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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I do not normally publish criticism however iwas gravely disappointed with this trip. As an opportunity to visit the Belgian Christmas markets and pre evaluate the Magellan ahead of booking am iceland tour i am glad i did. I ... Read More
I do not normally publish criticism however iwas gravely disappointed with this trip. As an opportunity to visit the Belgian Christmas markets and pre evaluate the Magellan ahead of booking am iceland tour i am glad i did. I appreciate iam used to the celebrity and Royal Caribbean experience but this was ahuge step down I terms of experience. Embarking was slick, no problems and kept well to time. Impresssed. Cabin. The size of my seaview cabin was fine, the protruding ciachman needs which sick or even when closed was the cause of a few bumped heads but not a real problem. Very clean throughout. Thank you to Olga. General ship experience. The ship is ok, it is abut of a midpoint between a cruise ship and a ferry but ok. Obviously too cold for the unheated sea water pool which had been drained. Food. This was one area which hugely disappointed. The breakfast range was three however the quality of good was not great. Croissants did not appear fresh, more like the long life croissants you can buy in a supermarket. Black scarred bananas, dry muffins also below par. The main restaurant food was generally acceptable but not that impressive. All edible but certainly not melt in the mouth meat for example. Additionally, availability of snacks and cold drinks was very poor. From closure of the main restaurant there was no cold drink available (not even water unless you want to drink from your bathroom tap which is not for me! ) unless purchased as as extra cost from the bar. No access to savoury snacks or even biscuits afterdinner. Only Cakes available for purchase in one bar. Formal night declared on pre cruise information brought formal wear to find Only very casual nights. Entertainment. I am afraid the cast tried valiently but the show was poor in comparison to what we have previously experienced. Long gaps between songs which did not flow from one to another, weak and unfortunately, fairly average vocals i would place in a holiday camp. (Far far better than anything i can achieve i acknowledge and not meant as a personal attack on the artists). Really nice theatre though. Excursion to brussels. Your guide Bob was very good. Knowledgeable, engaging and helpful. A good day out. Disembarkation Asked to vacate cabin before 07.30 although disembarkation scheduled for post 9.30. The ship is laid up for several days before next trip so not sure why it was necessary to crowd lounges unnecessarily either. In essence i would suggest as a first cruise experience this is an acceptable trip but if you have enjoyed the more refined offerings of the likes of royal Caribbean or celebrity this will probably not hit the mark. The cruise came in a little cheaper than the big players but to be honest when you add what you spend on the 'Missing extras' like cold drinks it works out pretty much the same cost. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have been on many cruises on different lines and this is our first with CMV. We were attracted to this as Columbus was previously Ocean Village which was our first cruise many moons ago and the fact they had a buy one get one free deal. ... Read More
We have been on many cruises on different lines and this is our first with CMV. We were attracted to this as Columbus was previously Ocean Village which was our first cruise many moons ago and the fact they had a buy one get one free deal. Added to this that the day in Amsterdam fell on my birthday, it seemed ideal. To me, it was a cruise of two halves. Night 2 was much better than night 1. EMBARKATION AND FIRST NIGHT We stayed the night before in the Premier Inn Thurrock East which was only a 15-minute drive from the port and a 20-minute walk from Lakeside Shopping Centre. We got to the terminal to park our car at about 12:15pm as we had to leave the hotel by 12pm. We paid for CMV parking but there needs to be more signage to help you get to the car park once you get in the port. We parked the car, got on the bus and got the transfer to the terminal. Even though our check in time was 2:20pm we were able to check in straight away (note: take a pen to complete the health form!) and we were on board by 1pm. We were shown to our cabin (nice touch) and our cabin steward Imade introduced himself. We dropped off our bags and went to lunch in the buffet. The food here was nice and tasty and it was easy to get a table. When we asked for wine, they came in plastic glasses so we had to ask the waitress to change them for glass, which she did eventually. One thing I did notice on CMV that the staff were really friendly and all seemed to enjoy their job. We explored the ship. The lifts are quite old and often buzzed to say there were too many people in them even though there was room which was annoying but being on Reception deck meant that we were close to most things except the buffet. We really liked Raffles bar and the waiter in here was always happy and eager to please but was on his own so took a while to get drinks for everyone. The décor was really nice but they ran out of Baileys within 5 minutes of departure which a few people were not happy about. Drinks prices were really reasonable and strong(!) with a bottle of wine costing between £15-£18 and even when we had a bottle of Chablis in the restaurant this was only £29. The life boat drill took place on the lifeboat deck so wear something warm! They took this very seriously which was good to see. The show was Abba which was a little bit amateur. The singers and dancers were ok but I thought this was a little bit weak. It also took a while to get a drink here. After the show we went to dinner. The restaurant is really nicely decorated and our waiter was very friendly and efficient. We had a table for 6 and the conversation flowed easily. The food on the first night was instantly forgettable and was a bit strange at times (pate without toast, for example) and I hoped it would get better on the next night. We went to the Dome after dinner. It is a nice place to be but the DJ request system was a bit strange with people monopolising the screen. We then went to bed but were woken up a couple of times in the night by, which we late found out, the locks. Nothing CMV could do about this of course. SECOND DAY AND NIGHT Breakfast in the restaurant was mediocre, not very hot, understaffed and with cheap, fatty bacon. I think we probably would have been better going to the buffet. A few people were complaining about cold, stewed tea and cold toast. However, from after this point, it was MUCH better. We were docked pretty much in the centre of Amsterdam and it was an easy walk into town. We had a nice wander around the city, had a leisurely lunch then got back on for afternoon tea in the buffet. They had lovely scones and again we had no problem finding a table but the custard tasted a bit powdery with the dessert. We went to Raffles again (Connexions and the Pub were very busy) and this time they had Baileys and the same waiter was in there being his normal friendly and happy self. The service was much quicker this time as they had more staff in there (perhaps they had feedback from passengers?). We were told there would be one formal night by CMV head office but both were informal which was a bit annoying as we wouldn’t have brought our tuxedos with us had we known. The entertainment the second night was excellent, music of the musicals and this is where the entertainment team came into their own. The singing and dancing just seemed to much better. We learnt from the slow drinks service the first night and brought in our drinks from the bar. The restaurant meal on the second night was also much better. The food was tasty, service excellent and the baked Alaska parade was really entertaining. As it was my birthday, they sang happy birthday to me and gave us all cake which was a nice touch. DISEMBARKATION We arrived in Tilbury 2 hours late which suited us as it meant we would miss rush hour. We also had an announcement in the cabin at 6am to say we could stay in our cabin for an extra 2 hours so we had a nice lie in! We had express disembarkation which was quick and painless, we went straight to the car park bus and were on the road within 45 minutes of arrival. VERDICT Would I go on this ship, or CMV, again? Possibly, depending on the price. Had we had the food and entertainment experience of the second night on both nights I would say a definite yes. I can’t stress enough that the staff and service were excellent and they genuinely looked like they loved working for CMV. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I would highly recommend the 2 night mini cruise to Amsterdam from Tilbury on the Columbus, from start to finish it was stress and hassle free. We had a lovely cabin, the ship it’s self has plenty to keep you busy, lots of bars to choose ... Read More
I would highly recommend the 2 night mini cruise to Amsterdam from Tilbury on the Columbus, from start to finish it was stress and hassle free. We had a lovely cabin, the ship it’s self has plenty to keep you busy, lots of bars to choose from and the food in the waterfront restaurant was brilliant. We had a lovely day in Amsterdam and was back on the ship at 4.30pm. The shows on the ship were great, I couldn’t fault anything, I will definitely be booking every December as a pre birthday / Xmas treat and will take my partner next year too. It was such value for money, go and you won’t be disappointed. The whole experience from start to finish has made me not want to fly abroad anymore unless absolutely necessary, it’s cruising for me and my friends and family now, so book ASAP!!! Be prepared to gain a few pounds. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
43I booked a last minute 5 night cruise on Marco Polo as it had been advertised at a very good price. I have sailed on her a number of times and have a soft spot for this elegant old cruise ship. Embarkation at Tilbury was very quick, I ... Read More
43I booked a last minute 5 night cruise on Marco Polo as it had been advertised at a very good price. I have sailed on her a number of times and have a soft spot for this elegant old cruise ship. Embarkation at Tilbury was very quick, I had allowed for travel holdups that did not occur, and arrived at the port almost two hours early, and checked in and was aboard in less than five minutes. I had a comfortable outside cabin on deck 7 with tea and coffee making facilities, which I was very happy with. It was kept spotlessly clean by my steward, who was a dab hand at providing me with a range of daily towel sculptured animals. Our first port of call was Rotterdam, which was a delight. Although free coach shuttles had been laid on, it was only a 15 minute walk from the cruise terminal to the city centre. Rotterdam is much more modern than Amsterdam, but the benefit is that you do not have the hordes of tourists to contend with. It is a lovely city to explore on foot. Our next stop was Rouen for an evening visit to the Christmas markets by the cathedral. As before, free shuttle coaches had been provided to the city centre. Rouen is beautiful, I would have liked far longer there to fully explore the place. Our third and final stop was a full day in Honfleur. We had been informed at the start of the cruise that the Christmas market in Honfleur had been delayed and would not be open for our visit. I spent the morning exploring Honfleur, which is well worth a visit, with many quaint narrow streets and ancient buildings. After returning to the ship for lunch, CMV kindly laid on free coaches to take us over the impressive Seine bridge to spend an afternoon in Le Havre. I have seen some reviews of Marco Polo where people moan about various niggles they’ve found, but these seem very unfair to me. The ship is not new, but she is smartly styled and the crew work tirelessly to keep her looking her best. I found the food in the restaurant to be very good, the beef wellington one night particularly worth a mention. Dinner consists of five courses, Cunard only serve four on QM2! My table companions all agreed the food in the restaurant was very good. There were lots of activities organized on board, regular quizzes and games, craft workshops, guest lectures (themed on Joan of Arc, Marie Antoinette and Napoleon Bonaparte which were excellent and well presented) as well as entertainment from talented musicians and an enthusiastic show team of singers and dancers. If you get a chance to do a longer cruise on this lovely liner, you are in for a little treat at the end of your meal on the last formal night. This is possibly the only ship that still does the ‘Baked Alaska’ parade properly. Take your cameras with you to dinner. I’ll say no more so as not to spoil the surprise! The baked Alaska was delicious of course. After a final day at sea, we disembarked in Avonmouth, Bristol. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have just arrived home after back to back cruise on Magellan we did the Christmas Market cruise to Rouen and Honfleur . Before the cruise started we were told that there would be no Christmas market at Honfleur it started the day ... Read More
We have just arrived home after back to back cruise on Magellan we did the Christmas Market cruise to Rouen and Honfleur . Before the cruise started we were told that there would be no Christmas market at Honfleur it started the day after we visited how can CMV make a mistake like this . On arriving at Tilbury we had paid for car parking I find it hard to believe that there were no blue badge spaces for wheelchair users we were expected to leave my wife at the terminal while I parked the car in the docks and got a bus back this is not good enough .We spoked to a car park attendant who let us park outside the port , when we booked through CMV we were told that we could not park outside the port as there was building work going on , when we arrived there was no building work going on , there should be blue badge spaces for the disabled out side the port. We were on the boat in under 30 minutes , the food was very good only problem it took 30 minutes to find a seat. The cabin no 6153 was a good size plenty of draw space . The only problem was the air conditioning was blowing out cold air we told the steward twice nothing done about it went to reception next day still nothing done went to reception again in the evening finally they got someone to look at it and he could not fix it so we were cold all the time this is not good enough CMV must have known that it didn't work we spoke to many people whose heating never worked . ROUEN Were told the evening before that there would be a shuttle bus to take us into town and we needed to get a ticket at 3pm wo we arrived at 2.25pm most of the ships passengers were there then it was announced over the tannoy that tickets would not be issued till 3.30 we got our tickets at 4.10 on bus no 22 so we said we would get a taxi .Why was we not given the bus tickets the evening before with the daily information paper like other cruise lines then we would not have to que for so long. We were told by a member of staff that there were 3 steps at the bottom of the gangway and that we would be helped down when we got to deck 5 there were hundreds of people thereafter 25min we got to the gangway then we see that the gangway was all steps so I went to find somebody to help after 30 min someone came all while my wife is sitting by the gangway getting cold and bumped into they said that 4 crew would carry her down the steps I was not happy about this that is really health and safety I said that we would not go ashore (we have been on over 30 cruises this is the first time we have not been able to go ashore). I make an appointment to see the Captain or Cruise Director in the end we saw the Guest Services manager we explained to him what had happened and how my wife had felt he didn't want to know just saying they would have carried her down the steps not taking into account how my wife felt she was terrified but he didn't seem to care about that .There was no reason that I could see as to why a flat gangway could not be used. I also said that if that when he was announcing about the tickets he should have said that there were steps to get off boat and that wheelchairs could not get off then we would not have to waste 3 hours and all the problems. The next day we had got breakfast but not started to eat it when there was a announcement they were using a flat gangway but would be changing it for steps in 15 minutes time so we left our breakfast and rushed to deck 5 we got off no problem there was a shuttlebus but no romps for wheelchairs so we had to walk a mile to town no thought again from CMV. Arrived back at ship and step gangway no crew members there to help so I had to go onboard to get some help we waited for 35 minutes for them to show up it was really cold they couldn't care less my wife was eventually carried on board. So we had been on a Christmas Markets cruise but had not seen a Christmas market NOT GOOD ENOUGTH. We cancelled our tips which I think most of the passengers done .We stayed on the ship for the next cruise to Antwerp this cruise was no problem we had the same cabin so cabin was still cold still nothing done about it .Talking about the cold deck 9 was always cold with a lot of people sitting in there coats many people complained but nothing done about it. And to top it off when we were leaving the ship at Tilbury crew members stood and watched me struggle getting off with the ramps and slops they didn't offer to help me they just watched. So will we travel with CMV again NEVER they do not care about disabled people Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Have been on ship when previously owned by P & O as ~ Arcadia, and she was lovely. The ship now has very poor interior fabrics including plastic chairs and tables. The service is extremely poor, the food was even worse. Dining in ... Read More
Have been on ship when previously owned by P & O as ~ Arcadia, and she was lovely. The ship now has very poor interior fabrics including plastic chairs and tables. The service is extremely poor, the food was even worse. Dining in the restaurant was an experience so be missed, we were seated behind a large pillar, and had nothing to look at other than a net curtain which was falling down the the stewards caught their feet in it each time they walked by the table. Despite reporting this to the deputy head waiter, nothing was done about it. Only met two stewards who were any good at all, the rest were positively ignorant of the requirements of cruise ship passengers. The entertainments and officer were so bad they were cringworthy Arrived late at all ports except on return to Tilbury. Embarkation and disembarkation at Tilbury was terrible, not an experience to be repeated in any way, shape or form. Cannot express how bad it really was, it was a nightmare. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship was good in parts; Positive aspects - - Embarkation was smooth (once we'd eventually found the car park) - Public areas clean and well presented - Entertainment in theatre better than anticipated (if a little ... Read More
Ship was good in parts; Positive aspects - - Embarkation was smooth (once we'd eventually found the car park) - Public areas clean and well presented - Entertainment in theatre better than anticipated (if a little jingoistic) - Drink prices reasonable - Excursions good value and efficiently run. However on the negative side - Muster drill - it would have been helpful if it had been made clear in advance that this was to be held outside on the open deck . Many passengers turned up dressed for the meeting points which were inside and were clearly unprepared for spending half an hour outside in December. Service - the impression was that a high proportion of the staff were completely inexperienced and had just been recruited en masse from a dole queue somewhere in eastern Europe. Although there were honourable exceptions some of the bar staff had little idea of concepts like "short" or "tall" or indeed what was on their menus. Training appeared to have been non existent and there was a tendency for less experienced members of staff to avoid any interaction with customers - which resulted in waits in excess of an hour to be served at some times - in a half empty bar! Also had the unusual experience of receiving a whiskey and ginger in a pint beer glass. Food - in the main restaurant was served slowly and often received cold. Some was absolutely dire - notably "chicken lollipops" which were battered Chicken bones, devoid of any meat (recycling at its finest). Desserts were generally poor both in quality and quantity and generally reminiscent of a fairly rough all inclusive eastern mediterranean resort. - We sampled the delights of main restaurant breakfast once only on the first day. That was quite enough. Buffet breakfast was marginally better, but totally inadequate for the number of passengers trying to use it. Buffet lunch was sparse and looked unappetising - we didn't risk it. By the time we had reached Antwerp we gave up, lunched ashore and brought cakes back to stave off hunger in the evening. Best meal of the trip. - Special mention needs to made of the wine waiter who not only appeared to be unable to open a bottle without customer assistance, but also had a retention shorter than a goldfish - having taken our order he reappeared at the table a few minutes later asking if he could take our order . . . - The shop was slightly bizarre. If you had a fetish for Whittard Teas or Greek olive oil, you would love it. Otherwise choice was a little limited and essentials virtually non existent. - Disembarkation was "different" - we had to vacate cabins by 7 in the morning (a full hour before docking) and all Express passengers (probably about 50%) had to assemble with luggage in the Atrium. Overcrowded is an understatement. Three final points - - This may sound critical of the staff - it's not intended to be; it felt rather the result of inadequate training than any failing of individual members. - It's a shame that a ship which has got things so right in some areas is let down so substantially in others. - Would we use CMV again? Unless we were convinced that the service and food issues had been resolved, not a chance! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our past memories of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Boarding was very good, fast and efficient. Cabin good. We chose mid ship and it was a very quiet cabin. Lifeboat drill was ... Read More
Chose this cruise to celebrate my retirement and our past memories of Germany, Netherlands and Belgium. Boarding was very good, fast and efficient. Cabin good. We chose mid ship and it was a very quiet cabin. Lifeboat drill was chaotic to say the least. We were all called to the theatre, checked off and then sent out to the muster point on deck. There chaos ruled. Checking people off again and then proceeded to demonstrate the life jacket ( why couldn’t this have been done in the theatre). We were on 2nd sitting so went to the restaurant after the show. We had to queue initially to wait for the first sitting to clear and then directed to our table. However some very drunk idiot decided to make a spectacle of himself and complain about the wait. Generally the meals were lukewarm which was extremely disappointing. They would have been nice if hot. Our restaurant servers were very nice and efficient but the bars were understaffed and took too many orders on at once. However one bar steward shone in the raffles bar working very hard and friendly. Entertainment was excellent especially Angelina and Lee. As a group the singers weren’t great but when the sang solo they were very good. The dancers were top class also. The solo violinist was excellent also. We enjoyed the excursions apart from the coach on return from Brussels which dropped us quite a bit away from the terminal. Getting on and off the ship for excursions were smooth on the whole. Found the ship to be rather small for our liking so probably wouldn’t go again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I went on this cruise with 5 friends and for a short European market cruise it was perfect. There were some points for improvement yes but on the whole it was what I expected. We chose the VIP package so we could access whatever we wanted, ... Read More
I went on this cruise with 5 friends and for a short European market cruise it was perfect. There were some points for improvement yes but on the whole it was what I expected. We chose the VIP package so we could access whatever we wanted, however service was quite slow and you could only order one drink at a time and only your own drink and each time they had to produce receipts for signing - all very time consuming and the process used a lot of unnecessary paper - there must be a digital alternative? The main restaurant was perfect and it could also be used for breakfast and lunch too and most didn’t - we used the buffet a couple of times but because of time parameters of shore times etc the footfall was so concentrated we could not sit together if we could find seats at all, cutlery and cups etc ran out and we vowed not to use the buffet anymore when it was so busy. On the ‘sea” day we treated ourselves to the private dining (as we had a birthday) - 9 courses at The Chefs Table. However the person who took the booking made it for the wrong day and should not have accepted our booking as it was already full - apparently "he tried to find us"!!! on a ship not too hard!!! When we arrived we were treated as though we were in the wrong, and the whole situation was handled abysmally. The entertainment was middle of the road as you would expect too - the staff worked very hard. We stopped at Amsterdam , Hamburg and Antwerp. Amsterdam was the shortest stop and one we preferred. No market here but we got our own Anne Frank tickets and looked around alone. The centre was within walking distance. Next was Hamburg - the market here was the best with the parade- however it was a Saturday and v v v busy. The centre was 15 mins by taxi and cost 24 euros- the boat supplies10 courtesy buses but we decided not to queue. Lastly was Antwerp, within walking distance, we also enjoyed. All in all it was a nice pre xmas break, go with a group you know you will make your own entertainment with and you will have fun, however do not expect impeccable organisation, service or luxury. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
This was our first time on this ship.It was very good. Embarkation was very. Quick and smooth. Our cabin boy was lovely. The service in the bars was very slow at times,they need more staff. The entertament was great the boys ... Read More
This was our first time on this ship.It was very good. Embarkation was very. Quick and smooth. Our cabin boy was lovely. The service in the bars was very slow at times,they need more staff. The entertament was great the boys and girls never stopped working,they made our trip Really great, hope the same troop will be on. there when we go again. The food was very Good on some nights and not on others,depends on what you order.. Our cabin was nice and big,the sink in the bathroom needed to be up dated though .Shower was nice and big too. The drinks price was the same as in a pub here.coffee machine was very nice and on all day.I liked the door of the ship and how it was laid out. On disembarkation they need to have the sign that says this side for the bus to car park and the other for taxis in the HALL where the baggage is. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Decided on this cruise as it was going to Hamburg, and we thought it was a nice change to go on a winter short cruise visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. Unfortunately, ... Read More
Decided on this cruise as it was going to Hamburg, and we thought it was a nice change to go on a winter short cruise visiting Amsterdam, Hamburg and Antwerp. Ports were lovely. We didn't take any shore excursions. Unfortunately, it cannot said to be the same for the ship. It looked as if the heart has been taken out of it since it was known as Arcadia with the P&O fleet. The service was dreadful. In the restaurant we waited over an hour for our main course, which did eventually come, but it was cold. The wine waiter was clueless, he didn't know the difference between a bottle of wine and a glass of wine. On the formal evening when the table waiter distributed petit fours, he just tipped them onto the desert plates. One lunch time in the buffet, had to point to staff on duty that the battered fish was under cooked. They just didn't seem to care. These are just a few examples of the bad service, the list goes on. The couple of shows were in our opinion of a very low standard. The Entertainment Manager tried to make jokes which made us cringe, they were years and years old, and not very funny. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this trip as we wanted to see Norway and the Northern lights. When we got to Tibury we were sent round in circles. The signs were few and far between and not very well positioned. We followed the signs only to be told that we ... Read More
We chose this trip as we wanted to see Norway and the Northern lights. When we got to Tibury we were sent round in circles. The signs were few and far between and not very well positioned. We followed the signs only to be told that we were in the wrong area. It was like Custers last stand! There were cars going round and round in circles all being in the wrong place. We finally got to the right area and had to sit under a marquee with rain, whipped up by high winds, blowing through!! The first impression of the ship wasn't good. It looked pretty unkempt . We were on deck 7 and the smell of sewage and fuel oil was overwhelming . I made a comment to one off the crew and we were told " It's an old ship " and that this was it's last trip before a refit. The smell got worse over the next 4 days particularly when the Captain made a decision to sail with a force 11 predicted!! We had 7/8 metre waves and hurricane force winds. This was a full day at sea. The opinion if the guests was that we shouldn't have sailed. The smell after was REVOLTING. It made your eyes sting and you held your breath until you got away from the stairwell. The food was bland and pretty much the same every day. The trouble was seating. There simply wasnt enough seats and tables to cater for everybody. We had to sit on the window sills on two occasions!! They were constantly running out of cutlery and crockery. Mugs were at a premium. The room staff were SUPERB, as were the waiters, but other bar staff had a couldn't care less attitude. We were served the wrong drinks numerous times and had our cards swapped on 3 occasions. The shows were, well what do I say?. Queen tribute night summed it up. The backing ' band' were terrible. The 4 singers went from English to their native tounge if the couldn't remember the words. I didn't know if to laugh or cry! We walked out after the third song. Some people did say they enjoyed it to be fair. The comedian we saw had the oldest jokes you could think of. To make matters worse he tried to play the guitar! He couldn't keep up with the back music AND played out of time and time. The tours were good and we saw the Northern lights, which was the reason for the cruise. The tour guides were very helpful. We wouldn't sail again on the Meggelan. I know this was it's last trip and it showed, but it just lacked the things that make it a nice ship. Perhaps after a refit things might be different. But going on our experience, this was a outdated old smelly ship and had we known that, we wouldn't have booked it. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Back in May 2017, my wife and I decided to take a chance and booked to sail on CMV Magellan to see the3 Northern Lights. We choose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, the chance to see the Northern Lights and that it is a smaller ... Read More
Back in May 2017, my wife and I decided to take a chance and booked to sail on CMV Magellan to see the3 Northern Lights. We choose this cruise because we liked the itinerary, the chance to see the Northern Lights and that it is a smaller (and older) ship. We have sailed on 8 other occasions from Australia using P & O and Princess Lines and from Southampton using P & O. Apart from our first cruise which was an older ship holding around 1200 passengers the other ships had around 2,000 - 2,700 and they were crowded and busy on every public deck and eatery. We choose to purchase the premium package and found this financially very beneficial as we were given an upgrade from a guaranteed outside cabin to a superior twin outside cabin (6199) as well as including the tips and a couple of free bottle of wine. (We opened 1 bottle but preferred to drink in the bars so we left the other bottle unopened in our cabin at the end of the cruise. Embarkation We also choose the return bus ride from Victoria Coach station to get us to and from the ship. This was a good and cheap option as the bus took us straight to the ship for embarkation and as we had received an email that the ship would be sailing an hour earlier than originally planned (This was the first day after the change of time for daylight savings) and from a different wharf, we didn't have to worry knowing the ship would have to wait for us if we were late. Of course we were not late but as we were one of the last to arrive embarkation for us was quick and easy. We were through and on the ship within 15 minutes. Once on board we were given our cruise card and pointed to our deck and room which we had to find for ourselves. The ship uses a separate card for entry to your room which was disappointing that the cruise card couldn't be used to open your cabin door. So for the entire cruise we had to have our cruise card for drinks and a room card to get into our cabin. This was an inconvenience that we soon got used to. Cabin Our cabin no. 6199 was spacious we thought with a large window on the Starboard side. It had one of the best showers we have had on a ship with good strong flow and plenty of hot water that stayed inside the shower recess and did not go onto the bathroom floor and the mirror did not fog up!!! There was good closet space, although we did have to ask for an additional 20 coat hangers that were promptly provided. We hung all our clothes up and had 2 large empty suitcases that didn't fit under the beds so we placed them against the wall and that was fine. Even though we were at the back of the ship on deck 6, throughout the cruise we DID NOT have any strange smells in our cabin and the ONLY engine noise we had was when the ship engines started up or slowed down to pick up the pilot and this would last only for about 20 minutes but was not too obtrusive. It didn't bother us. Ship Naturally we explored the ship and like every other ship we have been on the layouts are very similar with bars, showroom, general entertainment areas, public areas, dining areas, photography, shopping and pool and deck areas. The main restaurants, a small cocktail lounge, table tennis and shopping areas (Small and limited in stock compared to other ships but we found some items that we bought) were on deck 8. On Deck 9 were the bars (plenty and all good) and other drinking areas, small casino and a coffee lounge. Deck 10 had the bistro and main deck area which was rarely used during our cruise due to the time of year and some weather conditions on some sailing days. The ship was easy enough to get around and while some may say the colour scheme may be outdated it was all good and functional and did not detract from our experience of an older ship. Some people would be excited and call it "retro" it depends on your perspective. Entertainment. After reading ship reviews and watching some you tube videos on the showroom entertainment we were worried as it didn't look exciting. How wrong we were!! The 4 main singers CAN sing and sing very well. The only observance I would say is that not all of the songs they sang I thought best displayed their voices and the ad-libbing by the males between songs needed to be improved. There is also a 6 piece live band that accompanies the singers who were FANTASTIC! I will make special mention of the violinist who played many solos and accompanied a pianist in one of the cocktail bars as he was OUTSTANDING!! One of the singers had her own night singing opera. She was fantastic and received a standing ovation. This was the last night of the cruise and she is spectacular singer. The dancers were also great and in particular a couple of the male dancers did some outstanding Russian dancing moves. The costumes were very colourful and exciting. Sometimes the choreography was a bit basic but overall there were some of the best shows we have seen on a cruise ship. On four nights we had 2 comedians, one was funny enough for me while the other one was probably past his best, but did say 2 funny lines when he did an adlib. Overall we looked forward each night to the shows. Activities & Guest Speakers The only activities that interested us were the Guest Speakers, The Star man talking about the stars and the Northern Lights was very fascinating and passionate about his studies, The Whale man was a bit dry for me and the craft person, we weren’t interested in. The shipboard activities weren’t to our liking much except some of the quizzes, although I didn’t think it was good when you self-marked your own quiz. The late night entertainment was reasonable at times but again the ad lobbing by some of the singers when hosting wasn’t good at all. The disco for us was also a bit disappointing as the music wasn’t always to our liking. But for other passengers, the game shows were well attended to and they obviously liked them. The cruise entertainment director David was fantastic and full of energy and new when to take the Mickey out of passenger contestants. His personality and style helped make the cruise! Around the bars, the music and singers were good and relaxing. Passengers were dancing and enjoying listening as we did to the pianist and violinist in the Hampton’s Lounge before and after dinner. The captain was seen regularly walking around and talking to passengers. We had a chat to him when someone we were sitting with thought he was a drinks waiter and asked him for a drink. The Captain was the most approachable and friendly Captain we have had on any of our cruises. He had a personality, told some jokes and we congratulated him on his steering of the ship through the hurricane winds. He then explained what he did and why he did it and the ships ability to cope in simple terms. The Captain also told us that during his previous 16 trips to Alta in Norway he had never seen the Northern Lights until this cruise. He also said that many of his visits to Norway were during the warmer months. Dining We dined each evening in late session in the Kensington Restaurant placed on a table of 8. We had marvellous table guests and we all got on very well. This helps to make a cruise if you dine with people you get on with. We had a lot of laughs and good conversation. Each evening the 6 course meals were delicious and filling. The variety and quality for our meals were outstanding. For me it was hard to choose which main meal I wanted so I would ask our waiter each night for his recommendation and to surprise me. He did very well and I enjoyed all of my meals. Our drinks waiter was also very good having my glass of red waiting for me each evening. The waiters were very popular on our table. We had breakfast and most lunches at the Bistro. We found if it was very busy just wait 20 minutes and there would be plenty of tables. The food quality and variety was reasonable here without being outstanding. Sometimes they were short of coffee mugs or replacing meals but serving so many people this can happen and you just wait a few moments. I will say that I didn’t like the breakfast sausages. To me they didn’t taste too good but, most of the passengers were eating them. The Cruise, Ports and Excursions. To us the Magellan has character and charm and is not busy with too many passengers. It is easy to get around and even though we travelled through a Gale Force 11, 120kmph Hurricane winds with 7-9 metre waves for 20 hours on our first full sailing day, WE LOVED OUR CRUISE. We later spoke to the Captain on his remarkable handling of the ship during the hurricane winds. He told us that he knew the capabilities of the ship and that it could take plenty more before it became a concern. He said he had the ship listing at 60 degrees to tackle the winds as the ship could go to an 85 degree list safely. He also said that land during this time was still over 150 miles away so he would have to have gone further into the winds to go to a port and the n the remaining itinerary would have to have been changed to allow us to return to England on time. We have no problems on the decisions he made that day. The Ports we visited were wonderful with Bergan being our favourite. Alta came second because even though it snowed in the morning and we had heavy cloud all day and the tour guide said we only had a 47% chance of seeing the Northern Lights, we still saw them. The tour guide took us out at 8.00p.m to a secluded place about 55km inland and there we had a clear sky and for 2 hours we witnessed the magic and dancing lights. This was a highlight of the cruise. When we returned to the ship the Lights were still showing over the ship but not as bright as we saw them on the excursion with no town lights to distract. We also saw wild reindeer on the road as we travelled on the excursion. The coldest place we visited was the North Cape. At minus 3 and with horizontal bitting wind this was invigorating. All of the ports we visited had good and very good points of interest for us and we were glad we visited them. We saw many sights that we had never seen again and the snow-capped mountains, Fjords and wildlife was spectacular. When we booked our excursions we thought they were a bit pricey but checking local Norway websites for private tours we found the ship tours were very reasonable and value for money. Norway is an expensive place to visit with a small paper cup of instant coffee and a small coke costing 84 Krone (about 17 Australian dollars or about 8 GBP) Disembarkation For us travelling on the cruise line bus to Victoria Coach Station disembarkation was quick and easy. The ship docked at Tilbury around 8.15a.m. and we left the ship on schedule at 10.05a.m picked up our bags and got onto the bus and even though it was Remembrance Day (11/11) we had an easy drive into London, travelling over Tower Bridge, and were at Victoria by 11.30 a.m. We did see other groups waiting to disembark were running over an hour late but did not know why. Summary In summery we had a great time, we didn’t suffer any sea sickness and would easily travel on Magellan again. While I have read some other reviews of this same cruise I understand that everyone has their own expectations and experiences and any review is subjective. However, you do need to remember that this IS NOT a 5 star party ship, it is an older ship and that must be taken into consideration. You can either look at events as disappointing or you can look at them as an adventure. Looking back and at the time we thought the hurricane was an adventure to experience and say we did it. (I hope that we don’t have to do it again) My point is once you see things in a negative light it makes it difficult to enjoy the positives. The cruise, ports and excursions exceeded our expectations and as such we had a great time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and ... Read More
I was looking forward to this cruise with my friend as I had sailed on Ocean Village about 4 times many years ago and wanted to compare. Embarkation from Tilbury was brilliant. We were called by the colour on our luggage label and walked on board without much queuing. The waiting area had plenty of seating, a small coffee bar and was nice and warm. Our cabin was a nice size (I already knew this from OV) but the wooden furniture was the original and so was the bathroom. This was OK though and the shower is really large. The air con worked well and the bed was comfortable. Our cabin was on deck 5 at the front (5120) and had a lot of movement on rough days. I was seasick and would recommend a higher level and central if you suffer from this. There seemed to be a lot of crowding in the Bistro buffet on level 12. We had to find a seat (not easy) then take turns to get our food. I had never experienced this on OV so I can only assume that it was the time of year and no-one was eating outside. The food here was average. Breakfast was very good, lunch didn't have much choice of hot food and it didn't look that appetising. The desserts were moussy!! and the hot choice seemed mainly to be a sloppy variation of bread and butter pudding. The thing that put us off the most though was that it was very cold in there. On the second day we decided to use the Waterfront restaurant (waiter service). We were very pleasantly surprised by the quality of food compared to the Bistro so we continued to use it.... and it was lovely and warm. The afternoon tea was nice with delicious biscuits and scones with fresh cream and jam.... yummy. The entertainment was quite poor and there wasn't a huge amount going on, especially during our day at sea. I liked the comedian though.... very old jokes but he pulled it off because he was likeable. The decor in the public areas was nice and looked refurbished. There is quite a lot of seating around the ship and it didn't feel crowded (except the Bistro) even though the ship was full. I'll finish on a positive as we really enjoyed our cruise. The staff were excellent. They worked hard and were always helpful and friendly. Also our fellow passengers were so friendly which made all the difference. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Chose this cruise as it was such good value, booked about 8 week's before departure, myself, husband and two friends. Everything ran smoothly from start to finish, dont have a bad word to say about this cruise! Cabin was lovely, we ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it was such good value, booked about 8 week's before departure, myself, husband and two friends. Everything ran smoothly from start to finish, dont have a bad word to say about this cruise! Cabin was lovely, we had an outside room on deck 6 which was a nice quiet location. Having tea making facilities and a fridge in the room was very helpful. Food was excellent, both in the buffet and in the main restaurant. Afternoon tea in the buffet is particularly good. Yes it could get busy in there at times but thats to be expected when you are catering for so many passengers. We always managed to get a table in there. Staff were friendly and helpful in all areas of the ship. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean before and it's not as luxurious as that but for the price paid I didn't expect it to be! Overall, four very happy passengers already looking to book another cruise for next year on Columbus. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We saw it in a newspaper as BOGOF offer. This was not correct. By the time we had paid extra for the all inclusive element it ended up costing as much as going to the caribbean. Guests on our dinner table had paid far less. This ship ... Read More
We saw it in a newspaper as BOGOF offer. This was not correct. By the time we had paid extra for the all inclusive element it ended up costing as much as going to the caribbean. Guests on our dinner table had paid far less. This ship is very old (over 50 years) and it shows. The cabin window rattled all the time. The cabin was ok, beds comfortable, bathroom acceptable. The food on board was very good, with good choices available although the dinners really had too much on the plate. The staff were very good, helpful, efficient, friendly. The entertainment was very third rate. However, it should be noted that at 66 we were some of the youngest on the voyage. The days at sea were miserable, and we had to stay on our beds for most of that time, due to the inclement weather. Excursions were expensive, so we opted to sort ourselves out and found getting buses very easy. Most places we stopped at were mostly closed, but the whole point for us had been the opportunity to see the Northern Lights, which we did 2 nights running in and near Alta within the Arctic Circle. Would we choose this cruise line again? No. Ship late getting back into Tilbury, mess-up with the coach back to Victoria, lost our onward connection, had to get new ticket, very long day to get home. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
This was a mixed bag. I would love to give five stars, I think I should and I will explain why in a moment. Having been on the Marco Polo and loved it I was worried that i might not enjoy the Magellan as much and, if I'm honest, I ... Read More
This was a mixed bag. I would love to give five stars, I think I should and I will explain why in a moment. Having been on the Marco Polo and loved it I was worried that i might not enjoy the Magellan as much and, if I'm honest, I still love the Marco Polo but there was nothing I disliked about the Magellan it's just different. A bigger vessel which means more walking, which I find difficult, but it didn't stop my enjoyment of being at sea. This was a multi generational, themed cruise. Two things I said I would never do but for the most part the children were a pleasure to be with. I saw no bad behaviour at all. Another plus for me was the number of different nationalities on board, so many interesting conversations. The downside came with the first excursion, to Paris. We knew we would have some free time but we were dropped in the most expensive, and probably busiest area for traffic for three hours. The majority stayed in the area as the traffic was horrendous with no notice at all taken of Pedestrian crossings. The coach did not pick us up where we were told we had to get on by standing in the middle of a dangerously busy road as the driver's side was facing the pavement. There were many more pluses I'm pleased to say but all on our coach agreed that the Paris trip was an ordeal and badly managed. The cabin an inner was very comfortable and our Steward very attentive. Entertainment was hit and miss, the Magellan singers and dancers were very enjoyable. There was an Irish folk trio on 2 nights with more or less the same songs the second time and a comedian we could only watch for ten minutes, it was dreadful, but that's just my opinion of course. The Cricketers and Nick Hancock were always approachable and as someone who knows nothing about cricket I still enjoyed their company. Now the reason I wanted to give 5 stars but can't as several people were genuinely scared in Paris either of being lost or knocked down. There was a raffle on behalf of the the Lord's Taveners with several prizes, the first being a Cruise donated by CMV. Never having won more than a bottle of wine in a raffle we had no expectations but, and I still can't believe this, we won the Cruise. Not a three night mini cruise that we thought it might be but an 11 night British Isles Discovery Cruise. To say we are thrilled is an understatement and we can't wait. If it had been a less chaotic Paris excursion I would have had nothing really to complain about but I really believe, given that families with young children were also with us, that not enough thought was given to the area where we could be left to our own devices. A too short time aboard the Magellan, Crew were brilliant, Magellan's own entertainers and the Cruise Director gave their all, and thank you CMV, we can't wait to come back. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this because we were going to the U K and decided to try this cruise because it was going through the Kiel Canal.. We had a total of 4 sea days. and our port stops were. Wismar . Germany. A very quiet port lovely ... Read More
We booked this because we were going to the U K and decided to try this cruise because it was going through the Kiel Canal.. We had a total of 4 sea days. and our port stops were. Wismar . Germany. A very quiet port lovely architecture but very walkable. Next Port was Ronne a Danish island. Again very very quiet and apsrt from the churches not much to see.Would not visit this port again. Visbey was next { swedish Island} Beautiful and historic area. very quiet and a 20 minute bus ride from ship. Ship provided shuttle bus. Klaipeda Lituania was our next stop. Very laid out town New and old sections. Easy to walk around with a good choice of cafes. Our favourite stop was Gdansk Poland . So much to see I wish we had stopped longer there than Ronne and Wismar. We did not take any ships tours. We had a inside cabin {509} spacious for inside cabins and a good location for getting to and fro to dining and shows. Very well maintained. Embarkation and disembarkation well managed. Food choices and meals , excellent. Entertainment was also varied and of good quality. Would consider taking another cruise with this company depending on the Ports. My only negative was having to vacate the cabin by 7am. Very difficult to get Tea and coffee as the machines did not work or the first few hours . Adult only cruise. Small pool and three whirlpools. Fitness room etc. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic. Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious. Process at Tilbury went smoothly , ... Read More
Choose this cruise because it was going to the smaller ports in the Baltic. Took shuttle from Victoria, there was an event going on in London which caused some delays to shuttle but nothing serious. Process at Tilbury went smoothly , left hand luggage in cabin and had quick lunch in buffet before lifeboat drill. Next day was a seaday, spoilt for choice when it came to activities , lectures, craft classes, quizzes etc. I recommend arriving early for craft sessions they are always popular, this trip was no exception. We had a late night passage through Kiel canal and arrived in Wismar around lunch time on Tuesday. Wismar is where the Marco Polo was built. There were shuttle buses into town for 2 euros but its an easy walk and if you go via the old harbour quite a scenic one. I recommend the restored old merchants house, the wallpaper gallery is a must see. Audio description available in several languages. Entry is via donation and staff are extremely pleasant. St Georges church has a lift to take you to top of its Tower for 3 euros...well worth it for an overview of the town. Several other churches and a lovely town Square, shame our visit was a little short. Day two saw us in Rhonne Denmark, charming little place, being so late in the season the tourist areas were almost deserted. The side streets were quaint , and the main shopping street delightful with fountains and a children's play park. The museum was very informative , particularly as to the war time events. Lots of public toilet facilities alas having the right coinage in local currency not always possible, the usual standby of taking a coffee break did not work because a lot of cafes do not offer facilities. The church overlooking the harbour is delightful and is well worth a visit on way back to tenders. Visby Sweden....the new cruise stage only opened this year and it looked like the local gulls had been making free use of it....free shuttle into the old town. Rather like a Disney film set, turrets and floral decorated balconies abound, was expecting Rapunzel to appear at any moment. It is possible to walk round the city walls and some of the towers are open to give a good view point. The botanical gardens were still in bloom and provided a welcome pot to rest for a while. Entry to the museum was 10 euros and looked interesting however I had left it rather late to visit so confined myself to coffee and cake in the cafe. Filter coffee offered free refills. Staff multi lingual but please note Euros are not accepted as payment. Unfortunately witnessed two American ladies from the ship being quite abusive to staff on discovering this. Arrival in Klapeda was not promising a grey damp mist greeted us, however a local folk group were playing on quayside so wasn't all bad. We received town maps with a marked trail around the town, there is something to see on every corner so feel free just to wander. The sculpture garden is well worth visit, but there are sculptures and interesting buildings everywhere. A small craft market offered much amber but also ceramics and art work. Prices were reasonable and English was widely spoken. Finally we arrived in Gdansk the largest and busiest port on our itinerary, free shuttle into town. Amber shops/ stalls everywhere but no heavy sell. There is a scenic observation wheel which gives you 15 minutes of eye level viewing for around £6. Lots of building work going on but refreshingly building sympathetic to original style. Fairly typical normal port of call, very touristy. Our return passage through Kiel canal was in daylight. Fascinating to watch the gate close behind us and lots of interesting bridges/ canal side homes to see on way through. Final day was sea day, back in the North sea so a tiny bit of movement but ship handles very well in conditions , the pool burger bar stayed open throughout I think the smell of frying did make some people feel a little off colour. Final morning buffet started sevingbreakfast early, had no trouble finding seat although I would recommend hanging on to your cup if you want a refill. After breakfast I moved onto Palm garden and found seat by the window to watch our arrival in Tilbury. Return shuttle went very smoothly. The Marco Polo is looking good despite her age, constant cleaning and, when in port , painting going on. Public facilities good, I recommend the Columbus lounge if you do start to feel the effects of sea movement. Service in the Wardolf restaurant good, nice selection of dishes and extra off menu dishes salomon etc always available. Also additionally dishes of veg if you would like them. Bar staff efficient although sometimes waiting times in the show lounge were longer than ideal. Very friendly ship, I recommend for those who actually like being at sea. Maybe not for those who want waterslides and the like, but throw yourself into the activities and you will have a good time. Lecturers were good and very good comedian/ singer/ one man band provided excellent entertainment...he even doubled up as tour guide at one port. My one niggle....the new cruise director and his assistant....they were both good singers and very enthusiastic, pleasant and accessable... However I wonder if they are not a little too full of themselves for CMV? Time will tell. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and ... Read More
We chose this ship as we had only sailed with CMV once and that on the Marco Polo, we were interested to see if they could replicate the level of service enjoyed on The Marco Polo on the Columbus. What was provided was not the Glitz and Razamataz of some of the modern ships but more of the old time glamour and comfort. They had bars and drinking areas to suit all, from the boisterous to the quiet and relaxing. The food from the buffet to the formal dining rooms was some of the best that we have had on something like sixteen different cruises. The level of cleanliness throughout the ship was something to behold, at busy times they even had full time cleaners stationed in the toilets. On the entertainment front the dancers were outstanding as were the resident singers, unfortunately the specialist acts who were Comedians from a bye gone day on TV did not appeal to us although a lot of the guests enjoyed them. The Captain of the ship was a star in as much as he toured the ship at least once a day and was prepared to talk to anyone even those few who had a complaint. We enjoyed the experience that much that we have signed up for CMV 120 day world cruise on the Columbus in January 2019 Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either ... Read More
Where do I start, I decided to go on this cruise as I had never cruised with C&M before and thought I would give them a try. I am going to try and keep my review as short as possible with bullet points 1) Entertainment was either none existent or very poor with things like creative writing with Sanjay or Knit and natter, or book folding and to top it all balloon shaping as I said stuff you would do in an old folks home.I;m not knocking old people as I'm nearly 69 myself, but I ain;t dead yet. and the show team was one of the worst I have ever seen and I have been cruising for 21 years 2) The food in the buffet resturant plantations was not much better than average 3) I have never been on a ship where you can;t get anything to eat after 9pm because everywhere is closed 4) There was a big screen on the sun deck which wasn't used once, there was never any music being played to create an atmosphere, it was the most boring of cruises. 5) The Taverners pub and I use the term pub loosely was showing the same classical guitarist for the whole 15 nights. Now you show me a pub that has a classical guitarist playing for 15 nights and under normal circumstances, I will show you an empty pub I could go on and on but I won't. All I can say is if you like to be entertained and enjoy good food whenever you wan;t to eat then avoid C&M like the plague, they and their cruise director Ian are clueless. Needless to say, I won't be cruising with them again Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We booked this cruise because of the Comedy Legends which we had experienced on a previous cruise. The embarkation was very quick, we had journed by coach from Victoria coach station which due to traffic took 1 & half hours. We ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the Comedy Legends which we had experienced on a previous cruise. The embarkation was very quick, we had journed by coach from Victoria coach station which due to traffic took 1 & half hours. We found the cabin rather tired though the beds were comfortable, the wash basin was old and did not hold water very well due to a worn mechanical system. The shower though was perfect. Another problem was that the ship was draughty, especially the main entertainment centre the 'Palladium' on the right hand side so we sat on the left which was slightly better, we did have one session when the temperature was decent but soon was back to draughty a couple of hours later. The entertainment was generally good, after all we did go to see the comedy hero's who did not dissapoint. The in house entertainment team did a good show, the dancers were very good, the singers were let down by a poor sound system which was far to loud, do they not have a desibel meter, I did hear that some people that had earing aids took them out. The food was generally good though in the self service bistro was not pipping hot even when there at the start of service, the 'Waterfront' where the evening dinner was taken the menu was sometimes difficult to understand to those who did not have the experience in this type of dinning, also the service was a bit long winded. During the hotter days there were plenty of sunbeds around but the we had the old problem of towels on beds but no bodies. Over all we had, for us, a pleasent 15 days but don't think we would book another cruise on the Columbus. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Astoria is a ship rich in history and quite a venerable old lady of the seas. We had cruised on her before, in 2012 when she was operated by CIC and named Athena. It was fascinating to see that little had changed in the public spaces, ... Read More
Astoria is a ship rich in history and quite a venerable old lady of the seas. We had cruised on her before, in 2012 when she was operated by CIC and named Athena. It was fascinating to see that little had changed in the public spaces, 6 years and 2 owners later, but the cabins have had some upgrading and the ship now has different external colours. I was amused to note that one of the bathroom towels in our cabin had the CIC logo embossed on it - they went out of business in the autumn of 2012. Embarkation at Portsmouth was the smoothest and quickest that we had ever experienced. We arrived at the port slightly in advance of our allocated embarkation time, but were given our cruise-cards and were on board the ship within minutes. CMV use a different system at Portsmouth on Astoria than they do at Tilbury, as the main processing is done on board the ship rather than in the terminal. Even so, this further processing also only took a matter of minutes and we received our cabin keys very swiftly. Astoria uses the rather dated punch-card type cabin keys, and they have the cabin number on the back of them, so you have to be very careful not to misplace one on board. We used the gym facilities which are very minimal, just 4 machines, but there were few other users even though the ship was sailing at full capacity. The Spa on Astoria has two treatment rooms plus a hairdressing salon. We each bought a treatment, taking advantage of a 10% discount offer for bookings made on the first day of the cruise. The treatments were very average, and we probably would not bother again if we cruise on Astoria in the future. The small entertainment staff worked very hard throughout our cruise to make the evenings enjoyable, and I personally was very impressed with the amount of multi-skilling that they employed to keep the show schedule running. The 'Mr & Mrs' quiz in particular was very funny and gave the audience a lot of laughs. Astoria also has a separate auditorium which is used for lectures and the showing of feature films; both of us felt that this excellent resource was rather under-utilised and many more films could have been shown than actually were. We dined mainly in the Olissippo Restaurant and had superb meals throughout our cruise. Astoria operates fixed-dining with 2 sittings; the Lotus Grill self-service buffet also has a selection of the same menu items on offer for those who need or prefer to use it. We avoided this buffet area at breakfast times as it seemed to be rather a bun-fight, also suffering with constant shortages of mugs for the tea & coffee service station at busy periods. I was very pleased to see that CMV still use 'Eilles' tea; their excellent 'Vanilla Rooibos' is almost worth doing a cruise for on its own! 'Afternoon Tea' is offered only in the Lotus Grill. The ship's crew - in general - were very helpful and friendly, especially the Lotus Grill serving staff who always seemed to have a smile ready. None of our ports of call involved tendering, so I cannot comment on the efficiency or otherwise of this process on board Astoria. The CMV staff were very good at making prompt announcements upon arrival at each port, informing the passengers as soon as possible that they were free to go ashore. Disembarkation was equally smooth and took around 90 minutes for us, but once we got into the terminal the collection of luggage was easy and quick. CMV use 'CPS' for parking at Portsmouth; they are efficient and the process of leaving & collecting our car was completely painless. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Booked this cruise European Canals, Rivers and Cities, then looked at reviews just prior to sailing and found the Astoria was the oldest cruise ship in the world, plus some reviews were a bit worrying, especially about the cabins and ... Read More
Booked this cruise European Canals, Rivers and Cities, then looked at reviews just prior to sailing and found the Astoria was the oldest cruise ship in the world, plus some reviews were a bit worrying, especially about the cabins and crew. Ok will deal with cabin 464 later. The food throughout was excellent both in the Restaurant and in the Bistso, the quality quantity and service was very good. Our waiter in the Restaurant was superb in sorting out my wife's dietary requirements. Asked for first sitting, got second, so didn't use Restaurant as much as usual. One point on catering, The toaster in the Bistro (and I use the word advisedly) was as much use as a chocolate fire guard, . I put my toast through upto 5 times and it never browned, the queue was miles long. It should be dropped overboard at the earliest possible moment, and in a deep a water as possible. All the crew were smart, polite efficient and helpful at all times and they all seemed to get along well with each other. The ship considering her age was extremely smart, and very clean, no tired looking furniture, carpets etc., Entertainment in the Show Lounge considering the size of the stage was excellent. A really lively group. The ships band was really professional We have cruised with CMV since 2010 (our first cruise). Since then Marco Polo (5), Magellen (1) Colombus (1) and enjoyed everyone. The Captain seemed a bit anonmous, I don't doubt this competence , but I missed the morning briefing as with the Colombus last year when the Captain gave an update on speed, weather , distance etc and the time from his (Very expensive watch!!!), plus he walked the deck and said" Hello" to whoever he saw. Embarkation and dis embarkation were faultless, really speedy. Looking forward to our next Astoria cruise. Read Less
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