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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This is the fourth cruise we have been on, with various lines and destinations. Departed Liverpool, seemlessly, and cruised to Dublin, then on to the Shetlands and then to the Norwegian Fjords. It does amaze me how nit-picking some ... Read More
This is the fourth cruise we have been on, with various lines and destinations. Departed Liverpool, seemlessly, and cruised to Dublin, then on to the Shetlands and then to the Norwegian Fjords. It does amaze me how nit-picking some people are. This was a great value cruise - we weren't paying Cunard prices, and we were taking our two kids. The Magellan was very well run and extremely friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and the food in the buffet was very good with plenty of variety (our children loved it) and the restaurants were excellent. Ivan and Oleksandr, our waiters each night were outstanding, and the food was beautifully presented, very slickly served, and the restaturant itself spacious and comfortable. Indeed the whole ship was very spacious, and at no point did we ever feel remotely crowded. Although the clientele were mostly aged 70+, there were enough families on board to make sure it didn't feel like a floating care home. The crew had put on some super activities for families and children, and really went the extra mile. Our cabin was clean, comfortable, and our steward excellent. We purchased four excursions, and while they weren't cheap, they were very well run and we thoroughly enjoyed them all. The Norwegian Fjords are breathtaking, and make sure you visit the Oil Museum in Stavangar - absolutely brilliant and you will love it. Ignore the whingers, some people are never happy. This was a great cruise, on a nice ship, with an really hardworking and conscientious crew. Well done C&MV. We'll not hesitate to travel with you again. AP Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to go to St Petersburg but every destination was beautiful. We booked an inside cabin on a price basis and we were upgraded to an outside window cabin which was a bonus. Our cabin was 6167 which I would recommend as it is midships around the corner from Raffles bar which overlooks the Atrium, and one deck down from the Waterfront restaurant and Palladium theatre. We did our own thing at all destinations except St Petersburg where we booked for the ballet on the first evening and panorama tour on the second afternoon, both excellent. We found all the food to be excellent in The restaurant and the buffet. We ate most meals in the restaurant and dinners were especially enjoyable thanks to the lovely group of companions on our table, a laugh a minute!! We had no problem getting a sun lounger and the bar service around the pool was great. The entertainment was mostly excellent and we enjoyed Karaoke three times. We had adverse weather on the last day and night which delayed us by 3 hours but no complaints as safety is more important than speed. Overall I would recommend the ship, the cruise line and cruise itinerary. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was ... Read More
I chose this cruise for a couple of reasons - I wanted to go to Norway (and none of my friends did!), I wanted a UK departure and, I wanted a smaller ship. I also have rheumatoid arthritis, hence why I preferred not to fly and this was perfect. This was my first cruise so I wasn't sure what to expect. I absolutely loved it! I met a lot of very interesting people and we ended up sharing our cruise together - mainly in the bars and restaurants. I was very impressed with the arrangements for solo travellers - the company works hard to make them feel welcome with welcome drinks, lunches, dinners etc...and it worked. It was unnaturally hot for Norway, so the pool area was very busy - I gave Bergen a miss as didn't fancy a tour in 35 degrees. Norway in a Nutshell tour is well worth doing - the views are mind-blowing. Flam railway is great fun! If walking is a bit of an issue (it is for me) - it is quite a walk to the hotel in Voss which the company doesn't warn about. It may depend on where the train from Flam stops though. I probably wouldn't do the tour to the dam again - I would stay in Eidjfiord and have a wander. All the bars are great - I visited every one frequently. The cocktail list is extensive. I chose the premier package that includes tips, drinks, wine etc...and definitely don't regret it. It is great value. The food isn't five star - but neither are we paying for five star. It was fine though - desserts provided much amusement trying to guess what they tasted of. Some people complained that the food should be better - bear in mind, that going to a Michelin restaurant costs around £250 per person upwards and that will manage expectations. My happy place? Sitting at the back of the boat behind the Plantation buffet - having either breakfast or dinner with a beautiful view of the fjords - priceless! I loved it! Already booked another and I got home less than 24 hours ago. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in ... Read More
This was my third cruise. Two with P and O and i loved all of them, but this one was so good as the weather was beautiful and the fjords were stunning. It was so beautiful how we saw those amazing views as we landed at our destination in Eidfjord then Flam where we took a train amd saw the most wonderful sights. (Waterfall)Then in Bergan we enjoyed shopping. What was also great was you could go enjoy the days out without losing sight of where the ship was. Everything about this cruise was good from start to finish. The Captain was friendly and chatted to everyone and the food was excellent. From the staff who looked after our room with the gorgous animal (towels) we got every night. It brought a smile each nigh we returned to our room after a night of great entertainment from the great singers amd dancers performing to the comedian who had us in stitches with his jokes and singing. And of coarse not forgetting Ian the magician and cruise director. One of the most friendliest ships from staff to passengers. Will travell again in the not so distant future. Had a blast. Well done cmv. Till next time. Lorraine x Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We have recently returned from a 13 night Icelandic cruise from Newcastle on the Magellan and all I can say is wow. This was our 10th cruise and definitely one of the best. I’ve sailed with CMV before, together with Celebrity and Royal ... Read More
We have recently returned from a 13 night Icelandic cruise from Newcastle on the Magellan and all I can say is wow. This was our 10th cruise and definitely one of the best. I’ve sailed with CMV before, together with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. The CMV ships can’t complete with the others when it comes to high tech modern features, but neither does they try to. What you get instead is great service, good quality food and drinks and the ability to travel from local ports, which is a major plus point for those of us who don’t live close to Southampton. The itinerary for this cruise was first rate and we enjoyed all of the ports of call, and Iceland itself is magnificent. We were blessed with great weather for the entire duration. I’ve heard the seas around Iceland can get a bit rough, even in summer, but we didn’t have any issues. There was one night when travelling around the north that the seas got up a bit, but the Magellan handled it perfectly and we barely felt a thing. The ship is a little old fashioned in its décor but that’s a minor issue. It’s kept spotlessly clean by a hard-working team. The ship was full for this cruise but there was rarely a problem getting served or finding a seat. I think the most we waited was five or six minutes and this was at peak time. The staff are very attentive and we would usually have our order taken in a couple of minutes. We chose the VIP drinks package which was great value compared to other cruise lines. This included all premium drinks, gratuities, bottled water for the cabin and an invitation to a private cocktail party. It also gave a 50% discount on speciality dining. We ate in Fusion, the Indian themed restaurant twice (stunning food), and also did Chef’s Table, a sumptuous 10 course dinner with wine pairings. Highly recommended. There is also a speciality steak night but I’m not a steak lover so we didn’t try this one. We ate each night in the Waldorf restaurant and the food was excellent. Always hot and good quality with plenty to choose from. I’ve heard complaints that the food could be luke warm but this was never the case in my experience, perhaps these complaints relate to buffet. We only used the buffet a couple of times for lunch as I’m not a fan of self service, but it seemed pretty good to me. As good as any buffet ever gets. The entertainment team were also very good. Some of the shows weren’t my cup of tea so I gave them a miss, but the ones I did see (Broadway, Queen) were very enjoyable. The late night cabaret in the Captains Club was always worth a look too. We’re a couple in our mid-forties and were definitely among the youngest people on the cruise, but I quite enjoyed this. We met some lovely people and had a great time. Things tended to wind down quickly after midnight, but because of the heavy itinerary we weren’t looking for late nights anyway. We did one excursion through CMV – Loch Ness, which was excellent, and booked another independently. In Iceland we took the 8 hour Golden Circle trip with a local tour company for a third of the price of the one on the ship, so I’d recommend doing a bit of research before you go. As it was our first time in Iceland we just went ashore at the other ports and explored on our own. Everything was within walking distance of the ship. Having done a few Royal Caribbean cruises in the last three years, I’d got a bit jaded with their massive ships which are increasingly marketed to families and young kids. They tend to be very noisy and poorly behaved. CMV with it’s adult only policy was exactly what I was looking for this time. I loved this cruise on Magellan and can’t wait to experience her sister ship Columbus in September. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had ... Read More
While on a majestic fjords cruise and leaving Amsterdam we hit a foreign object on a initial inspection and short delay we had the all clear to carry on but never got to Norway, around half way the boat developed a mechanical vault so had to turn back. The cruise was eventually terminated and we went back to Amsterdam. We still enjoyed a full program of entertainment and everything else on board. They announced that we would be going back to tilbury by ferry They had already given us £25 each and a free bar fo one night but then told us we would get a full refund + free cruise of same duration anytime in the next 2 years or if we wanted a longer one they will deduct the value of this cruise We only lost one day of the whole trip it’s good to hear of a company doing the right thing with out having to spend hours complaining. Nice one CMV Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The ship is lovely and our cabin 4060 was spacious, comfortable and quiet. We had 3 wardrobes - full hanging, half hanging and shelves with safe. Bathroom compact but shower larger than the one on the Marco Polo. The restaurant ... Read More
The ship is lovely and our cabin 4060 was spacious, comfortable and quiet. We had 3 wardrobes - full hanging, half hanging and shelves with safe. Bathroom compact but shower larger than the one on the Marco Polo. The restaurant (Waldorf) was a bit strange to reach from our cabin. You had to go up to deck 9 walk past Captain's Bar, Sinatra's Bar and Tavener's Bar then down to deck 8. The 5 course evening meal had a good choice each night and there was always something I liked to eat. We had a Chocoholic Night one night and Magnifique buffet near the end of the cruise. Both brilliant. We did ship's tours in every port except St.Petersburg (Alla Tour detailed below) and Helsinki - rest day. Dundee and St.Andrews was a wet day. Aarhus and Edeltoft was good and a lovely village to walk round. Warnemunde and Schwerin Castle was good.Tallin was in a small mini bus so saw Upper and Lower Tallin as well as a tour of the area. Stockholm has a lot of road and building work going on so cranes everywhere. This was the only guide who was a bit hard to hear and understand as we think she was Spanish. Our final tour of Copenhagen and Dragar was very good. And Dragar was a lovely old village on the coast. Our visit to St. Petersburg was with Alla Tours and we did the Must See tour. There was 8 in our party and lunch both days was included. First day was 3 courses and second day was 4. Both delicious. Our guide was Katya - a local who was also an English teacher so understanding her was no problem. We were in all the places straight away and in Catherine's Palace the small groups go in through the servant's entrance and tour each room from the right hand side whereas the public and large groups tour on the left and were very crowded. Would highly recommend an independent tour company. When we left the queue apparently was over 40 mins wait in the rain. We visited Church of Spilled Blood, St. Isaac's, The Hermitage (wow), Catherine's Palace, Peterhof Gardens. Also went to the subway and a boat trip. Everything so enjoyable and lovely being in such a small group. Highly recommend anyone to do rather than the large ship tours.St.Petersburg is definitely a MUST SEE and would to have done and seen more. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary: had more ports of calls than other similar cruises. Loved St Petersburgh especially: chose Alla Tours ‘Must see’ two day tour which was fantastic! Saw all the major sites in a small group and ahead of the crowds. Exceptionally quick and efficient embarkation and disembarkation. Staff gave us a friendly welcome. Inner cabin larger than we expected, light, airy, quiet and clean. We’re vegetarians and never had such a varied choice of food: didn’t have the same meal twice for dinner. Waiters attentive. Great drinks packages. Prices around the same as at home rather than inflated. Friendly, efficient staff. Always smiling. I had the hot tub to myself most days! Wish swimming pool was heated though! Could always find somewhere quiet to sit inside and out with good deck space. I particularly appreciated the fact that there wasn’t music playing everywhere. Not really bothered about evening entertainment personally, but others seemed satisfied with it. Showed films on sea days in Palladium. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage ... Read More
We wanted to visit the Baltics and chose this cruise because of the departure from Scotland having previously travelled on this ship to Iceland in 2017 also from Scotland . Embarkation quick and efficient cabin ready and waiting luggage at our door shortly after we got to cabin Cabin Steward Aung Soe quiet courteous and good at his job . Unpacked then time for Lifeboat drill which is mandatory Lovely views of the Tay from the deck things explained well staff very helpful with life jackets making sure no trip hazards from straps . Kensington 2 nd sitting our allocated dining which we went to every night with the exception of our first night and also one evening when we were going to an evening excursion in St Petersburg . Waiters Denys and Thia were excellent at looking after the 6 people at our table ?The ladies at the table 4 of us Recieved red roses one night and hand made origami flowers on one other evening .The company at table all lovely and we had a good time . Shows in Show lounge all good some I preferred .One evening the artist from Hamptons did a show in the main showroom and it was Fantastic Gerswin,s Rhapsody in blue one of the notable pieces but both artist gave great performances .Show Team good fun and Orchestra Great .Cruise Director Changed at Copenhagen to the same one we had on Iceland Cruise .We welcomed this as Toby is a great performer and joins in with the Show team . We discovered Hernan the Guitarist in Taveners Bar and most evenings caught a good bit of his performances Hernan a solo performer with great guitar skills and his music choices suited our taste . We caught snatches of game shows and cabaret in Captains club Particularly enjoyed Stephanie solo cabaret where she had chosen great old songs which suited her voice In Magellen Show lounge we enjoyed the From Russia with love show in particular. Food overal is very good .Bacon tends to be a bit hard at breakfast other than that I had no complaints .Always something on the menu choice I could have . Craft classes I managed to get to 2 which I really enjoyed Art classes my husband and I both Attended and found Nina,s classes very helpful .We attended Dave Wrights lectures and he filled the Show Lounge he was so good and informative about all of his subjects from the Romanovs to Mary Queen Of Scots .Didn,t manage to get to the pop music lectures from a different Lecturer as they clashed with other things we were doing .Prebooked leisurely shore excursions in most ports and enjoyed all of them especially the Russian Folklore show which was fantastic .Weather was mixed but overal not bad considering the time of year early May 2019 Overall we had a great cruise met some lovely people Both staff and passengers and returned to Scotland Getting off ship organised well waiting in allocated areas till staff member comes to collect you . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an ... Read More
A friend booked this cruise and I was somewhat dubious having sailed on her years ago to Norway, which is beautiful. However, on this voyage the food was very much improved to 'excellent', and I'm fussy. The lobster as an extra was the best I've ever eaten, and I thought very reasonably priced @ £16 - really sweet meat and beautifully presented and all the meals were very very good indeed - compliments to the chefs, most of whom were Indian, and I always feel they are the best! And drinks were reasonably priced too. I wanted a rest and to read and did just that and availed myself of the library on board. She's a small ship but offered all I needed and you don't have to walk miles to get anywhere on board! The pianist and violinist were great, and the Duty Frees excellent value. The crew were polite and most obliging, the cabins were small but fine. The outdoor pool was at this time of year closed off and we saw snow at times - well, we were heading towards Iceland - an expensive and very cold place, the highlight of which for me was a visit to the Blue Lagoon and that day we had lovely warm sunshine. The excursions are pricey but everything is included which saves a lot of hassle and guarantees a safe return on time to the ship. We did go out into the Fjord and saw a humpback whale, so that was another tick off the 'to do/see' list. The Faroe Islands en route were rather bleak with little to really do/see but it's a place to say you've at least visited, and our tour guide Samson was both knowledgeable and polite. Tea/coffee/hot water/hot/cold milk were available from early a.m. to midnight which is important to me as there are no in cabin facilities to make a hot drink. And a child free zone - yes! A good value for money trip, and well done to all who sail on the Marco Polo! Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose CMV for the itinerary that started in Singapore and ended in London 46 days later. The ship was a total delight - small but with many stylish lounges, a walk-around promenade deck, two sunny pools, and three free restaurant ... Read More
We chose CMV for the itinerary that started in Singapore and ended in London 46 days later. The ship was a total delight - small but with many stylish lounges, a walk-around promenade deck, two sunny pools, and three free restaurant choices in addition to the buffet. Our interior cabin 4117 was spacious, quiet, and very steady during windy portions of the trip. Since George and I enjoyed every day on board and would do this cruise again, suffice it to say we really liked the food, entertainments, spa services, reading lounges, cabin attendants, cruise directors, casino folks, craft classes, passenger choir, afternoon tea, the informative lectures, and so many other aspects of this cruise. The ambience was relaxed - like being home - rather than super luxe. That made the cruise restful. With many sea days, we were able to read some great books. How nice is that - cruising along and reading? We did not buy a beverage package and survived quite well on tea, coffee, water, and an occasional Schweppes Bitter Lemon over ice. Lovely cruise, lovely staff, a variety of cuisines, and at a good price. Thank you CMV!!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Good value for money, not too big a ship. It sailed well and felt comfortable despite a swell on the sea our first full day at sea, I never felt it like others did. Lunch was available before we sailed on the 13th and it was a lovely ... Read More
Good value for money, not too big a ship. It sailed well and felt comfortable despite a swell on the sea our first full day at sea, I never felt it like others did. Lunch was available before we sailed on the 13th and it was a lovely buffett, good selection and included a special diet buffett for vegetarians, vegans and diabetics, the diabetic desserts were very good in taste and presentation. No after taste. The bars were very comfortable, I made the Taverners my spot as great window seating to spend drinking after dinner and enjoying the sea or fjords scenery. The evening meals in the Waldorf were delicious, five courses... wow. Lots of selections and all very well presented and delicious... I never heard one complaint. The breakfast buffett was full English, a buffet of croissants, pastries. An omellette station, there was porridge, a cereal station... then lunch buffet from 1130 to die for. Or you could go to your designated restaurant and sit down for breakfast or lunch. I liked the buffet, everyone chatty in the buffet area's when eating. Very friendly cruise. Always someone happy to have a conversation. The staff were kept on their feet and I felt for them working so hard to keep our tables cleared, and cups supplied. I will say on day one the 13th it seemed everyone of the 1200 passengers wanted a cup of tea and got bitchy when cups ran out and they had to wait five to ten minutes for fresh ones. I did point out that a dish washing machine has a cycle and that's about ten minutes long. Some rude passengers who bitched about anything and everything, I guess they enjoy being miserable or unreasonable because the crew did a great job. Good service everywhere, good cabin staff, discreet. Bar staff kept very busy, hardly time to look up and smile much as they were busy making cocktails by the dozen, lol. Great drinks package, I mean you could drink yourself into oblivion as most cocktails included, also spirits included. My friend had double whiskies every night - bells? I loved the small gym. I liked the decks to sit out on. The ship was very comfortable. Evening entertainment is what you make it, sit there or dance. The shows were fun, not west end but good enough with fantastic male and female vocals.. lovely voices. I can't wait to go again. There are short cruises coming up of two or three nights I hope to catch.. the Captains cocktail hour was fun. The Captain was seen every morning on deck available to the public as he always did a walk through. Very nice. Thanks Magellan. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and ... Read More
The Marco Polo is an old ship but she's been lovingly looked after. She's kept spotlessly clean by the staff. The cabin we had (for 3 people) was a little small (I had the top "bunk") but again it's clean and perfect for our cruise of a week. It's not a big ship (800 passengers) and that means it doesn't feel impersonal by any means. The choice of food in both restaurants is amazing - tasty and plentiful. You won't starve on this ship. Free tea and coffee and water available at all times. Never ran out of anything. All crew were lovely, friendly and helpful. If you suffer from sea sickness then ask for a cabin on the lower floors. We were on the Navigator deck and we could feel movement , tho not unpleasant. The cruise we did was down the Seine from Bristol, stopping at Honfleur (so pretty), Rouen (ok), Guernsey (lovely) and Scilly isles. The ship doesn't go into port at the Scilly isles and the sea too rough for the tender so we couldn't do that trip sadly. Overall, I would highly recommend her. Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I'm fed-up with moaning minnies who comment unfavourably on this 70-year old 'real ship' because it doesn't seem to match up to the vast majority of the bland 'floating blocks of flats' (i.e. most other cruise ... Read More
I'm fed-up with moaning minnies who comment unfavourably on this 70-year old 'real ship' because it doesn't seem to match up to the vast majority of the bland 'floating blocks of flats' (i.e. most other cruise ships). Of course it doesn't! Anybody who does the most basic of research should KNOW what they can expect of the Astoria. This is a 'travel experience' and all the better for i! Consider these facts; (1) Pretty straightforward arrival/departure arrangements at smaller ports (Poole in this instance); (2) Great destinations (because she's a small ship and can get into places that the leviathans can't); (3) ALL cabins have bath, bidet and shower (OK, possibly slightly tired - but more or less unheard of on newer ships); (4) Other reviewers' adverse comments made about the food are frankly PATHETIC (see later); (5) Friendly crew who appear to go out of their way to be helpful; (6) Sensibly-priced on-board drinks (billed in sterling) with a good selection; (7) Very acceptable leisure-facilities given her small size; (8) Unbeatable value for money as long as you are not expecting The Ritz. We paid just £492 each and achieved a 'one grade' upgrade to an outside cabin, which was a bonus - but the review wouldn't have changed even if we had been in the inside cabin that we had expected. Bear in mind that the basic 'real cost' will actually always be £7 per day each higher because of the addition of the 'automatic gratuity' - so in our case that made it £562 each. Allowing for our travel costs, car-parking (£100 in this case), four port-excursions and a drink or two each day, our holiday-cost increased to just a smidge under £1000 each. Where else can you get full-board accommodation and be transported around the country with organised excursions for just £100 per day? The food in Astoria's restaurant is EXCELLENT (and not at all bad in the buffet). I've not had better Beef Wellington or Fillet Mignon for example. We always push the boat out and have all five courses at dinner (OK, so the 'sophisticated' might say that this is not good form - but I don't care!) and the quantities are entirely adequate. I suppose that anybody paying the top-prices (we heard of some passengers who had paid a basic price of aproaching £1800 each) might feel perturbed that they had to 'endure' the riff-raff (not that there was anybody actually like that on our cruise - just 'normal' folk', expectedly all of age 65+) since there is absolutely no segregation (everybody eating the same food in the same restaurants, using the same bars, seeing the same entertainment and using the same ship's-tenders when transferring ashore from anchor-ports) - which is why the canny traveller will opt for the lower-priced deals. The entertainment-team work hard and their 'Round The World' show in particular was simply fun to see after our second-sitting dinner (a really nice table of 8 incidentally, with an excellent steward). The two guest-comedians (two shows each) generated a good number of laughs at each performance. There were a couple of intersting talks by a guest-lecturer in the room which doubles as a cinema (some good films were shown, but the time of showing did not suit second-sitting diners), - but again, don't expect an I-Max style experience. I genuinely believe that people of 'normal expectation' can have little grounds to fault this splendid old ship. My advice is to travel on her whilst you still can, with just the one caveat that those of impaired mobility might be better-advised to look elsewhere (getting on and off the ship itself - and especially on and off the tenders at anchor-ports - calls for a modest degree of agility). Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the ... Read More
I have always wanted to visit Tasmania and this cruise was advertised at a reasonable rate in the Sunday Mail. As this is the final voyage from Australia of the Astor I was not expecting much. We were surprised pleasantly by the cabin size and ample storage. The water pressure and hot water availability was faultless. The waste system operated faultlessly unlike other cruises we have completed. The food was incredible. The bar staff were knowledgeable and hospitable. A special mention for the entertainment staff and in particular the extremely hard working dancers. The shows kept getting better. The Captain was a true gentleman and exceptional host. Housekeeping and general cleanliness was to a very high standard. The spa was a pleasure to visit. The sauna and co located internal swimming pool were immaculately clean and attended by staff. I wasn’t expecting much from an aged ship on a relatively minor shipping line but I was constantly surprised and delighted from start to finish. Thank you CMV. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, ... Read More
We did a 10 week cruise so we had a fairly extensive experience of life on board. The ship was built in 1963 for the Russian market and refitted in 1993. Issues: The hot three hot drinks machines, two inside and one outside, continually ran out of cups and shut themselves down with fault codes which appear to be due to over-use and they run out of hot water. There was a good choice of food for the buffet breakfast but the equipment in the Bistro failed to keep it warm, I would suggest a couple of microwaves for those who like their food hot. The main restaurant was slightly better. Omelettes, fried and poached eggs were always cooked fresh in both. The main cut fruit available was melon with a bit of pineapple, apple and occasional orange, but always a large proportion of melon. Whole fruit was always apples. There was the occasional banana, orange, pear or plum in the early days but scarcer as the cruise went on. There is a shortage of drinks waiters at peak times and the ship still uses plastic straws and stirrers. The show lounge (theatre) has very poor acoustics. There is an annoying rattle from the roof panels and despite complaints they seem unable or unwilling to fix it. The floor is not tiered and there are 7 pillars partially obstructing the view from just about every seat more than two rows back. The furniture definitely needs replacing, all the padded chairs were sagging in the seats and many were frayed or worn. Externally she was definitely showing her age with numerous areas of rust bubbles in the deck metalwork. There is no do-it-yourself laundry on board so everything is on an individual cost. With a handkerchief or item of underwear costing £1 with an incremental scale it wouldn’t take long to run up a huge bill, especially on a long trip. There were two Magic Bag days during our trip where you could cram a laundry bag with as much as you liked for £12, wash and dry only. The swimming pool was not heated and was filled with sea water when conditions permitted but this amounted to only a few days when in warm weather. There was an appeal early on for water saving if we went to sea for more than a couple of days yet remarkably the toilets used fresh water for flushing. I understand the hot tubs used fresh water and they were therefore mostly out of use, either with covers over or a notice saying ‘Closed For Maintenance.’ Following numerous complaints about the lack of information the Cruise Director placed an ‘Entertainment Suggestions’ box in reception for a few days but I am not aware of any changes resulting from this. The lack of information was typified by our visit to Carcass Island which required passengers to get a ticket for the tenders. The first two tenders departed and then the Captain said he was temporarily suspending the service due to safety issues and would review the situation in an hour. So we all waited in the designated place and two hours later when we had heard nothing we started to drift away. Nothing else was said except for a brief mention in the evening broadcast. For our journey from the Falklands up the west coast of Chile through the fjords, a map was delivered each evening to your cabin with waypoints marked and a time of arrival. We were supposed to enter Darwin Passage and Narrows at 10am. The ship actually arrived at 8am and by 10am we were leaving so a lot of people missed it. Not a word about the amended time or the reason they managed to get it so wrong with a simple overnight passage. On the way we passed several shipwrecks and memorials but despite having a pilot on board there was not a word of explanation so having seen some beautiful scenery we were non the wiser about any of it. A guide did join us for the Panama Canal but the first hour of her commentary was lost due to an intermittent microphone. The microphone in the Captains Club where the organised games and quizzes were held was intermittent for the whole trip. The ship only did one Sailaway Party from our last port of call. For the last few days they ran out of several things including tonic, marmite and till rolls. The Good Bits: The ship appears to have some very devoted passengers with one chap we spoke to had done over 30 cruises on the ship and several others were well into double figures. The entertainment team were very good with many different routines and costumes. A gin and tonic was £4.55 so comparable to UK and with two of us a round of drinks could come to £10 so it didn’t take long to rack up a hefty bar bill. The company we booked with ’Imagine Cruising’ did an all inclusive package for £300 a couple so within about ten days we were already in credit and as the cruise lasted seventy days we were very happy with the deal. We also got £800 cabin credit which we used to pay for the organised port trips which were very good and lasted either half a day or a full day with lunch. As anyone who has cruised will know trips around the town will usually be architecture, town history, museums and churches and cathedrals so it is better to do the national parks and out of town trips. The ship laid on free shuttle buses to town centres when they were not immediately outside the port which was a bonus we hadn’t expected. The ship was kept immaculately clean inside with the crew continually cleaning walls, ceilings, stairs and washing carpets at night. Embarkation was very slow but disembarkation was excellent, done by deck number. The food on board was excellent and you could purchase special meals, eg a full Indian experience meal, surf and turf etc and we thought these were excellent value for money. The food was of a very good standard and this was maintained for the whole 71 days. The waiters and hotel staff were brilliant and we couldn’t fault them. Any requests were dealt with very efficiently. There were a whole range of activities including craft, acting, choir, ukulele, chairobics, creative writing, bridge, ballroom dancing, etc. General: The cabins were mainly two single beds with one 4 draw chest with slide out writing table plus a five foot wardrobe. We got an unrequested upgrade to cabin 625 and ended up with 4 chests of drawers, an absolute bonus on a long trip but with a restricted view. Next door had the same layout but with a good view. There are no balconies on the ship. The electric supply was a 220V socket with 2 round pins. There was also a 110V three flat pin socket and a dual volt shaver socket in the bathroom. The shower was good and on a flexi hose. There is a 2’ 6” (75cm) drying line across the shower for small items. Suitcases can be stowed under the beds or in the wardrobe. There was a temperature control on the wall. We had a kettle, two cups and packets of tea, coffee, etc. A lot of cabins do not have this. Overall, the ship is showing her age with few of the refinements of modern cruise liners. She is a graceful old lady and possibly the oldest still cruising. If you don’t mind a lack of facilities and want to get into some of the smaller ports then this could be the ship for you but CMV could do so much to improve passenger pleasure at virtually no cost with simple innovations like providing more cups and cutlery, senior staff mixing with the passengers and providing tourist information commentary at special locations. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the ... Read More
A 70 day cruise around South America on the Marco Polo - EXCELLENT ! OK, everyone can moan about some slight annoyance that didn't meet their own approval but the cruise far exceeded expectations, especially when comparing the value of it to many other cruises available. Yes, it isn't Cunard but for the price it was certainly excellent value ... of course, there will always some people who still expect Cunard quality for CMV prices. The places visited were extremely interesting and varied - major cities; remote villages and islands; scenic passageways and world famous iconic landmarks. The weather ? Only one major downpour of rain throughout the entire 70 days ... at Rio ! The hottest day ? It was a toss up between Buenos Aires and .... the Falkland Islands. Yes, 81 fahrenheit at Port Stanley, the hottest day anyone there could remember. You expect to be amazed by the major places - Rio, Buenos Aires, Montevideo - but it was the smaller ports that surprised many people and made the cruise even more enjoyable by them not expecting such there - Natal and Recife in Brazil, Puerto Montt, Arica and Valparaiso in Chile, Guayaquil and Manta in Ecuador, Ushaia in Argentina and Cartagena in Columbia, as well as cruising through the Chilean fjords and the Panama canal. The on-board entertainment team were excellent and it was obviously hard work for them to provide a varied programme for 70 days while the food was of the highest order. A very well-planned itinerary and would certainly recommend both the journey and the ship itself. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Booked this cruise from Fremantle to Fremantle for 5 nights. My husband and I had never been on a cruise before. We both loved it! A great first experience on a grand old lady. Our room was bigger than expected with an ocean view room ... Read More
Booked this cruise from Fremantle to Fremantle for 5 nights. My husband and I had never been on a cruise before. We both loved it! A great first experience on a grand old lady. Our room was bigger than expected with an ocean view room with a double bed. Very clean room which was cleaned twice a day by Augustine. A lovely man who placed balloons on our door and organised an anniversary card for us. Hot and strong water pressure in the shower. Never used the fridge. Plenty of storage. We were on the baltic deck, room 417. A bit rough the first night, but I got used to the movement of the boat in consecutive days. We ordered the CMV Premium drinks package at $48 per person per room per day. I kept all drink receipts and we ending up drinking $110 more than the drinks package. Glasses of white and red wine, sparkling, most spirits, cocktails, mocktails included in the price. Gede the barman was a great asset to the ship. Food in the Waldorf restaurant was very good, however I did not find a good dessert. The afternoon tea in the Ubersee club was ok, but the cakes, scones etc tasted stale. Breakfast in the Waldorf was help yourself with lunch and dinner served to you. We ate at the Mediterranean and Asian fusion restaurants as well, and the food was spectacular. An extra $15 per person which was well worth it. 6 courses and they were all good. Some staff in the restaurant were friendlier than others, thank you Anastasia who gave outstanding service in the Waldorf. Activities weren't that exciting, we did enjoy the quizzes which were on twice a day. Karaoke and the disco was also fun. Activities were centred around the older clientele (70 years plus), we are in our 40's. This did not cause too much of a problem though, we just had another drink! Lol. Did not try the pools or spa/ beauty salon. On our wedding anniversary we received an anniversary cake with sparklers and had our photo taken. The company has just sent me an email of this photo, thank you very much. This ship is lovely, a pity it will finish cruising off Fremantle this season. A bigger ship is coming in its place so it will be interesting to compare them. My husband and I definitely would love to go on another cruise again. Thank you to all staff on board for a wonderful trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this ship because I wanted to go to a German Christmas market. Prices were good on board, very clean, staff were excellent and entertainment was brilliant. Food was good with lots of choices. There is only one downfall, the ship in ... Read More
I chose this ship because I wanted to go to a German Christmas market. Prices were good on board, very clean, staff were excellent and entertainment was brilliant. Food was good with lots of choices. There is only one downfall, the ship in parts were too cold. In the buffet style restaurant it was so cold you had to wear your coat to eat. One waiter showed me his hands and they were like ice, little bit inhuman for those working in this restaurant. Everyone was complaining about it. At one stage they had the air conditioning on. We also had to complain about our cabin but were told where the control was and then it started to get warmer. The lifts leave a lot to be desired on the aft side. One lift was stuck on 11 for 2 days so the wait for lifts was not good. Service was excellent in all the bars and restaurants. Food in the waterfront restaurant was beautifully presented and tasty. Food in the buffet restaurant was equally as good and well presented but it was too cold in there to enjoy your food. The breakfast was excellent with lots of choice in both restaurants. There was afternoon tea in the buffet restaurant which was really good. Bar prices were excellent, cocktails for only 4 euros 75. They were delicious. Tea and coffee making facilities in your cabin and there was 24 hour tea and coffee machines in the buffet restaurant. On gala night the waiters did a dance for us which was amazing. In connexions bar there was a duo singing who was fantastic. In the other 2 bars you could enjoy a pianist and violin playing and guitar music. There was a different show every night and they were fantastic. Such talented singers and dancers. Plenty of things going on during the day, quizzes, games, bingo etc The ship is very big and the decor is beautiful. There are 2 shops on board selling duty free. There is no shop to buy sweets, drinks or other essentials. There were excursions available but this involved too much walking. Amsterdam town centre was literally 15 minute walk. In Hamburg the cruise ship laid on shuttle coaches which was an excellent service. Embarkation and disembarkation was so smooth and well ordered. I would definitely go on this cruise ship again but hopefully in summer 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
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
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I always wanted to visit Norway.Also I was travelling alone and had never been on a cruise before. I had an qbsolutely marvellous time. I came home fitter and healthier (and I never used the gym. Didnt have time.) But I did see the equipment and was suitably impressed. I was rested and had learned new skills. I had FUN. The food was great,and I was on a very restricted diet. But the catering manager really looked after me.The staff and crew were lovely. Again I felt looked after yet respected. The sanitation rules were quite strict but I felt physically safe to use the handrails and public facilities due to seeing them almost consistently cleaned. Ive even adopted the sanitation procedures at home and my hands and nails have never looked better. As for the enrichment activities.I am now the proud owner of a lovely hand made flower and beautiful pop up card. I could never do anything like this before. The craft centre activies were great.Lovely people teaching and a great social event too. Now to the entertainment.I read in another review that there was only one guest performer.True. But he performed twice on my cruise and both shows were completely different.After seeing him the first time I couldn't wait to see him again. The dancers and singers were fantastic.Im a music teacher (violin and piano)and ex dancer so I really do know what Im talking about.Well trained talented people who were a joy to watch and listen to.Another special mention should go to the band.Excellent musicians. As for the two young female pianist and violinist.Absolutely beautiful.So hardworking and so very talented. The magician Ian who was cruise director was another hardworking and talented man. I hate magicians generally but I thought Ian was very good and was also a lovely approachable person with lots of personality and always made time for anyone. The last time I felt like this about a holiday was in Orlando at the Dusney parks. I felt looked after and valued. i will definitely chose to go with C&M again. Read Less
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