9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Cruise and Maritime Voyages missed 40% of the itinerary on their Easter 'Scottish islands and Emerald Isle' cruise in March 2016. Despite the title of the cruise, on Astoria, the company failed to deliver anybody to a Scottish ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime Voyages missed 40% of the itinerary on their Easter 'Scottish islands and Emerald Isle' cruise in March 2016. Despite the title of the cruise, on Astoria, the company failed to deliver anybody to a Scottish Island.There was no notice, no contingency and no substitute, no apology, and no compensation of any kind, (for failing to reach Mull, Iona and Lewis), and there was absolutely no recognition of the disappointment i.e. that many passengers choose cruises solely for the itinerary. I think most reputable companies would have offered a partial refund for failing to deliver the service for which their customer had paid in good faith. The company's response is in their 'terms and conditions' (which are sent AFTER paying a deposit) and which apparently cover changes to the itinerary. Bad weather happens of course, but the way in which a firm treats its customers IS in its control and on this occasion CMV left hundreds in dismay, cancelling a visit to Mull (and Iona Abbey) on a sunny Good Friday morning when everybody had tender boarding cards and picnic boxes in hand, ready to go ashore. One passenger was reported to have said this was the third time CMV had failed to deliver to a Scottish island; I would not give them a second chance, let alone a third. We have cruised many times before and have never missed a port, so obviously we were unlucky on this occasion, but I do question the wisdom of the itinerary; is it wise to attempt Scotland in March? Is this the reason other shipping lines do not go there other than in the summer? The cruise cost £1600 and a week's annual leave and turned out to be a very expensive way to visit Belfast, Dublin and Glasgow (which were the three successful stops on the itinerary), as well as Ullapool (which was the substitute for Stornaway, Lewis). Apart from that boarding was good, the food was fine (provenance felt poor quality), bar service at dinner was so bad people went to the bar to get their own drinks, the staff were lovely, our cabin steward actually was excellent, and the ship overall was not bad. The Christian team (this was Holy week) were wonderful and saved the day. Excursion to Giant's Footsteps was very good. Dublin we wandered around but our trip was cut short because of the weather (bright sunny day, why?). I cannot comment on any other excursions because of course we did not reach the island excursions we had booked for....... Read Less
21 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The best aspect of this cruise was, without doubt, the entertainment - which was good fun. The onboard-team were so full of energy and enthusiasm and were accomplished dancers and singers - so that was good. The speakers were interesting - ... Read More
The best aspect of this cruise was, without doubt, the entertainment - which was good fun. The onboard-team were so full of energy and enthusiasm and were accomplished dancers and singers - so that was good. The speakers were interesting - however, I was rather taken aback to find that the theme of a few of the speakers talks seemed to be around their Christian beliefs.....there was no mention upon booking that the cruise was to have a Christian element. This did not especially perturb me, I just feel that mention should have been made of this in the information prior to booking. Other aspects of the cruise left a great deal to be desired........particularly in the catering department....the food was just acceptable (in my opinion, and I overheard many others expressing similar views). The meat was almost always tough (I had to send some beef back because it was literally unchewable) the fish seemed like a more acceptable option. The quantities of food at dinner was small - I never felt totally satisfied after an evening meal; very little in the way of veg. and the food all came plated so you could not help yourself to veg. The sweets were poor - generally rather synthetic creamy cakes, or minute portions of ice-cream, and don't even mention the cheese and biscuits! What a joke! A couple of thin slices of 2 different cheeses with a couple of ritz-type biscuits, half a dozen grapes and that was that! Disgraceful really! Lunch-time salads were better. The trouble with lunch-time was the free for all in the buffet-lounge (well, not just at lunch-time, at all meal-times it was like Paddy's market!) Not a great deal of choice andfrequently food would run out - only to be replaced after a long wait, then plates, or cups would disappear, and a queue would form, whereupon 4 cups would be brought out, and a couple of plates! Breakfasts had all the usual fruit and cereals, etc and some very nice omelettes cooked for you if you wished, the rest was rather over-cooked, dried-up bacon, baked beans, tomatoes and hash-browns - not a lot of variety. The biggest criticism of all of the food was that it was served luke-warm and sometimes cold - at all of the meals. The milk was UHT - yuk! For me a big issue was that there was no food in the evening after dinner - we ate at 6.0pm, so by 10pm I would have loved a snack (or, as on other cruises, a buffet) but there was not a thing! No crisps or nuts in the bars, nothing! Each evening the "What's on" bulletin advertised "refreshments in all of the lounges" - but when I enquired at reception I was told that if I wanted something to eat I must use room-service! I thought that the attitude was rather penny-pinching. There was a bottle of water in our cabin on arrival which I opened and drank - to find that that was charged at £2.20p! To use your computer cost £40 for I can't recall how many hours - but,surely that should be included in this day and age? Apparently a whole new crew had been taken on prior to this trip, and it showed! No-one seemed to quite know what was happening - and the more senior staff were reprimanding the newbies in public....."don't pour the drink like that, do it like this....." unprofessional! Shambolic sums it up - and so disappointing when one has so looked forward to a relaxing break with a bit of pampering.....I would not recommend this company, nor would I use them again - which is really sad as she is an attractive ship with so much potential. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was called Scottish islands and Emerald Isle. We sailed from Bristol Avonmouth; getting there was easy (train and taxi) and embarkation was very smooth. We were upgraded to a promenade deck cabin ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary. It was called Scottish islands and Emerald Isle. We sailed from Bristol Avonmouth; getting there was easy (train and taxi) and embarkation was very smooth. We were upgraded to a promenade deck cabin with a bath, and our cabin steward offered to change our beds from two singles to a double which we preferred, so all started well. We were also manage to change our table for four in the restaurant to a table for two, second sitting. However we felt that despite the chefs' best efforts the provenance of the food itself was very poor. Getting a drink at dinner was very difficult - most passengers gave up and went to the bar for their wine. A poor deal for those with drinks packages. The cruise had a Christian theme as it was Holy week and the team here were excellent. The only shore excursion we went on was to the Giant's Causeway which was good. So far fair enough. However things went wrong when poor weather prevented us from going to Stornaway on the Isle of Lewis. This meant we could not go to the Isle of Harris either. We went to Ullapool instead, a poor substitute. The following day, with clear blue skies, glorious sunshine, and tender boarding cards and picnics in our hand the captain announced that we would not go to Mull or the Good Friday excursion to Iona either, because of poor weather forecast later in the day. There was no apology and no compensation, not even a free drink or free on board spend. Instead we spent the day at sea with more bar quizzes for entertainment and little else. For me the whole point of the cruise was negated. I had been to Ireland before and my sole interest was the Scottish Isles, but here we were on a ship that failed to reach any Scottish island, 40% of its itinerary. For some reason the hours in Dublin were also cut short, leaving at about 3.00 pm instead of 5.00 pm, so yet more shore time lost. In summary we felt badly let down by Cruise and Maritime, we felt that with better scheduling and contingency planning the passengers' obvious disappointment and in some cases open tears, could have been avoided. Similarly a kinder more empathetic approach to customer services might have helped alleviate the acute dismay at the failure of the trip, instead of which we actually felt that the ship's management treated us with little more than contempt. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
Ship recently refurbished to a high standard. Good size standard cabins. Very good food with an ambitious menu. Good entertainment every night and films showing every night.a programme throughout the day with some very interesting ... Read More
Ship recently refurbished to a high standard. Good size standard cabins. Very good food with an ambitious menu. Good entertainment every night and films showing every night.a programme throughout the day with some very interesting lectures. Pleasant , attentive staff. Only one complaint about the ship and that is the very steep gangway steps which made it difficult for anybody with mobility problems Read Less
28 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We left from Bristol - but this is not a listed option. So. I really REALLY wanted to enjoy this cruise. I'd never travelled with Cruise and Maritime before and I prefer smaller older ships that don't look like tower blocks on ... Read More
We left from Bristol - but this is not a listed option. So. I really REALLY wanted to enjoy this cruise. I'd never travelled with Cruise and Maritime before and I prefer smaller older ships that don't look like tower blocks on the water. The cabin JS213 was really clean and well equipped - having a bath on a cruise ship - especially a jacuzi was great. All in all the first impressions were great. Then the ship started to move and the engines started up. The noise was just breathtaking. Unbelievable. Outside of the cabin door was the air conditioning plant which screamed continuously in competition with the roar of the engines. I went to reception who had a sign up saying that the ship was full and theer were no cabin moves. The sign stopped the 2 receptionis from having to actually speak to the passengers. Something they clearly preferred not to do. I couldn't sleep - I defy anyone to have slept in that incredible noise. 14 nights. ho hum. So the crew. I've done 15 cruises of different durations on different ships and this was the most unhappy, surly, rude and on occasion agressive crew I have ever met. With the exception of 4 crew members, they gave the impression of having a deep dislike of the passengers. The only time I saw them really busy was when the stripped all the food away at 8.30 from the buffet. Imagine a cruise ship that has no service from 8.30 pm until the following morning. I was left twice with no alternative but to use room service who charge 12.95 for a baguette. Our cabin steward was ok but became like a limpet when the end of the voyage came around and it was tipping time. One bar waitress worked incredibly hard - she had to as the male staff were only interested in serving the tables right in front of them. Rude staff - a lady told one of the staff that she had spilt her tea - witrhout stoppingn his chat with the deck oficer the steward stuffed a wad of napkins into her face. He didn't even look at her. The cruise appeared chaotic and poorly managed - we only had 3 hours in Lisbon because we needed to get to Gibraltar - where we arrived on the Sunday to find it shut. Everything... shut. We were there from 7.00 - midnight so at least we could have dinner of the ship which was a lovely treat as the food on board was repeteive, soggy and frequently tasteless. The pool was closed and roped off during the one and only deck party and only one outside bar was open when all decks were in use. If you wanted a drink you had to get it yourself. Never again. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We chose this cruise because it was reasonable in price, and we wanted a smaller, more intimate ship. We were not disappointed. It was all great fun. OK, so Azores is not a glitzy ship - there are limited things to do, and it was a bit ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was reasonable in price, and we wanted a smaller, more intimate ship. We were not disappointed. It was all great fun. OK, so Azores is not a glitzy ship - there are limited things to do, and it was a bit tired looking. But the crew were wonderful, helpful and looked after us very well. If you want a smallish ship then try this one. And the price was very reasonable. We had an upgrade cabin to a junior suite, and started the trip really well with a free bottle of champagne and canapes in our suite - off to a good start! Food was good - wine was limited, but the alcohol package, although expensive, gave us the choice of a huge bar menu. House wine was dull. Excursions were well organised and interesting, and most of the lecturers were really good. Embarkation was swift and efficient, but disembarkation was tiring and slow. The swimming pool was tiny and really not used. But then the ship is not very big. The floor shows were fun, and enormous energy was expended by the dancers and band. If you want a cheap, fun holiday in a small ship, this is the one to try - but don't expect glitz or glitter. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Yes, it is a small ship, but it was very well fitted out and we boarded with high hopes. Soon dashed by discovering we had been 'upgraded' from a Superior Cabin of 16 sq m to a Standard Cabin of 11 sq m! Apparently being a few ... Read More
Yes, it is a small ship, but it was very well fitted out and we boarded with high hopes. Soon dashed by discovering we had been 'upgraded' from a Superior Cabin of 16 sq m to a Standard Cabin of 11 sq m! Apparently being a few decks higher and having a view of the bottom of a lifeboat for a week counts as an upgrade. We had two single beds with a tiny cupboard between., and an (unwanted)fridge with a fixed TV on top, No other surface on which to put ANYTHING. Small wardrobes meant keeping some clothes in the case under the bed. Food? Acceptable. Shop? Selling left-over souvenirs from the last trip - to Norway!! No items reflecting where the ship was going, perfumes of the Lady Gaga, celeb-type, no clothes - never saw a guest in there. Tea in restaurants comes via hot water in flasks and teabags. No tea-making facilities in cabin. Bottle of water? That'll be £2.20, thanks. Their idea of 'activity' on board - quiz after quiz and standing in a corridor throwing bean bags around. On the plus side - bathroom excellent with super shower (might have been more comfortable than the cabin), boarding and disembarking best we have come across, very good cabin steward - rest of the staff suddenly improved on the last day when people were thinking of cancelling their £5 a day tips! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Worst cruise we have done (out of 6). Boat old and noise from engines bad. Crew not at all passenger orientated. Captain invisible. Entertainment very amateurish. Things to do onboard poor. Some lectures good but tour presentations poor. ... Read More
Worst cruise we have done (out of 6). Boat old and noise from engines bad. Crew not at all passenger orientated. Captain invisible. Entertainment very amateurish. Things to do onboard poor. Some lectures good but tour presentations poor. On board shop a joke. Food was not good in either dining areas. Tours not good value, (better to do it yourself). Would not use Cruise & Maritime again ever. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Just returned from a fantastic trip around the British Isles on the Azores, yes shes an old ship but don't be put off. First time cruising and were pleasantly surprised by this ship ( don't take any notice of any negative ... Read More
Just returned from a fantastic trip around the British Isles on the Azores, yes shes an old ship but don't be put off. First time cruising and were pleasantly surprised by this ship ( don't take any notice of any negative comments on previous reviews) Embarkation at Liverpool was well organised, taxi dropped us off, porters there to take luggage straight away, checking in 10 mins then straight onto ship, met off gangway and shown to cabin, although small ( cabin 317 ) it was well thought out and bathroom much bigger than expected, shower always hot water and plenty of pressure. Went for drink at the outside bar, went back to cabin and luggage there already, very impressed. Meals on board were great we ate both at the buffet and the waiter service restaurant, serving staff excellent, always plenty of choice, only small niggle was felt bit rushed in the restaurant. One night paid supplement for the steak house ( well worth the £15 extra ) best steak I've had cooked to perfection. We did wonder if tender off the ship at certain ports of call would be a problem as we hadn't booked their trips, as they get priority, but not a problem at all, never felt we were waiting long ( Heard on bigger ships this can be a nightmare) Drinks package £17 each per day well worth it for us Overall if you like the idea of a small ship with traditional cruise feel, this is the one for you Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My wife and I have cruised with many major cruise lines over several years, including twice with Cruise and Maritime before. Whilst we accept that they are not the largest or the most modern ships and make allowances for this, ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised with many major cruise lines over several years, including twice with Cruise and Maritime before. Whilst we accept that they are not the largest or the most modern ships and make allowances for this, nevertheless we were disappointed with our latest experience with CMV. It's the first time we have left from Liverpool and we arranged to park at the cruise terminal. The instructions were inadequate and I had difficulty finding the car park when I had dropped off my wife and the luggage a the terminal. In fact, even after asking the way, I had to drive around and then back to ask again. The Azores was 67 years old and I think that this was her last season with CMV. However she was clean, well furnished and comfortable. We were uprated to a Junior suite and the cabin was very nice although it was one deck above the waterline, with portholes which had to have their deadlights screwed down when we encountered some choppy weather. My main complaint was about the attitude of quite a few members of the crew. Both girls on the reception counter were curt, unfriendly and unhelpful. Our table waiter seemed to resent our presence and dinner time was not to be looked forward to. At our first breakfast in the restaurant we were kept waiting for twenty minutes for a simple bowl of porridge which was finally delivered after we had asked three different waiters. There were some very nice and helpful waiters/waitresses also, but a chain is as strong as its weakest link and even a small cruise ship can equal the service on the main liners. The food, whilst acceptable, was not outstanding, although dinners (service excepted) were of a better standard than the other meals. Particularly the buffet lunch was disappointing in that there was no fish, boiled ham, chicken, cold meats or other choices to eat with salad, just mozzarella or garlic sausage slices and the choice was far worse than other cruises we have been on. Like all our cruises, we chose this one for the destinations and these were superb. Half were only accessible by tender, but this is fine for most passengers. Activities and entertainment were second rate compared to larger ships but full marks to the crew who did so much to fulfil so many different roles and do it well. For most of the crew, English was not their first language and there were occasional difficulties in understanding them - or they us - but we got by. The final ordeal was disembarkation, we were supposed to leave the ship at 12.30 and duly assembled for that time. Our actual departure was at 13.15, we had to wait for some of our luggage to arrive in the shed and then had to retrieve our car from a car park 1,000 metres away and bring it back to pick up the luggage. The worst thing however was that we had to vacate our cabin at 10.00 hours and there were only three public wc's and no gent's urinals for the entire number of passengers. A very uncomfortable waiting experience and one which I will not endure again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
AZORES cruise Tuesday Boarded ship via rickety gangplank. Shown to cabin. Bottle of champagne and hors d'oeuvres waiting. Buffet from 2pm to 3.45pm. Limited menu but OK Safe very small. Holds camera and iPad and small ... Read More
AZORES cruise Tuesday Boarded ship via rickety gangplank. Shown to cabin. Bottle of champagne and hors d'oeuvres waiting. Buffet from 2pm to 3.45pm. Limited menu but OK Safe very small. Holds camera and iPad and small items. Sockets are EU 2-pin ones so need an adaptor, although some adaptors may be present eg on TV or kettle Food not too bad. Ukrainian waitress manic. Asked for wine waiter but never appeared. Waitress pointed out that although there is a dining room and a buffet there is only one kitchen so the food is all the same. Some vibration once under way. We are on deck six in a balcony suite so it's not too bad but noticeable. TV picks up BBC one and two and ITV one, two and three (I think) with good reception throughout the voyage and no rubbish US channels. Wednesday, Cobh Breakfast in dining room. They allocate seats Went to port talk. A bit difficult to understand as it is by a non-english speaker. Spoke to woman staying on deck one. She said that vibration was horrendous and they could not sleep. Wifi not picked up in cabin. Went into Cobh and had drink in Rob Roy pub which had free wifi. Smithwick beer excellent. Had lunch in buffet. Same food as restaurant. Waitress was right. Almost empty as people were ashore. No fruit or hors d'oevres delivered. No obvious way of contacting steward or reception as phone has no instructions or list of numbers. Turned out that you dial 0 for reception but did not try it. Just discovered that their idea of hors d'oevres is a plate of chocolate covered strawberries. Thursday St Marys, Scilly Isles Breakfast in room at 7am. Dead on time. Tender to Tresco. A bit damp but good value. Lunch tolerable Dinner had lamb shank which was nice and tender. Amazing! Abba show at night from resident company. They do a different show each night and are very good. Friday, st Peter Port, Guernsey Tendered ashore again. Ships cannot dock in Guernsey as not enough draught. Found free wifi at the Information Bureau on the front. Missed lunch but had afternoon tea at 3.30 which was actually pretty good. Sandwiches, wraps and cakes, including scones but with apricot jam and "clotted" cream which was nothing pf the sort. Nice though. Had the daily special coffee, French Coffee, which had Grand Marnier and whipped cream in and was lovely. Tasted very alcoholic. Saturday. Le Havre Docked, with proper gangplank provided by docks. Exit through cruise terminal which has free wifi if you look hard enough. Went on city train which goes to shops for ten euros each return. Temp was 28 degrees. Sunday. At sea Thought that tonight would be formal but it is informal. Warned by captain that sea will be getting rough to sea state 5 until morning. He was right. Note that when the ship calls at ports you are given an information sheet but it does not have a map of the port! Due to rough seas internet not working. This happens a lot. Monday. Invergordon Ship docked so can just walk ashore. Sun shining but lots of clouds around. Had tempura for lunch which was awful. Although described as crispy it is served in a steamer which makes it go soggy. Internet working fairly well in ship Internet room but went ashore and found a coffee bar with free internet, the Purple Turtle. So far food equates with lower end of school dinners. Tuesday. Stornoway Had been before but went ashore,by tender, to look for wi-fi. Found it was free in Stornoway Library. High spot of the trip was at breakfast when helicopter came to evacuate elderly lady who had slipped on the dance floor last night and possibly broken her hip. In the end she was taken by lifeboat and the helicopter went away. I was told by member of entertainment staff that they are only keeping this ship until the end of the year and have sub-let it next year. Wednesday. Tobermory Tender again. Weather OK at first and port scenic but began to pour with rain. Could not find free internet so went back to ship. We had bought a 100 minute Internet package but still had 80 minutes left as it was so fiddly to use, so we used it up. Thursday. Liverpool Lovely sunny day. Caught taxi home. Looking forward to decent food again! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
We travelled from Hull to Liverpool visiting the Faroes and Scottish Isles. We couldn't stop in Skye but we stopped everywhere else. The positive: We had a double bed The food is excellent throughout The ships internal ... Read More
We travelled from Hull to Liverpool visiting the Faroes and Scottish Isles. We couldn't stop in Skye but we stopped everywhere else. The positive: We had a double bed The food is excellent throughout The ships internal lounges and dining areas are beautiful and clean The ports we visited were excellent The crafts, lectures and activities were of a very high standard The staff walking around the ship all smile and say hello The ship feels very stable, even with high swells We found the ship to be quiet The size of the ship means every cabin is convenient with little distance to walk anywhere The negative: The access in and out of the ship is via a steep set of metal steps from deck 4a. They felt treacherous and every time off the ship and back on again felt scary and we are not old. The captain only spoke twice over the tannoy and this was followed by a woman repeating every word that captain spoke - most bizarre. We had no idea of temperature, wind factor, where we were - nothing. The meal times are very precise. When it is exactly 1:30 food stops regardless of how hungry you might be or how late your excursion got back. Room service - £9 for a sandwich? Nothing free. Really? Staff cannot communicate with each other so the staff argued and bickered and some were extremely rude. We were told that only 4 original members of staff from the entertainment team remained as everyone else had left and had to be replaced and others were planning to leave in Liverpool. We also saw two members of staff holding hands and kissing when they were on duty so we were made to feel uncomfortable. High costs. Although the cruise can be good value, by the time you have factored in the high excursion costs, the high bar bill, the high room service, the high spa costs and whatever else you like to do on holiday, the cruise is not as good value as P and O. In conclusion: There was plenty that was good about the cruise, but with much room to improve on we would be tempted to sail on the Azores again as the port is more convenient than down south, but the treacherous steps are enough to put us off. If you are more sure-footed, I wouldn't let anything else put you off. If the ports are where you want to go, there is plenty of positives here. NB. This is referred to as an adult only cruise ship but there were children on our cruise. Not many and certainly nobody was running about or causing any problem, but it was still not an adult only ship. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
This cruise ship was advertised as refurbished. We found that only the public areas were spruced up. The gangway was steep and very was not an inviting sight to embark the ship by. We spoke to one lady who said she was not leaving the ... Read More
This cruise ship was advertised as refurbished. We found that only the public areas were spruced up. The gangway was steep and very was not an inviting sight to embark the ship by. We spoke to one lady who said she was not leaving the ship because it appeared unsafe to her. We had been upgraded to a so called Delux cabin right next door to the auditorium (Cinema) that had its last showing up to midnight. And was also one of the corridors to the disco. This closed at 2am. We had booked a double bed and were told the original room was a double. The Delux cabin itself was shabby and did not feel clean. The toilet was very small and not as described in the brochure. After declining this cabin we were finally allocated was much bigger and brighter and had two windows. However we didn't foresee the up and coming problems. The bed was comfortable but we could not sleep on the first night because the room was to hot. In the morning my wife pointed out that the clothes in the drawers she was using were very warm. On inspection we noticed the fridge was overheating and the air conditioning not cooling the room enough. My wife reported the problem at 10am, after she visited the Spa and returned to the cabin it was found that nothing had been done to solve the problem had done. My wife said she would sit in the reception until the problem was solved. The guest Service Manager was summoned, her reply was I can't come because it's Gala Night and I am due to go on stage with the captain. She was fortunate because we could not get our problem sorted out. I asked the housekeeping manager to accompany me to the cabin, wher I pointed out the overheating fridge. I asked her to have the fridge disconnected and advised her that the fridge was a danger to the whole ship because it was overheating. We were informed that the air conditioning was boosted and because of this some passengers were complaining that their rooms were to cold. On day 6 we noticed the bedding had been changed and found it to be filth with blood stains the mattress topper had also been change and this was also filthy. The steward informed us that she was only doing what she was told. Incidentally the Guest Service Manager never asked at any stage of the cruise if the problems had been resolved. This ship was built in 1947 and in many areas showed its age. But the main problem we found was the attitude of the crew. We paid for drinks packages and registered our debit card. We were advised on the brochure that if we had registered a credit/debit card we could use it up until we disembarked the ship. However when we went to the bar we were informed we would have to pay cash. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This ship is an old lady (1948) and it shows on the outside. The interior could do with a spruce up, but the staff did their best to keep everything shipshape. We were pleasantly surprised when we had a complimentary upgrade to a Junior ... Read More
This ship is an old lady (1948) and it shows on the outside. The interior could do with a spruce up, but the staff did their best to keep everything shipshape. We were pleasantly surprised when we had a complimentary upgrade to a Junior Suite (Deck2), but if you are a light sleeper then beware. Being so low down on the ship, the engine noise and vibrations are rather loud and we had to ask for earplugs to help us get off to sleep. Apart from that the cabin is quite spacious with plenty of hanging space and there was also always a good supply of hot running water. We traveled as a group of 4 and we all thought that the food was excellent and plentiful. The entertainment is a bit limited owing to the size of the ship but the entertainment staff were in our opinion extremely good. If you are on second sitting for dinner the timing of some of the entertainment need reviewing as we missed several of the pre main show options i.e. Mr & Mrs, owing to not having finished dinner in time. The daytime activities are a bit poor, bean bag throwing etc, but again size of the ship dictates what's on offer. The ports of call on offer were all very interesting, but could have done with more time to visit. Overall, a very enjoyable trip, but be warned, if you have been on the bigger ships and expecting wall to wall entertainment, you ain't going to get it. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Just returned from 8 night cruise from Hull. Embarkation was so easy no delays at all. Our cabin on Atlantic deck was very comfortable, with plenty of wardrobe space. Bathroom with bath and shower . I cannot understand all the negative ... Read More
Just returned from 8 night cruise from Hull. Embarkation was so easy no delays at all. Our cabin on Atlantic deck was very comfortable, with plenty of wardrobe space. Bathroom with bath and shower . I cannot understand all the negative reviews of this ship, I cannot fault anything about it. The food was fabulous and plentyful and service first class. Entertainment was great , the entertainment team worked really hard and put on some first class shows. The guest entertainer was a comedian and magician called Andy Leach. Very funny and clever. We didn't go on any excursions preferring to do our own thing. On arrival back in Hull disembarkation was very good again and we were home again an hour after getting off the ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
What a wonderful holiday we had aboard this lovely old ship. Firstly, we received a free upgrade, which of cause was very nice. We were upgraded to a twin bedded cabin with two port holes up on deck six. Our cabin was well appointed ... Read More
What a wonderful holiday we had aboard this lovely old ship. Firstly, we received a free upgrade, which of cause was very nice. We were upgraded to a twin bedded cabin with two port holes up on deck six. Our cabin was well appointed with plenty of storage space and our bathroom had a bath! The hot water was always piping hot and we were supplied with complimentary shower gel and shampoo. Our cabin was kept nice and clean by Edwin. The cabin did get very warm at night though even with the air conditioning turned up. There is a background noise/vibration at all times aboard but this actually helps me with my sea sickness problems. It stops me from feeling every slight swell of the ocean. So, please don’t be put off by this. The ship is beautifully maintained. All the public rooms are very nice. The crew are all very dedicated and helpful. It would be wrong to single anyone out in particular. The entertainment was good and the entertainers are a happy bunch of young people who help out around the ship as well as entertain you of an evening with their shows. The shore excursions are well run. There is some inevitable waiting around to disembark on the tender ones but this is done as efficiently as possible. The excursions are expensive but I find that the case on most cruises. One word of warning though, we booked on the Flam railway excursion and we very pleased we did as we knew of people who had planned on doing it themselves but as two cruise ships were in port that day, they found themselves unable to book a seat on it. I would have been very upset not to have gone on it as it was one of the things I particularly wanted to do. There is a bit of a wait for the return train. As it’s a scheduled service, nothing can be done about it. You are given tea/coffee and waffles in the hotel whilst you wait, which is included in the excursion. At Olden and Bergen, it is quite easy to go ashore and book your own trips or just go for a wander around. In Olden there is a little train that takes you on a trip around Olden Lake. The commentary is in English and the driver/guide is very happy to chat to you and answer any questions. It waits right alongside the quay side. You pay the attendant and off you go when the train is full. It cost 150 Krona each when we went. Try and sit on the right hand side as you look at the front as most of the views are on that side. In Bergen it is easy to walk to the funicular railway and buy your ticket for a ride up to the top and back. A tip here is to take the short cut through the park to the town. It cut the corner off and saves time. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Cruise and Maritime “Fjordland Splendour” 9 day cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, aboard the MV Azores. Excellent cruise totally exceeded my expectations. The MV Azores is small, 16,144 tons, 7 decks, 550 passengers but it has all ... Read More
Cruise and Maritime “Fjordland Splendour” 9 day cruise to the Norwegian Fjords, aboard the MV Azores. Excellent cruise totally exceeded my expectations. The MV Azores is small, 16,144 tons, 7 decks, 550 passengers but it has all of the facilities that you need. I won’t go into the ship’s specifications as they can be found on the company website ,suffice to say that cabins, food, bars, entertainment, lectures and service are all of a very high standard. We booked in September 2014 so we had time to research the ship and the itinerary. We originally booked a basic inner cabin on the lowest deck. Without asking, we got upgraded 11 cabin levels to a Premium Twin Ocean View on deck 6 with 2 full windows (thankyou Cruise and Maritime) which worked out well as the stunning fjord views could be enjoyed from inside our cabin as well as from the public rooms and decks. We also took advantage of the all-inclusive drinks package which was good value and £17 per person per day. The ship is 67 years old but has been superbly re-fitted with all public areas pristine and there are no parts of the ship that look “tired” or are in any need of a face lift (as has been the case with some of the other ships we have been on). There are many smaller rooms you can use as well as the larger bars and lounges, again, all offering comfortable and well upholstered seating, tables, plush carpets and a good standard of decoration. Three bars, serving a variety of drinks, including many cocktails, the majority of which were included in the drinks package. The house wine was good and there were other, premium varieties on offer which attracted an extra charge. Two restaurants, the Lotus buffet and the Olissipo restaurant, both having broadly the same menu for breakfast and lunch, varying a bit more for dinner. Open seating apart from dinner in the Olissipo restaurant which was held in two sittings at specific tables. We dined in the buffet for breakfast and lunch, then in the restaurant for dinner. All of the food was very good, but I would describe the restaurant dinner as being superb, 5 courses, varied menu, something for everyone and beautifully prepared and presented. I did like the service in the buffet as well, which was self service but with a waiter/waitress serving you from behind the counter. You could ask for as much as you wanted and you could return for more if necessary but I think this method did cut down on the disgraceful amount of waste that occurs when greed takes over from common sense and fully loaded plates end up with half eaten food on them. Also in the buffet, there is unlimited tea and coffee from 06:00 to midnight. Entertainment was good, aimed at the older, all adult clientele, based mainly in the Calypso show lounge. Abba and Queen plus 60’s rock and roll for example. The comedian, Andy Leach went down well, a combination of comedy, magic and Derrick the exploding ferret (he’s only a puppet). There was live music in the bar and the shows were supported by a 5 piece live band. I also attended the lectures in the auditorium, presented by Geoffrey Farrell, history of the Vikings, nature of Norway, early shipbuilding, the Hanseatic League and the northern sky, all of which were interesting and informative. The auditorium was also used as a cinema a certain times of the day. Also on the entertainment front, every room had a flat screen TV with channels that varied dependant on the reception but with a forward looking camera on the bridge, a GPS based map, film channels and a preview of the DVD that was being filmed as the cruise went on. Although we would not normally buy a DVD such as this, the fjords were so stunning that we thought still pictures may not do justice to the holiday, so we bought the DVD on this occasion, finding the standard of production to be exceptionally good, with narration and other information added regarding the places visited. At £24.99, again, good value. Excursions could be pre-booked and I would recommend this when wishing to visit popular places such as the Flam railway, as I was later aware that some independent travellers failed to get on the train as it was full. Excursion prices were a bit expensive, but, Norway is an expensive country so it’s difficult to judge. As Norway uses the Krone, the ships reception was able to change small amounts of Sterling for passengers (cash to cash, not using the on-board spend system) and we found this to be at a slightly better rate than the Norwegian Tourist Information offices, where Krone can also be obtained. We did find that, contrary to information we got from the Internet, some popular places will take Euro’s (and even Sterling) but this cannot be guaranteed and certainly the attractions such as the Bergen funicular railway was Krone only. You can use your debit card of course but it’s worth having a small amount of local currency. As mentioned, our cabin was on deck 6 (cabin 643), well appointed with twin beds, plenty of storage space, bathroom with bath, shower, WC, bidet, shaver socket and hair dryer, electronic safe, all nicely decorated and with two large windows, offering great views of the fjord waterfalls and scenery. The cabin steward was never far away and made sure it was clean, tidy and well stocked on a regular basis. There were other facilities we didn’t try, the spa, deck games, quizzes for example and the pool was closed, due to the Norwegian temperatures. There was also a night club. I did pay a short visit to the gym which was small but adequate, which also offered free classes for work outs to repair the damage to the various parts of the body that the restaurants had inflicted!! I haven’t said too much about the itinerary as the Norwegian fjords speak for themselves. Huge snow covered mountains, massive waterfalls, stunning scenery and you do spend a fair bit of time cruising through the fjords during the daylight hours which is both pleasant and relaxing. We were slightly fortunate as the snow had not yet melted on the mountain tops so the waterfalls were in full flow. Also, at the time of year we went it was light for about 22 hours of the day. I should mention that, throughout the whole 9 days, I, personally, didn’t hear one person moaning about anything, and with 550 Brits aboard, that’s quite an achievement. I did hear (second hand) that there were a couple of moans somewhere but I suppose there will always be those who refuse to make happiness last a whole week. Just a few tips: Buy the drinks package. Pre-book excursions that you really want to do. Take a small amount of local currency. Make use of the events, demonstrations and lectures that are offered, particularly during the days at sea. In summary, although Cruise and Maritime are a relatively new company, I was very very impressed. They nailed it for me. The cruise ship, crew services and itinerary all exceeded my expectations by a considerable margin and would wholeheartedly recommend this Cruise and Maritime Voyages to any potential cruiser. Cruise and Maritime - Take a bow!! Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Our choice of cruise on this endearing ship with fascinating history was based on the itinerary. It didn't disappoint, despite the fact you only get a little taster at each port. It rained a bit at Torshavn (Faroes), but it ... Read More
Our choice of cruise on this endearing ship with fascinating history was based on the itinerary. It didn't disappoint, despite the fact you only get a little taster at each port. It rained a bit at Torshavn (Faroes), but it didn't matter. We could happily live there. It had been a late Spring in Iceland, so there was still snow on the mountains. Spring and summer flowers were in abundance. We joined in Women's Vote Centenary celebrations in Akureyri, witnessed the midnight sun as the boat touched the Arctic Circle. Sailed into Reykjavik bathed in early morning sun. Stood in Europe and America at the same time, jumped when the geyser erupted, and were overawed by a majestic waterfall. The boat was small enough to negotiate the narrow channel into Heiymay harbour, from where we walked up a lava mountain. Shetland and Orkney were added bonuses (Kirwall Cathedral is amazing). The staff on board were all very welcoming and friendly. There are plenty of choices on board, be it, food or entertainment. The entertainment side of things is not important to us, but particular thanks must go to the astonishing group of Russian dancers. The wildlife lecturer was very helpful. We only did a couple of shore excursions preferring to explore on our own if possible. The Azores has since been refitted and renamed the Astoria. We didn't want luxury, but were careful in choosing the location of the cabin. All in all excellent value for money. We booked online direct ourselves, which I think gives you more control. It's over six months since the holiday - the happy memories have not faded. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Have sailed on a number of cruises including some very big names. pros good food all week, main restaurant excellent and suprisingly the buffet not bad (has worse on RCI and P and O ) Cabins spacious with a bath at all levels ... Read More
Have sailed on a number of cruises including some very big names. pros good food all week, main restaurant excellent and suprisingly the buffet not bad (has worse on RCI and P and O ) Cabins spacious with a bath at all levels kept very clean staff in the main very good getting on and off the ship very smooth cons small ship so rough in bad weather Drink prices 8 pound for a double rum and coke?? Entertainment limited quizzes at odd times little to do on any sea days again due to size Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
Sailed from Bristol on Medieval cities and gardens cruise. Visiting Scilly Isles, Guernsey, Rouan, Honfleur and Amsterdam. Weather was to bad to visit Guernsey but went to Cherbourg instead. First impression of ship when boarding was ... Read More
Sailed from Bristol on Medieval cities and gardens cruise. Visiting Scilly Isles, Guernsey, Rouan, Honfleur and Amsterdam. Weather was to bad to visit Guernsey but went to Cherbourg instead. First impression of ship when boarding was she was obviously an old girl. Once on board reservations were dispelled as she is well fitted out. This is a small ship with a quite different experience from larger ships, which we found to our liking. I cannot understand some of the previous reviews as we found food and service very good and entertainment good but limited due to ship size. As ship is smaller it has a more friendly atmosphere where you will meet more people than you would on a bigger ship. Many people we met on board had sailed with this company on various ships many times which proves that CMV are doing something right. If you want a big ship experience with everything brand new and sparkly with a sail away every day then this ship is not for you. If you want an experience where you have good service good food and good company then Azores is for you. Drinks package at £17 a day is excellent value. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I boarded at Bristol for 12 nights around Iceland and home via Dublin. Bristol was perfect for us as we visited Bath and Wells and spent 3 nights in Bristol. We truly found everything and everyone on board delightful. The ... Read More
My wife and I boarded at Bristol for 12 nights around Iceland and home via Dublin. Bristol was perfect for us as we visited Bath and Wells and spent 3 nights in Bristol. We truly found everything and everyone on board delightful. The service was great and we enjoyed the meals. The ship herself was comfortable albeit a trifle quaint; our cabin was spotless (thank you Irina). The bar drinks were indeed reasonable and the choices excellent. Our visits in ports all ran smoothly and the skies were mostly blue ! It did help that all passengers were of a similar adventurous mind going to Iceland in the spring. We made long term friends. We would genuinely both like to thank the crew for making our second honeymoon a wonderful and happy occasion... My wife said she would love to go on another cruise with the same ship and crew. As would I Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
In the early stages of our cruise, we had a significant change of port time ashore in both Stornoway and Torshavn. The full day in each of Stornoway and Torshavn was reduced to just half a day and that was done without any on-board ... Read More
In the early stages of our cruise, we had a significant change of port time ashore in both Stornoway and Torshavn. The full day in each of Stornoway and Torshavn was reduced to just half a day and that was done without any on-board communication or more importantly, any explanation being offered. Whilst we understand that CMV need to get paying tour guests ashore quickly when at anchor (Stornoway), we think that the maximum number of tenders should be deployed in the early stages, until all passengers who want to go ashore are landed - then the number of tenders can be dropped back later on. We lost over an hour of our reduced time in Stornoway (seeing only 2 of 4 tenders in operation and that from a distant anchorage) and then we were asked back early too, which frankly rankled and made us feel "2nd Class". The lack of awareness and communication on-board by the cruise management team exacerbated the frustration felt widely on board. On a bridge visit, the Captain confirmed that he had not altered the port times in both Stornoway and Torshavn for any on-board operational or weather reasons. We lost confidence and our sense of relaxation early in the cruise about the rest of the itinerary being the one that was sold to us. It took time before that sense of being on a carefree holiday returned. Fantastic front line staff; excellent, courteous and friendly service. We liked the smaller ship and the friendly atmosphere on board and the itinerary proposed and sold to us. Conditions allowing MV Azores to get into Heimaey in the Westman Islands and docking in the tiny port, was the highlight of the cruise for us and an impressive bit of pilotage and ship handling, to squeeze in and come out again (unusually stern first all the way). I have posted a link below to the photos for the day at Heimaey: https://plus.google.com/photos/109375469948758953851/albums/6159112519882751617 The "middle management" on board was, regrettably, not of the standard set by the front line staff. We had to enquire and chase up several times, the Arctic Circle "crossing the line" certificates. In the end, we had to take a certificate out of a cardboard box and fill it in ourselves on the last day of the cruise! The Arctic Circle crossing was never announced or made anything of - a missed opportunity. The food standard was generally very high and we certainly ate our fill! A small matter of running out of butter and orange juice before the cruise ended, but we survived! The organisation of the hot and cold drinks together in the Lotus Grill needs re-engineering, as the existing poor layout caused constant "traffic jams", especially at breakfast on arrival days. We found 7 days of port arrivals in a row, pretty tiring. We would have paid more for a cruise where the ship stayed two days at both Akureyri (Capital of the North of Iceland) and Reykjavik (the actual capital). There is so much to do in both places, that one day wasn't enough and it would have been nice to have two days where a return to the ship had no pressure of missing a sailing time! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We embarked at Avonmouth (Bristol) for a 12 night cruise to the Iceland via Stornaway and The Faroes. The weather could have been better and the stabilisers (if there were any) did little to dampen the ship's motion. Our cabin was ... Read More
We embarked at Avonmouth (Bristol) for a 12 night cruise to the Iceland via Stornaway and The Faroes. The weather could have been better and the stabilisers (if there were any) did little to dampen the ship's motion. Our cabin was truly excellent, the best we have had in the 6 cruises we have so far had and consisted of a large bedroom (double bed) and a separate living room. There was a TV in each. We had a Jacuzzi bath and bidet in our bathroom. As we had a delux suite, canapes in our cabin were complimentary every evening. That's the good part --- now the bad. Our Jacuzzi bath had a thick layer of brown scum on the water when we first turned it on. This slowly got better during the trip but on the penultimate day was dreadful. My wife wanted to wash her hair but this water would have dirtied it. If I could find a way of downloading a photo on this site I would do so. Next. Our captain was an invisible one, both in sound and in vision. On all our other cruises we have had a captain's briefing every day advising us of the weather, sea state, e.t.a at next port etc. Our captain was silent apart from 2 announcements throughout the 12 days. Any announcement that was made was made by a junior officer (we think) and could only be heard if you happened to be in a public area at the time. So anyone in their cabin would not hear anything. On our first 'formal' evening the captain did put in an appearance and sat on the next table to ours. One lady that we knew had already written to him regarding his non-appearances and was told he was 'too busy on the bridge' to reply. The food was mediocre, very repetitive, particularly breakfast, but at least for the most part the waiters were quite attentive, particularly on the last day when they were hoping for a tip. We are charged automatically £5.00/pp/day for tips but like some other people we struck that off and gave tips to those people who in our opinion deserved them. Day-time entertainment consisted of bean-bag throwing, quiz, lecture, craft ideas and film. The gym consisted of 2 CV machines and 1 weights machine. Not very inspiring! Some of the excursions were OK (but all expensive). The crew who boated us ashore in the tender seemed rather incompetent. When we were brought back to the ship on one occasion, we crashed into the side of the ship. Later on it took them 4 tries to attach themselves to the davits for the boat to be lifted up. I do not think that I would trust them one bit in an emergency. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
Just back from a cruise from Bristol (Avonmouth) to Scottish Islands and Faroes. Living in the SW it is really good to have a port of embarkation that is not a long drive away. Can't fault anything about the trip (perhaps the rough ... Read More
Just back from a cruise from Bristol (Avonmouth) to Scottish Islands and Faroes. Living in the SW it is really good to have a port of embarkation that is not a long drive away. Can't fault anything about the trip (perhaps the rough seas on occasion)! Great ship 67 years old but looking very good. Getting on board was very well organised; cabin good with lots of storage; friendly staff who seemed genuinely happy - mostly from Ukraine but many nationalities represented. Excellent tendering from ship to Scottish islands when weather permitted it; good food and so much of it; the entertainment that we saw was very good especially the 4 singers - Jordan etc. Only complaint that we all had to be up and out of our cabins by 6.30 am on the last morning. This created chaos in the restaurants and the public area toilets. Some staggering needed there especially as once up we had to wait 2 + hours before disembarking. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We sailed from Bristol for our round Britain cruise on mv Azores (Cruise & Maritime). She used to be called mv Athena. An elderly ship but traditionally refitted. The decor was attractive everywhere. Because there were only 550 ... Read More
We sailed from Bristol for our round Britain cruise on mv Azores (Cruise & Maritime). She used to be called mv Athena. An elderly ship but traditionally refitted. The decor was attractive everywhere. Because there were only 550 passengers there were no queues for anything and we found everyone very friendly because you saw the same people several times! Food in the traditional dining room was wonderful - very high standard. The waiters all seemed to love their job and joined in the fun dressing up as pirates one day! We loved the promenade deck and there were plenty of tables and chairs and loungers round the small pool. The bar was comfortable and where the quizzes and classical music took place. The cruise director seemed to be everywhere! Very efficient and friendly and knew exactly what was going on. Our cabin (Superior Twin) was roomy and comfortable, the steward efficient and quite shy. It was lovely to be able to walk back to your cabin without having to walk for miles and miles. Because of rough seas we were unable to use the tender to get into Tobermory or Stornoway which was disapointing but understandable. So quickly the company arranged for us to move on to Kirkwall then an extra stop at Invergordon. Kirkwall was great as we visited the 5,000 year old village that had been uncovered by a storm, Skara Brae and the standing stones at Brogeda. Invergordon was a bit of a disappointment, not much to do there but the company laid on a fabulous Scottish folk song and dance group and a piper for an afternoon shindig on board. Great fun. They had organised a trip to Loch Ness which we did not go on. My one niggle was as the ship is quite old, being built in 1948 the engine noise was apparent at bed time...good job we took our ear plugs. We'd definitely go with Cruise & Maritime again, a great British cruising company. Read Less
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