did not suffer from vibration, until we entered a port and then we found we were above the bow thrusters and anchor! Take earplugs! Otherwise we joked about bring in "steerage" as we did not get animal towels like other cabins, which did not bother us. Once our toilet flush jammed and it was fixed immediately. The excursions seemed well organized and it was easy to disembark and embark the ship, unlike other larger cruise lines. When we left the ship at the end of the cruise, we had the choice of "fast track" taking your own luggage with you, which was a huge bonus if you need to go on to catch a flight or train to go home. Norway as a cruise destination was fabulous, stunning scenery and intersesting places to visit with good information on the cruise bulletin, delivered to your cabin each day. Much to my surprise l would recommend this ship and cruise, and would certainly use them again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Just returned from a great cruise with CMV to the Norwegian Fiords. A lovely ship very comfortable and even on the days at sea, it was always easy to find a seat or get served in the restaurants and bars. The ship was full yet never felt ... Read More
Just returned from a great cruise with CMV to the Norwegian Fiords. A lovely ship very comfortable and even on the days at sea, it was always easy to find a seat or get served in the restaurants and bars. The ship was full yet never felt it. The staff were always helpful and friendly and as with many cruises the only downside was fellow passeners who were rude and inconsiderate and lacked common courtsey, the staff dealt with such people magnificently. The food was superb in all restaurants, perhaps larger portions in the formal restaurants would be better - but hot nibbles were always brought around the show lounges and bars later on in the evening! There was entertainment to suit all tastes, great shows in the superb show lounge, popular music and quizzes in the main lounge and a delighful classical duo in the "quieter lounge." A special mention also for the guest lecturer who gave a great overview of the vikings and a very interesting lecture on his time in the Liverpool police. All the ports of call were stunning, pictures alone cannot convey the beauty of the Fiords and the excursion staff and guides were really knowledgeable. The only negative point was day one, Tilbury cruise terminal is rubbish - poor access, uncomfortable and a long walk to the ship. Also we experienced the same disasters as others have reported in attending our designated restuarant sitting on the first night, long delays and cold food, thankfully never happened again. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
I had read a lot of negative reviews about Cruise & Maritime and the vessel Magellan before my wife and I embarked on this, our first,cruise. I am pleased to say that any reservations I had were completely unfounded. Parking at Tilbury ... Read More
I had read a lot of negative reviews about Cruise & Maritime and the vessel Magellan before my wife and I embarked on this, our first,cruise. I am pleased to say that any reservations I had were completely unfounded. Parking at Tilbury was well organised and efficient as was the boarding and luggage handling. The food was excellent both in variety and quality in the restaurants and the bistro. The inside cabin was spacious and kept immaculately clean and well stocked with toiletries by our steward Imam. We slept well and were not aware of any noise or vibration as reported by other commentators. Imam and the rest of the multi-national crew were superb. Courteous, helpful, obliging are words that come to mind. The Magellan is a smaller cruise ship and doesn't have all the bells, whistles and shopping malls of the mega cruise liners afloat today. But we didn't want a floating Disneyland. What the Magellan does have are comfortable lounges and bars (with very reasonable prices) and good entertainment every evening plus a casino if you fancy your luck. The vessel has a homely feel to it which we much prefer to the floating city type of vessel with its 3000 plus inhabitants including noisy children. The other passengers on the cruise were mainly British and there are no children allowed on this vessel which, and I am a father and grandfather and love my kids, was a real blessing.The Norwegian fjiords were wonderful and the shore visits interesting and not rushed. What I remember most is the hardworking and always pleasant crew members from many different parts of the world who made this cruise a success. We shall travel with Cruise & Maritime again and certainly on the Magellan again. Ignore the critics; if you are thinking of joining the Magellan or other Cruise & Maritime vessel for a cruise my advice is do not hesitate. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
1 night cruise from Newcastle to Tilbury to experience the ship. It's nice but as some said doesn't have any WOW factors. The restaurants and food was excellent. There was plenty of room in the show theatre. There was only 1 ... Read More
1 night cruise from Newcastle to Tilbury to experience the ship. It's nice but as some said doesn't have any WOW factors. The restaurants and food was excellent. There was plenty of room in the show theatre. There was only 1 showing and I think as people had seen it before many didn't bother. The entertainment staff put a lot of energy and effort into the Around the World show. Not enough seats in the lounge for the "cabaret" performance so can't comment on that. Cabin was nice and spacious, as was the shower. However, I've never heard such noisy air conditioning and you can't adjust it/turn it off. Really loud. Could also hear next doors tv and them coughing at night. I'd definitely take earplugs if I went on again. No tea/coffee making facilities in room and though tea and coffee are free 24 hours a day I like to have a cup when I wake up rather than going up on deck to drink it/bring it down to the cabin. We used the gym which was adequate and we were the only ones in there. Shame there's no outdoor sports facilities. Check in was slow, despite being given a time to arrive/embark it was at least an hour behind. Hopefully better when on a proper cruise. Still it was a great opportunity to get to know the ship. Some of the paperwork Cruise & Maritime sent was confusing (eg no luggage labels yet mentioning them, not clear if hand luggage in or carry it on yourself (it's actually the latter). Car parking instructions unclear. All meant 2 phone calls to query it. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Embarkation in UK (Hull) as we live in Grimsby and wanted to visit the Fjords. No flying with no waiting about, ease of boarding and disembarking. The Ship, Marco Polo was adequate but rather dated, crew very helpful, cabin was spacious ... Read More
Embarkation in UK (Hull) as we live in Grimsby and wanted to visit the Fjords. No flying with no waiting about, ease of boarding and disembarking. The Ship, Marco Polo was adequate but rather dated, crew very helpful, cabin was spacious and clean with an excellent cabin stewardess. The ship's amenities were all close by and very central and easy to find around the decks. The food in general was not to my taste and available selection was at best average. There wasnolatenight buffets which is the norm on most cruise lines. The on-board entertainment team was at best average and amateurish, lot of on/off stage with no breaks like an on-going commentary about the show. The Guest cabaret was poor, some what crude and "holiday camp" level. The itinerary around the fjords more than made up for the quality of the cruise, especially the ever changing scenery. Shore excursions, mainly road and/or rail trips were rather expensive if booked via the ship and you could save money by booking your own tickets. This was our first cruise with CMV and we would not be likely use them again or recommend this cruise line to potential customers after using Thompsons and P&O cruise lines. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Chose this cruise on price and local embarkation (Hull). The small ship (only 800 passengers) suited my age range and the fact no children allowed suited me and my husband. I have been on much more expensive and larger ships but found ... Read More
Chose this cruise on price and local embarkation (Hull). The small ship (only 800 passengers) suited my age range and the fact no children allowed suited me and my husband. I have been on much more expensive and larger ships but found the Marco Polo more intimate. Cabin small but adequate, cabin staff very friendly and attentive. Dining very wide choice 5 course evening meal which was good value for what we paid, service was great. Facilitates adequate for my age group, attended craft sessions which passed the time whilst sailing with friendly instructors. Evening entertainment was average on the nights we attended. I went to Norway to see the fjords, my husband and I were not disappointed, scenery was awesome. Organised excursions were not cheap but this did not put me off and was not disappointed. We would certainly go again but would not pay the extra for higher grade outside cabin as it only consisted of two grubby portholes and had to kneel on bed to look out of. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The itinerary was ideal for us and Newcastle was easy to get to from home. Embarkation was easy and we were quickly reunited with our luggage. Cabin 5009 had a porthole rather than a window but as it was an upgrade from an inside one ... Read More
The itinerary was ideal for us and Newcastle was easy to get to from home. Embarkation was easy and we were quickly reunited with our luggage. Cabin 5009 had a porthole rather than a window but as it was an upgrade from an inside one this was not a problem. Plenty of storage space and 2 comfortable single beds in a "L" configuration. Bathroom was small but acceptable. Cabin steward excellent. No noise problem for this cabin. Food was OK in the Kensington restaurant. The self service one on deck 10 was acceptable but could get crowded. We enjoyed a night at the chef's table where the dishes were up to West End standard and the wine was free flowing. We enjoyed all the ports but only used the CMV tours in St Petersburg as we had not got a Russian visa. Entertainment was good with at least one excellent singer, good dancers and a violinist who was great to listen to and look at. For the price it was a great voyage. Read Less
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