14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I thought it would be a wonderful way to visit so many far away and interesting places. Indeed overall the cruise delivered its promise and we did enjoy the wonderful places we visited. In general the staff were great and did a ... Read More
I thought it would be a wonderful way to visit so many far away and interesting places. Indeed overall the cruise delivered its promise and we did enjoy the wonderful places we visited. In general the staff were great and did a fantastic job. The entertainment was great at times and OK at others. The drinks plus package we paid almost £30.00 a head for was a rip off. They did not have 3 of the 6 wines advertised and although I complained on the very first day and was told this would be dealt with, it never was. I assumed I would be contacted and compensated but this did not happen and I sent an email to Cruise and Maritime and their final response, after much excusing and explanation, was, "Whilst we apologise for the dissatisfaction caused, unfortunately there is nothing further we can add at this stage". We also had to move cabin twice, I was worried by their comments on the safety issue I raised in that although we were forced to move cabin twice - (once because of smoke issues and the next because of flooding. No compensation for this either) - no-one took us through the safety drill or showed us where our new muster stations were. They showed no concern and did not seem to think this an issue. Very disappointed and quite hurt by the arrogance of theirCustomer Relations Executive. 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
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
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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2015
Due to bad weather the departure port and date were changed three days prior to departure, no information about the new departure port "Portland" was provided and there was none on the website. I was assured that as I had to ... Read More
Due to bad weather the departure port and date were changed three days prior to departure, no information about the new departure port "Portland" was provided and there was none on the website. I was assured that as I had to arrive at Portland at 14:00 (due to travel availability) there would be facilities to leave luggage on arrival, there was no sign of a representative from Cruise and Maritime until 17:50 when boarding started, there was no priority boarding and it was a total shambles. Although the cabin was excellent, the standard of cleanliness left a lot to be desired and our cabin steward appeared to prioritise fancy towel folding above basic necessities. On the evening of Day 5 the Aurora was visible but no announcement was made, as this was a "Northern Lights Cruise" I would have expected a watch to be kept from the bridge and sightings to be announced, many guests were disappointed when they found out the next day. The lights on the observation deck were only turned off on one occasion to improve viewing conditions. On the Tromso shore excursion we were directed to the wrong coach and consequently had very limited time at the Cathedral and at Alta on our return the guide dropped us off in town and told us the shuttle bus stopped at the same place, six of us waited over an hour in the cold to eventually find out that the bus stopped at the bus station the other side of the shopping complex. Our cabin should have had a DVD player in it but there was none provided until we insisted. The sirloin steak I was served in The Steak House Restaurant was one of the worst I have ever been presented with when eating out. On day 11 we were without water in the cabin from 15:30 for about two hours and when the supply was restored the water was dark brown until the next day. All of these problems when reported seemed to be met with a total lack of "Customer Care", the service provided was well below that which should be expected but nobody seemed to want to accept any responsibility. No problem with the entertainment team, they were excellent. Not worth the £6,859 price tag and no refund from the company after taking their 28 days allowed by ABTA to respond! They were obviously very busy as they took 27 minutes to answer my phone call on one occasion, I would certainly not recommend the company to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
The worst cruise I have been on.We actuallyonly got to 4 of the 9 destinations which were advertised. The boat was unstable at anything more than a force 3 wind. It wallowed and went crabwise. Internally it leaked in at least 6 places. ... Read More
The worst cruise I have been on.We actuallyonly got to 4 of the 9 destinations which were advertised. The boat was unstable at anything more than a force 3 wind. It wallowed and went crabwise. Internally it leaked in at least 6 places. Bits were falling off. If you put an electrical plug in the surface mounting came away when you took it out exposing wiring.The toilets often did not flush.Temperature controls did not work.Often the lifts never worked. A minor point that made me laugh - all cruise ,the toaster for breakfast for 200 people could only take 4 slices of bread and only 2 heaters worked. Any complaints made the crew rude to you [ except the waiters who were friendly].The head office staff were even worse Many people did not leave their cabins for days on end through seasickness. At one point the doctor had 6 people on saline drips due to seasickness.At least one broken arm. The cruise started a day late with a 4 hour coach trip to Portland from Avonmouth [ where the cruise was supposed to start ] Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Where do I start! About 4 days before setting sail we received a phone call to say that the cruise had been delayed by 24 hours and that we were sailing from Portland instead of Bristol. This was due to the ship being delayed by bad ... Read More
Where do I start! About 4 days before setting sail we received a phone call to say that the cruise had been delayed by 24 hours and that we were sailing from Portland instead of Bristol. This was due to the ship being delayed by bad weather in Portugal. This was acceptable, I would hate to think of any passengers being subjected to adverse weather conditions. ( See later comments ). Anyway, we were told we would be transported to Portland by coach and that food would be provided. Having arrived at Bristol we all duly boarded our coaches and helped ourselves to our goodie bags, not! A mini bag of Cheddars, an apple and a Penguin bar washed down with a bottle of water was not quite what I expected. After about two hours we arrived at Portland and had a long delay before boarding. This was undoubtedly due to the previous passengers still getting off the ship, if I had thought, I could have waved and asked them about their cruise! Once onboard, we settled into our cabin and to be honest we were not disappointed. We had an upgrade to a Junior Suite and were welcomed by a bottle of champagne and a plate of canopies. The weather worsened as we crossed the North Sea and many passengers succumbed to sea sickness. The swells were 5 Meters and it seemed the 67 year old ship struggled with the conditions. Norway was wonderful even if we missed 2 original stops, these were replaced by 2 alternative places, albeit one of them being in Scotland on the way home. We never saw Scotland let alone visited. The last stop in Norway was the North Cape and when we left in horrendous weather was when the fun, or not, really started. The weather, and I know Cruise and Maritime can not be held responsible, was horrendous. As a result of this we made an an unexpected porting at Kristiansand and not Bergen as per the itinerary. I swear not, everyone cheered, including me, and I had booked on a helicopter trip in Bergen! We spent the night in port and it was a big relief. We left port at 1600hrs the next day. Nearly everyone I spoke to had seen the weather forecast on BBC news world service and knew what to expect. We spent 3 days in horrendous conditions, force 10 and 11 storms, the ship reeled up and down, side to side in 9 Meter swells and waves. Passengers, mainly older people were thrown around like rag dolls, furniture fittings fell from the walls. An 80 year old woman was thrown out of bed with the bed and mattress landing on top of her. One male passenger spent a night sleeping in his bath as he couldn't sleep safely in his bed. I could go on. During this time crockery and glasses smashed to the floor, tables, chairs and passengers would slide past you as you as you ate in the Buffet, funny sometimes, petrifying at others! Passengers were terrified and were seen to be reduced to tears. Not once was an announcement made to reassure passengers, a total disgrace. Some passengers did not leave their cabins for days, so very sad. I am no expert but I have to question why we ever set sail knowing the conditions ahead but it is so obvious, we arrived in Bristol early hours of Saturday 14th March, and they were setting sail again at 1600 hours. The food was mediocre, not that you felt like eating much. The cabin was fine albeit our jacuzzi bath did not work, not that you could have enjoyed a luxory bath without flooding the cabin due to the conditions. Our windows leaked to such an extent that we had to use bath towels to stop the water going on one of the beds, not really what you expect. On the last night we had a letter left in the cabin to say that we could have 40% off our next cruise if booked by a certain date. Would I book with Cruise and Maritime again? It is very unlikely. This was supposed to be the post retirement dream holiday, it was anything but. I would finally like to add that the bar staff, waiters, cabin cleaners were wonderful and were all a credit to themselves. Management level were scarcely seen, I wonder why? In my humble opinion, the ships owned by this company are past their best. Azores is a wonderful old lady but I do wonder whether she is suitable for winter cruises. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2015
This cruise was advertised as sailing from Avonmouth to Avonmouth with a refurbished ship. Three days before we sailed we received an email to say the ship had left late from its refit in Lisbon and due to the tides it would not be able to ... Read More
This cruise was advertised as sailing from Avonmouth to Avonmouth with a refurbished ship. Three days before we sailed we received an email to say the ship had left late from its refit in Lisbon and due to the tides it would not be able to get back to Avonmouth for the Monday morning embarkation. Instead it was sailing from Plymouth and coaches would be available to transfer customers from Avonmouth to Plymouth. I decided that this was not for me so I paid for a taxi to transfer me from the hotel I was staying at in Clevedon, to Plymouth at a cost of £160.00.This turned out to be a good move as the coaching operation was fraught with errors and problems resulting in some passengers not getting their luggage until 11pm.The ship had if fact been in Plymouth since the early hours of Sunday morning , so why it could not make Avonmouth for Monday morning was a mystery. On boarding the vessel it was apparent that not much money had been spent on the restoration with the only visible refurbishment being crockery in the Acores motif and a coat of paint on the outside in its new livery, of which much was missing by the time we arrived in the Caribbean. The air conditioning did not work resulting in unacceptably hot cabins. We asked for an engineer to check our cabin and he came and removed the air filter from the system and turned it up full manually and that is how it was left. In the public rooms, the dining room was far too hot ranging to cold in the auditorium where you need a blanket. Many cabin safes were either not lockable or once set up and locked you could not open them again. When questioned we were told that the safe engineer was not on board and they were trying to contact him in Spain for the security codes. The Wi Fi did not work on the outward journey and was switched off on the Wednesday we were supposed to be home. The next fiasco was our first tender port where five lifeboats broke down, resulting in myself and my wife having fifteen minutes ashore before we had to get the last lifeboat back to the ship so we could keep up with the schedule. This was the ship that had just rock and rolled (and I mean Rocked and rolled) across the Atlantic ocean with over 400 passengers aboard and only three serviceable lifeboats out of eight! The captain came over the tannoy to apologise for the situation and the following day we had another tender port and lifeboat No 5 again broke down for one and a half hours, resulting in us having just one hour ashore before having to return to the ship. Two Islands missed, the only two we had been to before! The whole ship seemed to be poorly maintained with officers speaking to staff appallingly in front of passengers resulting in poor staff moral. We sailed on regardless, making the most of the situation and then we received a letter on the 20th of February 2015 the contents of which is below. I would point out that at that time we had not had any bad weather and we were on course and did arrive on schedule at Ponta Delgada in the Azores on the 21st of February 2015. The letter read; To Whom it may concern. Please be advised that passengers in possession of this letter were aboard cruise ship Azores operated by Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Due to severe sea conditions experienced over the last few days the ship docked later than originally planned at Bristol Avonmouth Cruise terminal on Wednesday 25th of February at 11.30 hrs, thus causing a delay to our passengers onward travel arrangements. As passengers on the vessel had very restricted communication access they were unable to make changes to their travel arrangements in person, as insisted upon by most travel insurance providers. We would therefore kindly request you amend their booking, free of charge, to enable them to travel to their destination on an alternative train or coach. Thanks you for your assistance with regard to this matter. Signed T.J Jerrard Shortly after leaving the Azores the Captain announced further changes to or arrival date as he was taking us to Lisbon to avoid a storm. This resulted in another letter detailing our arrival would now be 2.30pm on Saturday 28th February 2015 in Avonmouth. We finally arrived in Portland Dorset on Friday 27th at noon, with more coaches arranged to get people back to Avonmouth. Once more I got a taxi at £160.00 to take me to Clevedon where our car was parked . However to their credit the show team were excellent with lively shows each evening , and particular credit to Jordan who was a last minute addition to the cruise and at just 21 was breath of fresh air around the ship. Lectures were disappointing with two of them repeating lectures they had given on the way out, on the way back, and the ship relying on passengers for four lectures on the cruise. Food was at best average with much pre-prepared produce used and no fresh food and fruit appearing to be taken on in the Caribbean. Wines in particular were very expensive at an average of £23.00 per bottle for very mediocre wines. The overall feeling I have for Cruise and Maritime is that they have no consideration for customers and use their reception staff as a barrier to avoid you speaking to senior officers who could and should have given clearer and more accurate information as to the delays and the changes of port. We will not be sailing with Cruise and Maritime again. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
I have cruised many times with many operators, but never with an operator who does.not understand cruising! Whilst I enjoyed the cruise as such, I do not blame the officers and crew for the awfullness of the ship Azores. We were informed ... Read More
I have cruised many times with many operators, but never with an operator who does.not understand cruising! Whilst I enjoyed the cruise as such, I do not blame the officers and crew for the awfullness of the ship Azores. We were informed that this was the inaugural trip of the Azores to the West Indies, but unfortunately the powers that be misinformed the passengers that this ship was 67 years old a fact that we celebrated on board. There was so much wrong with the ship that it should have been in a maritime museum NOT on an Atlantic crossing at this time of year ie January-February when the Atlantic can be at its strongest wind and wave strategy. This ship was just NOT up to this crossing. Whilst the captain and crew tried to eliminate panic be saying "our paramount importance is for your safety" this was continually said over the loud speaker system. Lets be honest here - the ship just wasn't up to this type of voyage at this time of year. Cruise & Maritime have a great deal to learn about cruising if they really want to become a serious operator of the seas. The waiters were new to their positions and didn't really know what to do, in fact I had to tell one waiter that a puddle of water on the floor could cause an accident and perhaps he should mop it up. This should have been done by the Maitre-de. The food was very mediocre, in fact I didn 't see one ripe tomato in the salad area at lunch time, and the dining area at times there was not a single item on some days that I could enjoy. Other times there was a good choice, but this was few and far between. The cabins, were just about adequate, being on deck 4 outside. The wardrobe was a single size for two people on a 30 day cruise, with no laundry room. There were many difficulties in the cabin ie, the safe had to be reset every other day, then there was trouble in the bathroom, with the door not closing hence banging all night long, and the hairdryer broke just after the first use, then the tap fell off the basin with hot water running. Had to wait over 24 hours for this to be repaired, when I demanded to see the Captain, "low and behold" I had help within 10mins. It was obvious that the ship was just not ready for this voyage, in fact engineers were still on board from Lisbon and disembarked when we returned to Lisbon before the transatlantic crossing. When we eventually arrived in the West Indies, we found that some of the tenders were not working properly - hey ho, we now have to think about the return crossing. Some of the trips ashore had to be cancelled because of this, and infact I wasn't able to go ashore at all.When I asked to buy some dollars, I was told to come back tomorrow to the reception desk.I returned only to be told they wouldn't arrive til 5pm, I returned again at 6pm, but NO dollars, in fact the ship didn't have any dollars or euros on board to sell to their passengers, even though they were sailing to the ports which dealt with $s and Euros. Because we had to return to Lisbon for shelter from the storm before returning to UK,many passengers didn 't have enough medication ie, they were only allowed to bring 30days medication with them, hence they had no option but to buy from the Doctor on board, who charged £60. The passenger was told by the doctor that she couldn't purchase her tablets from a Farmacie in Lisbon, but only on board. Whilst I prefer to cruise with the smaller ships, this was an appaling experience as far as cruising goes. Cruise & Maritime, you have a long way to go before you can even consider yourselves as maritime people. I hope you can learn from experienced cruisers!!!!!! Never again will I cruise with Cruise & Maritime, you need to "Up" your standards.   Read Less
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