1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We have made a great trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic States to Saint Petersburg. The ship is somewhat outdated, but the rooms are very comfortable. The service from the staff is fantastic, and the food in the (buffet) restaurant ... Read More
We have made a great trip through Scandinavia and the Baltic States to Saint Petersburg. The ship is somewhat outdated, but the rooms are very comfortable. The service from the staff is fantastic, and the food in the (buffet) restaurant is great too. The shows in the evening are nice and not inferior to the shows that other companies offer. There are plenty of activities on the ship - even on days when you don't go ashore. The only drawback we found was that 90% of the passengers boarded in London, and therefore everything on the ship is aimed at these British passengers. For example, there is a big show to welcome the guests, where no word is said about the passengers who have been on board for 2 weeks and disembark the day after in Rotterdam. There is also a "British Only" buffet. As a result, as a non-Briton you get the feeling that you are in the third wheel. This feeling was shared by many Irish / Spanish / Dutch guests. Disembarkation is very chaotic: in Tilbury there are long queues and people who do not need to disembark are asked to wait in the room - when all British passengers have left, there is not enough time left to take the train to London . Also in Rotterdam the departure is chaotic and you get the idea that they are doing this for the first time. This is much better organized at other companies. Another point of irritation is that British passengers occupy seats in large numbers: for the show at 9 p.m. you have to take a seat at 8 p.m. because otherwise there are no good places left. People occupy entire rows for guests who come later. Also at the pool early in the morning sun loungers are claimed with a towel - some of these chairs are not used all day. It is regularly announced that this is not desirable, but that does not resolve it. With other cruises I have never experienced that you have to go to the theatre 1 hour before the start of a show to make sure there is a seat for you. The excursions were all perfectly arranged. They've done that well! All in all we had a great holiday, thanks to the great staff and the good food. Still, I would choose a different company next time. Read Less
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The ... Read More
We are regular cruisers and have just returned from a 2 week cruise to the Baltic & St Petersburg on the CMV Columbus. We chose the cruise because of the itinery and the price. It is the first time we've cruised with CMV. The pre cruise communication and organisation at the port on departure was excellent. The ship was clean with all the basic facilites you need on a ship. The cabin was bigger than onther basic inside cabins we've had before and had lots of storage space for a 2 week trip. The quality of food in the mani restaurant we thought was great and very well presented.The fixed sitting system was fine but the 5.45pm-6.15pm entry window for 1st sitting was early. We tried both the speciality restaurants which we also found to be excellent. We had the VIP package so the restaurants were discounted by 50%. This discount made them good value. We didn't try the Chef's Table as we were told the 50% discont didn't apply to this for some reason. The range of drinks available within the VIP package was good for cocktails & beers. Included in the package were the "signature wines". However this was only 4 white wines, there were reds aswell. Only 1 of these being a chardanney which my wife felt was very limited. There were shows evry night in the show lounge but these we found to be very disappointing in quality. When compared to what we experienced on Thomson, P and O & Royal Carribean felt rather amateurish. The show lounge was also very small with poor views unless you were prepared to arrive 60 minutes ahed of show time to bag the front row central seats. This was a major disappointment. Like all ships we've been on the Columbus had a self service restaurant. Compared to other ships of a similar size/ capacity it was small with a limited range of each day. Our teenagers often found it difficult to find something to eat. Only on 1 day of the 14 were they able to get chips from here at lunch. You may view this as a positive. The biggest issue though was the fact that it was always extremely difficult and often impossible to get a seat, especially at breakfast. If you were able to get one it was then a challenge to get cutlery. This was largely due to the limited opening times. Breakfast regularly ran 7.00am-9.30am. The lasted it was on until was 10am. There was no chance of a lie in if you wanted breakfast. We didn't feel that the timings had passengers at the heart of planning. We were all on holiday after all. The self service restaurant closed at 9.pm. From here there was no food available until breakfast, with the exception of a tray of canapeas brought round to bars by waiters in the style of a cocktail party. This lack of late night food would be a significant issue for many based on how popular the late night food offer has been on other ships. The ship offered a wide range of excersions at each port. The destinations services was accurately called Excersion Services. There were no port maps available and they only wanted to give info on the ships excursions. We found these to be very expensive. Eg the 2 day Grand Tour of ST Petersburg was £320 each. We booked a comparable tour with a local company (Alla Tours, who were excellent) which saved us £780 in total for a group of 6. On the final day of the trip poor weather resulted in us being 3.5 hours late arriving at Tilbury. Clearly completely beyond the control of CMV and just one of those things. However, they didn't inform us of this until 10 minutes before we were all due to vacate our cabins at 7.30am. We were told that we could stay in cabins until 9.30am. By this time most had vacated. We returned to the cabin to find that the cabin steward, who hadn't been told about the chnge, had not surprisingly, stripped the cabin and cleaned it ready for the new arrivals. Would you have asked to use the cabin again? As we were still on the ship and disembarcation had not started by noon and with a 3 hour drive home we went up to the self service restaurant to eat before we left. Here the manager told us that service wouldn't begin until 2pm and actually said that he'd been told "We're not feeding those getting off, only those getting on". We felt this was profits over customer care. Overall we had an enjoyable cruise made so by the friendly, efficient staff and the excellent itinerary, especially St Petersburg. However, we wouldn't rush to cruise with CMV again as unlike any other companies we've sailed with it didn't feel like the customer was at the heart of the comapies philosophy. It was more a case of the customer having to conform to the CMV way. Dissappointing Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is ... Read More
We had never cruised out of Tilbury, it was a great chance to take our granddaughter . Embarkation was excellent, we know the local area very well so went straight to the port.This is an old ship but staff kept it very clean there is always some issues with toilets or lifts but this was seen to very quickly. Our cabin was kept lovely by Nanathn in cabin 6140, he made us and our granddaughter very welcome.We only went to waterfront resturant once it was very slow and our dining time very early. The bistro on a whole was good breakfast and lunch were great but dinner was a bit hit and miss some times even running out of food and not replacing at 8.10 pm we did bring this to the attention of management , on a whole all staff were very nice and polite entertainment for the children and adults very good some of the best we had seen in more than 35cruises. The ports were great in Bergan did the ice museum I would recommend this to any body, went on the little trains in Eidfjord and flam this was enough for our granddaughter , but I think the best for her was the cruise director Iain he met her in the terminal and with his magic shows and circus tricks and always remembering her name made her her 1st cruise very special. Disembarkation went very well and was well organised off in very dood time and port staff very polite and helpful , will cruise again given the chance .. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use ... Read More
The staff were mostly lovely, helpful and willing. Though it was difficult to communicate with some as their English was poor. The trips were reasonably well organised, pity that the Scilly isles had to be omitted, sea too rough to use the tender. Food at dinner in the Waterfront restaurant was sometimes tepid, sometimes it was very difficult to find a seat in the upstairs buffet, I think most of us enjoyed the food most of the time. Wide choice in the buffet. There were few lectures can't comment as I only went to one, fell asleep during it. The talks on our destinations were mostly concerned with their excursions rather than the place itself. The public rooms were comfy and pleasant, pity the library was closed much of the time. I personally found nothing of interest in the on board shops. And the duty free was expensive. Cabins had a fridge plus tea and coffee making facilities, which was very nice. The ship appeared very clean' Evening entertainment was patchy. Read Less
10 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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on ... Read More
The staff were all polite, friendly and helpful. The ship is well maintained and clean. The outside area have comfortable loungers and the Jacuzzis are great. The cabins are a good size and comfortable, with plenty of storage. Excellent on board entertainment, with good shows and smaller singing groups etc. The food in the restaurant is generally good to very good. The breakfast delivered to the cabin was not as good as the previous year as there was very little choice. We didn't eat in the buffet very often as it is very busy and difficult for my husband who has poor mobility. There are a wide range of excursions which include ones with reduced walking. Lovely public areas, attractive bars and seating. Staff all did their best when the ship had to end early. The compensation was generous. We are looking forward to another Norwegian cruise on Columbus next year. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it is easy to embark at Tilbury but sad to say we were very disappointed .Very poor communication skills with crew at all levels as they seemed to only speak or understand very little English as in the restaurant and bars only a few understood the food & drinks orders .As it was a long wait in the restaurant and when the meals arrived they were undercooked or only warm as we treated ourselves to steak in the grill it was very tough and worth the money as my partner sent her back the kitchen to the disgust of the chef & waiter . In the bars the glasses were often warm (one of my pet hates ) one evening in the dome we sent the drinks and my glass back where the barman became very irate and slammed the beer glass on the bar . The excursions were offer priced and badly organised as on the last one it should have been a steam train only to be replaced with an old diesel of which no explanation was offered .In Helsinki & Stockholm we were only allowed about 3/4 hours a shore a joke! .The entertainment was very poor lasting only 45 minuetes also the guest speakers on board were very amateurish as they seemed not to no what they were operating .The best thing was disembarkation at Tilbury please note there are much better cruise companies . 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
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing ... Read More
Pick up from Victoria Coach Station was great, just a little waiting before setting off. Embarkation straight forward quick and easy. Cabin on reception deck level so very easy to find. 2 cases arrived very quickly the 3rd was missing for about 2 hours, the cabin steward found it in the end. Not the best cabin that we have had, needs the bathroom updating. 2 comfortable chairs was a bit of a bonus but they were under the TV. There were a few problems with the cabin as detailed in the cabin review section. Evening dinning, good table shared by us and 4 other very nice people right at the back of the ship, so when sailing out of port we had a super view through the windows. Stewards were very good and the service (although very slow on the first night) improved though the cruise. We only saw a little of the entertainment which in the main was good, the young people in the shows worked very hard. The stewards in the public areas were also very hard working and pleasant. We were lucky enough to have a brilliant team with our group and our excursions were pre-planned before we left the UK so we only used the ship's excursions on a couple of days. The best of these was a trip to Sark. A very long day which saw us return to the ship too late for our regular dinner sitting, and as this was a formal night we decided to see if they could find us a table at the second sitting. Previously we had been told that we would have to dine in the Buffet if we were late returning from an excursion, but 4 of us just walked Into the main dinning area and were found a table. Great night glad we did not miss it as it was probably the best dinning night of the whole cruise. For the most the ports along the way were most interesting. The ones where the ship could dock alongside were very good to disembark from, the problems were where a tender was used. What a shambles, and not all the fault of the weather. It was obvious that there were serious tensions between the ship and in one place the outside tender operators, a situation that became very unpleasant at one point. In other ports where the ships own tenders were used, getting on and off was quite a challenge, at one point a member of the crew went overboard in quite a rough swell. I know that this ship had in the previous 4 months sailed around the world so the ship's company had experienced a long time away from home, but the senior members of the crew were probably the most miserable bunch of individuals that I have come across in a very long time. I don't think that I heard the Captain come over the Tannoy once during the whole cruise and at one of the evening events he exuded no enthusiasm at all looking as if he wished he was somewhere else entirely. Some of the staff were most belligerent, when you asked for information they were most dismissive and you were made to feel that you were interrupting them and that they could not be bothered with someone like you. As I have previously said we were very fortunate to be part of a bigger group, and as such we were able to share our views with others in the group. We were able to enjoy the company of like minded travellers. Had we have been on our own I think that cruise would have been quite an unpleasant experience. In conclusion my view is that we put this cruise down as one that will not be repeated with this particular ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table ... Read More
OK, the cost and value are pretty good (World Cruise 2019), but its let down by two key things. Firstly the food. It varies between average to terrible and tends to be stodgy, swimming in gravy or sauce and usually over cooked. (Our table of 6 must have sent well over 30 meals back or not eaten in just 70 days.) Not forgetting that when avocado or anchovy appears on the menu! All you get is something from a tube or powdered anchovy??(Dont try and find it on the plate or in the flavour). Secondly the service many of the drinks waiters/waitresses are offhand and rude as were the shore crew. The dining staff are very friendly but lack support to help solve problems when they arise (Fusion restaurant being an exception and very good), the cabin staff are a shining light (along with the little contact you may get with engineering type staff. For the rest the cruise is comfortable with reasonable sized cabins and comfortable beds, not lush, but comfortable. The entertainment team are very good and put on a wide variety of shows that are choreographed on board. Lee Cooper, Holly and the team take a bow. I guess the frustrating thing about this cruise is that it easily could be better, without becoming an expensive overkill. The boat is as big as you need, just fix the food! It’s the only issue that holds me back from booking again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was good value at Xmas. Everywhere was festively and attractively decorated. The staff were welcoming and helpful. The food was plentiful and well served. ( it can get busy in the buffet restaurant at peak times. The entertainers were young and personable and the shows were colouful with good dancing routines and songs. There were several knowledgeable speakers who were interesting to listen to during our many sea days. There was a range of daily physical activities and quizzes. There is a small spa area on deck 2 with heated tiled loungers and a steam room. It was too chilly to use the pool but people used the open decked loungers whenever they saw some sun. There were even some open air bbqs on deck. The itinerary was good but disrupted by the cancellation of Gibraltar ( propeller damage from a German pilot on the previous cruise) and the rough seas when at anchor in Funchal. It was disappointing to have to leave Amsterdam at 3 .30 just when the Xmas lights were beginning to shine especially as we had 5 sea days following that port. There were lots tours to select from and some presentations given beforehand. In order to keep costs down we were independent travellers in Funchal, and Lisbon. There was an excellent walking tour with a local guide in Amsterdam. My main issue was the daily Captain’s lunchtime info giving was very difficult to understand because of the language accent and the real lack of communication and leadership when 650 cruise passengers were stranded on the quay at Lisbon when the ship tenders could not attach themselves to the ship in rough seas. People spent hours in the wet, cold and dark either standing on the quayside or huddled in the bouncing tenders really anxious about how they could returnto the ship. The crew were excellent in catching the passengers thrown individually from their tenders but there was a real danger of sickness and injury. Some passengers did not manage to return til very late and the crew had the tricky task of reattaching tenders after midnight in strong winds. A real damper on what was a formal dinner and midnight fireworks in the bay. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work ... Read More
The day before we sailed we learnt that the ship was being taken to Dover for essential maintenance work, therefore we parked the car at Tilbury and then travelled to Dover by coach. On arrival in Amsterdam we were told that the work hadn’t been completed in Dover and would have to be done in Tenerife so we would be missing out our stop in Gibraltar. This meant 5 and a half days at sea. During that time activities such as crafting, knit and natter or lectures, were not at all to our taste so the time went very slowly. Service in the main restaurant was abysmal, including Christmas dinner, which took nearly 2 hours. The staff in the main dining room were so busy with it being 2 sittings for dinner that regularly there was a long wait between courses. I had a glass of wine with dinner which was served as half a glass and then it was a job to catch the waiters eye for another half later. (We were all inclusive). Usually on cruises I sit with my hand over the glass to prevent the wine waiter doing a refill, not on this cruise. One evening we went to the Grill (extra charge) and had rib eye steak, which was very near inedible with sinews. I ordered medium rare and my wife ordered medium. When my wife cut into hers it was clear that we had been given the wrong ones, so they just swapped our plates over, complete with peppercorn sauce over mine, which my wife cannot eat. For this error we were offered a glass of sparkling wine each. For the last 3 evenings we ate in the Bistro, where the choice was very limited. We found it amazing how many different ways they could make bread and butter pudding to use up the stale bread... Service during the day for a drink (around the Atrium) took ages and I went and ordered it in Hemingway’s where I was told there would be quite a wait as we were sitting overlooking the Atrium on Deck 6. There was very limited entertainment in the evening apart from the main shows in the Palladium and with first sitting dinner being 5.45pm and the first show (which we would have preferred) starting at 7.15pm there was no chance of getting to that one and an empty gap to fill before the next show, so we often gave up. Most disturbing thing was being anchored in the bay at Funchal and tendering to the shore, when other ships much nearer to the shore did not put down tenders due to the rough conditions. It was decided to cancel tendering at 1pm but by then 600 people were still to be returned to the ship. Conditions got worse, with tenders bashing into the ships platform and the last passengers on board at 10pm or later while the ship was held on a line at each end by tugs. Should never have happened. Our cabin was so hot, like a sauna all the time and the public rooms of the ship were cold. So by the middle of the second week quite a few people, including us, had coughs and colds. The only positive note our cabin was a good size and the wonderful friendly service from our cabin steward. Disembarkation a shambles, probably everyone just wanted to get off! Our Christmas is on Sunday, as we missed the real one. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were ... Read More
We chose this ship as we sailed in her 18 months previously and apart from very average food in the Waterfront Restaurant we had a good time. We were in need of some serious R&R after a very difficult year and the children were happy to go elsewhere. We therefore booked the courier service through SAGA to take us to Tilbury & back. The day before we left the embarkation was changed to Dover where extra repairs had to be made apparently although why was never mentioned by the captain or the crew. Embarkation was fast and efficient but from there it all went downhill. The excursion to Amsterdam canals was organised during the daylight hours and the famous lights were not evident. A waste of time & money. As soon as we left there we were informed that the scheduled stop in Gibraltar had been cancelled as the repairs had not been effected in Dover. So after 5.5 days at sea suffering with very mediocre food in the main restaurant and indifferent entertainment in the Palladium we arrived in Tenerife earlier than stated. The excursion booked was thoroughly dangerous on roads unsuitable for big coaches and little or no safety barriers on bends with 400' or more drops. So decided to cancel rest of excursions but no refund given and money taken to cancel! Best was New Years' firework display but some 600 or so very bruised and battered passengers may not agree after suffering appalling conditions tendering to the mainland in rough seas when no other cruise liners were offering this and then being left for hours to fend for themselves when the weather worsened. All in all we felt that there was a lack of care for the passengers exhibited by the officers and heads of departments, although the staff on the ground so to speak were friendly and helpful. The wine cellar choice was little short of abysmal. If you drink dry wine only you will be ok as that is all they have and the spirit measures are extremely small. Luckily we took out a VIP package and came out on top. The best drinks were definitely the cocktails and the lovely coffees. Food was poor except for the buffet on the top but not easy to get drinks up there. The whole ethos of Christmas was missing. Embarkation was a total shambles and as there was a DOA in one of the cabins even more delay ensued with a free for all at the exit to the dock building. Would we go again.....answer no as it appears the shipping line is more interested in making money at all costs than looking after the comfort of it's passengers and our experience was worse than the previous trip. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem ... Read More
In December 2018 we went on a Christmas Canary Islands and Madeira cruise on the CMV Columbus. We booked with Saga, who offer a door to door service as standard. The cruise was to be from Tilbury to Tilbury but due to a technical problem with the ship we sailed from Dover and missed Gibraltar as the ship had to go to Tenerife for repairs to one of its propellers. We were given £25 each as compensation for missing Gibraltar. The Ship The Columbus is a mid sized ship and although a bit old was in good condition. As the weather was not good, except in the Canaries, there was no going on deck due to high winds and it was quite cold. That put pressure on the seating situation so at times it was very hard to get somewhere to sit. Inside some of the public places could have been warmer. Most of the passengers were very friendly and we had many a good conversation during our cruise. Apart from Christmas the music played in the public areas was more for teenagers that the older crowd on board. The Cabin We were in cabin 10156 and it was bigger than most ships with two upper bunks protruding from the wall, which could get in the way. The lighting wasn’t bright enough. There was a big double bed, well two singles pushed together, but there was two single duvet covers on there as the double duvets they have are too small, or so our cabin steward told us. I went to reception regarding this and was asked to write a note to the Head Housekeeper and within a few hours we had a double duvet. There was only a bedside light on one side with the one on the other side at the other end of a dressing table so couldn’t be reached from the bed. There was a kettle with Whittards tea and Douwe Egberts coffee. Because I pre paid the gratuities there was a bottle of Red Merlot on the table. There was a small armchair and a desk chair. There was ample space for hanging our clothes and drawers for other items. There was a fridge and a safe. There was a small flat screen television but it was placed left of the bed so it was hard to watch it from the bed. There was only one socket, which had the kettle plugged into it, and that had to be used for all our charging. Luckily we brought the extension. The bathroom was small but the shower was big and again the lighting was inadequate. There was plenty of storage in the bathroom. The shower head was fixed and the larger shower cubicle helped. There was a soap dispenser in the shower and two small bars of soap on the washbasin and that was it. Luckily we brought some of our own. During sailing the cabin walls creaked quite a bit and others said the same thing. Our cabin steward was called Ashveer and he was very good. He is from Mauritius and we had some good laughs with him. The food We eat in the MDR a few times, the service in there was good, but as we are fond of spicy food we kept mainly to the buffet as they had a much better selection. The food was well cooked and hot. The afternoon tea was especially good with various rolls and lots of delicious cakes and those very nice scones that people keep writing about. Getting a table in the buffet could be difficult at times, especially at breakfast, but we managed. The friendliness of the other passengers made that a bit easier. They put on a good show for Christmas but we missed the New Years dinner due to a problem with getting back to the ship by Tender in Funchal. The sea became very rough after we got on land so we were delayed for many hours before we could get back and even that was quite hazardous. We were back for the midnight fireworks and that was spectacular. Entertainment The theatre is very badly laid out with seating being mainly on the flat and with some of the back seats lower than the ones at the front. There is a balcony but there is a metal bar running all round it and that gets in the way and the glass panel reflects a lot. There are also several large columns which get in the way. The Cruise Director Ian Bagshaw put on a magic show as he was at one time a professional in that form of entertainment. He was around the ship all day and stopped for a chat on occasions. There were two visiting comedians, Christopher Gee, who is an impressionist and very funny and Les Bryan, once of the Marauders in the early sixties and the Comedians on television. The resident show team put on a variety of shows, even a Pantomime, and in the main were quite good. One problem was that the noise of the music drowned out the singers. That is something that could easily have been remedied. Their final show was a tour around the worlds music culminating in music from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England. They brought the house down. The shows were at 1915 and 2100 each evening. There were various music shows in some of the bars throughout the day and evening. There was a game show in the Dome nightclub most evenings but not until 2215. Much too late. There was a disco up there after that. We didn't take any ships shore excursions as we had been to all the places visited except Lanzarote. The crew were magnificent, always smiling and helpful. There are 27 different nationalities working on board. As I write this review a letter has arrived from CMV with a cheque for £100, £50 each, and a 20% future cruise discount if booked by March 31st. This was in relation to our problem with the Tenders in Funchal. That was a surprise. We would not take this cruise again due to the cold weather. It spoiled the cruise as we had to spend most of our time indoors. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not ... Read More
The Christmas Cruise on MV Columbus proved to be unpredictable but enjoyable. On the day prior to departure, I received a text and phone call from CMV advising of a change to the embarkation. The ship was now to depart from Dover and not Tilbury due to a ‘minor technical issue’. This didn’t affect me too much as the transfer from Victoria Coach Station would now go direct to Dover, rather than Tilbury. Dover is actually a much nicer Cruise Terminal than Tilbury. Changes to embarkation were notified to me in a timely and informative manner by text and phone and the coach transfer to Dover and embarkation was smooth and efficient The ‘minor technical issue’ was later revealed to be related to the starboard propellers and repairs were due to be carried out in Dover prior to sailing, but we were later to find out this was not possible due to the poor sea conditions and bad weather. Columbus set sail for Amsterdam later that evening, arriving early the next day. Amsterdam was lovely; vast arrays of Christmas lights; huge Christmas market and a very comprehensive and informative city tour by coach and canal boat. The Shore Excursion Team’s organisation landside was efficient Once we had set sail from Amsterdam, we were advised that due to the fact that the repairs could not be carried out in Dover, Columbus would not be calling at Gibraltar and would go directly to Tenerife where she would stay for 24 hours whilst the repairs were undertaken. That meant 5 days at sea! Many passengers were upset over the missing out of Gibraltar but I wasn’t too concerned. We received compensation for the ‘missed port’ and Columbus proceeded fairly slowly with a very noticeable judder which I assume was due to the imbalance of the propellers. This was most noticeable in bed (as it rocked us to sleep!) and in the Waterfront Restaurant. MV Columbus was suitably and imaginatively decorated for a Christmas Cruise and gifts in the cabin on Christmas Eve were a nice touch. The staff and crew were proactive in wishing guests a ‘Merry Christmas’ and the public areas of the ship were always kept spotless, especially the toilet areas where a member of staff seemed constantly to be in attendance During the 5 sea days there were a full range of activities, lectures, quiz and game shows organised, but probably no more or less than would have been offered anyway. A film was shown in the Palladium Lounge most afternoons, as it was too cold to use the deck screen. The Cruise Director, Iain Bagshaw, gave a run-down of the daily programme twice a day and held a 15 minute ‘Chat with Iain’ each afternoon. He was friendly enough but one got the feeling that ‘it was just a job’ and he didn’t really show any genuine enthusiasm. The lucky and observant ones saw both whales and dolphins. The weather remained cold and wet and most of the time the open decks were closed due to high winds. Cruising through the Bay of Biscay wasn’t too rough, but certainly not a millpond. Even with her damaged propellers, Columbus managed to remain fairly stable in the rough weather. There was nightly and sometimes afternoon entertainment presented by the Columbus Singers and Dancers or the ‘Guest Act’ which for the first half of the cruise was the comedian / impersonator Christopher Gee, who was actually quite good. Entertainment was very mixed. The team were pleasant to talk to and enthusiastic, but seemed to lack professional training. Angelina stood out and boosted the credence of the vocalists. The ‘Abba’ and ‘Round the World’ shows were probably the most notable. The dance team’s coordination was generally quite good; the 2nd Guest Act (who transferred from Marco Polo in Lanzarote), the comedian Les Bryan was embarrassing to watch. The food and service in both the Waterfront Restaurant and Plantation Bistro was of a continually high standard. Christmas Eve Dinner was excellent. My Cabin Steward always had a smile and time for a chat whilst providing a faultless standard of service. The inside cabin on Deck 10 was spacious and perfectly adequate. The vast majority of bar staff were pleasant and attentive, although some needed some additional training in their job and demonstrated poor customer service skills. We arrived in Tenerife at about 20:00 it was very nice to be able to get off for a few hours and have a drink in a local café. Columbus berthed at the improved cruise terminal which is now a good 20 minutes walk from the town centre. Coach transfers were provided for those with walking difficulties on the next day, although I walked in and out on each occasion. Immediately after we berthed, a specialist team and local divers arrived and started to work on the propellers. They completed their work about an hour before we departed the next day and we have to assume that they were successful, although no mention of the success or otherwise was made by anyone on the ship. The weather was partly sunny and temperatures in the low 20’s. I did not take an organised excursion, but took the local bus to Puerto de la Cruz for an enjoyable day of exploration costing €8, whereas the same cruise excursion transfer was priced at £22. Local knowledge comes in handy! We proceeded to both Las Palmas in Gran Canaria and then Arrecife in Lanzarote on the following days, for about 6 hours in each port. Transfers were arranged in Arrecife, but not needed in Las Palmas, as we berthed close to the entrance. Whilst walking along the coastline in Arrecife, Marco Polo could be seen approaching the port – she looked surprisingly impressive! The now familiar judder was gone, so whatever had been done to the propellers in Tenerife must have been successful. Arrival and departure in both ports was as per the itinerary. The weather was disappointing with mostly cloudy skies, quite a strong win and only a few short periods of sunshine. This was certainly not what I had expected or what I had been used to in Tenerife over the last 25+ years at this time of year. Columbus was joined by Marco Polo in all the Canary Island ports and was dwarfed by Columbus when berthed alongside. We also had two huge TUI ships and a German ship with us in Tenerife and Lanzarote. The penultimate port was Madeira which turned out to be the most memorable, but not for the reasons we had expected. We anchored early in the morning to the right of the terminal quite near the Queen Victoria. Again it was overcast, light winds and a small swell. However there was a forecast of rain in the late afternoon. The Tender Service stared at 09:00 and passengers with mobility issues were advised to observe the procedure before deciding if they were capable of transferring to the tender with minimal assistance. I found it surprising that many with ‘walkers’ and ‘Zimmer frames’ were allowed to use the service. I transferred at about 11:30 and by that time the swell was increasing and getting onto the tender was quite tricky. Many people in other tenders were sick on the 10-15 minute transfer to the dock. Within the dock area, the swell presented a few tricky moments when trying to get off onto land. The two TUI, the German (Avia?) and a Fred Olsen ships were berthed, although the Fred Olsen ship left early evening to view the fireworks from the bay. I spent a couple of hours exploring the Christmas Forest and Market, checking out the restaurants and viewing (but not taking) the cable car, as the clouds were obscuring the mountain from about half way up. They certainly take Christmas seriously and put together a fantastic display – really capturing the Christmas Spirit. I then decided that as it was getting quite cold and windy and the clouds were gathering quickly, I’d make my way back to the dockside to catch the tender back to Columbus. It was New Year’s Eve, so being on board early would allow sufficient time to prepare for the New Year’s Eve Dinner at 17:45. On arrival at the dockside, I was met with a queue of about 150 people who were also waiting to return. It transpired that the Tender Service and all afternoon excursions had been cancelled by the ship at noon, as the weather had deteriorated making tendering not a particularly safe or viable option. There were about 600 passengers on Madeira with no idea of how they were to get back on board, or even if that was going to be possible. Columbus was observed steaming up and down the coast trying to find a more sheltered location to re-commence the Tender Service. Those that were not aware what was happening could have been quite traumatised by seeing this, thinking that the ship had left! We understand that there were frantic conversations between the ship and the Harbour Authorities trying to find a solution to get the passengers back safely and the result was that the only option was to commence the tendering service, with the assistance of a tug to try to keep Columbus in a stable position. My utmost praise and admiration must go to the crew on the Tenders in Madeira who, despite a huge swell, successfully managed to get passengers back on board in atrocious conditions. Once back on board (some 7 hours after I had intended), cold and wet with dampened spirits, it was too late to attend the New Year’s Eve Dinner, which was to have been one of the cruise highlights. Many passengers suffered sea-sickness, cuts, bruises and emotional trauma. One tender made three unsuccessful attempts to set passengers onto the platform, totalling nearly 2 hours of bobbing about in the huge swell. One 93 year old, complete with ‘walker’ suffered bruising to one arm and cuts and a sprain to the other during the re-boarding. He was certainly a character and said that it was the best adrenalin rush he had experienced in years! A few were shouting, verbally abusing the Madeiran dockside staff, ship’s representative and other passengers and demanding to be flown home and their money back. The vast majority of the Brits just quietly queued in the freezing cold rain and waited patiently until a solution had been devised. The New Year’s Eve firework display on Madeira was indeed impressive and helped to brighten the spirits of those who had been stranded on Madeira. There was free champagne and although it was still quite windy with light rain, it was definitely worth seeing. Columbus then cruised on to cold and misty Lisbon for half a day and to our surprise duty free goods in the new terminal building here were much cheaper than they had been on the Canaries. The mist lifted as we left and Columbus left bound for another 2+ days at sea through a very a very stormy and rough Bay of Biscay. It is just as well that I quite enjoy the days at sea, as we had 10, but I prefer them when the weather is warmer. A Christmas cruise has always been something to look forward to, something special and memorable. Unfortunately this cruise will probably be remembered by some with more negative than positive thoughts although they should probably remember that the weather and sea conditions are unpredictable and that CMV cannot be held responsible for these. Despite the weather, missing Gibraltar and the difficulties in Madeira, the cruise was enjoyable and value for money. The Columbus made a magnificent effort to capture the Spirit of Christmas with decorations, carols, displays and themed events. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This xmas/New years cruise was calling at two ports we really wanted to visit. We had to embark at Dover not Tilbury because of problems with the propeller from the previous cruise .when we left Dover the captain informed us that the fault ... Read More
This xmas/New years cruise was calling at two ports we really wanted to visit. We had to embark at Dover not Tilbury because of problems with the propeller from the previous cruise .when we left Dover the captain informed us that the fault had not been repaired and so after Amsterdam we would have to sail to Tenerife missing Gib thus having to be at sea for five days not three ! Our cabin had a lot of vibration because of the fault which was repaired in Tenerife. The Canarys were fine but when we arrived at Madeira it started to go wrong the sea was very choppy but they said that tenders were going ashore which we found suprising because the Cunard ship anchored next to us did not tender. When we got ashore we enjoyed a few hours in Funchal then at 2o/c it started to rain so we went to the jetty only to be told that tenders had been suspended ! We finally got back on board at 10past10 at night after 8 hours in the rain at no time were we given any info about what was happening we missed the Gala dinner and show / fireworks and sail away party. We were so wet and cold we had a shower and went to bed. I feel that a bad decision was made because of excursions etc and passengers and crew were put at risk because of this. CMV have made a derisory offer and 20%off any further cruises after this experience we do not feel inclined to cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the ... Read More
Ship broken down in Dover so not in dock in Tilbury, so we had to be bused to Dover, given a bottle of water apple & crisps for lunch. After a two hour drive we arrived in Dover getting on the ship went well, we were told that the self service was closed ( but found out later it was open) there should have been a kettle in our cabin that was missing so no warm cuppa. First evening meal in the restaurant was not very good, also we ask for a table for 6/8 given one for 4. Then found out the ship had not been repaired so had to miss Gibraltar so that meant 5 day's at sea with not a lot to do. Ship repaired in Tenerife. 31/12 arrived in Madeira> My husband went on a excursion I didn't because it was a tender. I am disabled (having a bad day) so I stayed on board. He left me at 8.45 I next saw him at 7.15 because they stopped the tenders for safety reasons, leaving hundreds on shore either sat on the tenders or stood out in the rain, last people got back around 11.30 all missing their Grand New Years Eve meal as we did. A lot of people missed the fireworks at midnight as they were either too ill or too tired to stay up. We did see the fireworks were spectacular, they were what nearly all the passages had gone to see. The disembarkation was a joke we had crew members with cases or large bags pushing passed paying passengers to get of the ship, maybe like a lot of the passengers they too couldn't wait to get off. After showing our sea passes there were new staff walking towards us to get on the same way as everyone was getting off. They were so rude bearing in mind their ages compared to the passengers, who were mainly OAP's or disabled like myself. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We saw the video of this ship and the fact that it was sailing from Tilbury to warmer climes for Christmas and the New Year. The day before we were due to depart we received a telephone call from CMV saying that due to a minor technical ... Read More
We saw the video of this ship and the fact that it was sailing from Tilbury to warmer climes for Christmas and the New Year. The day before we were due to depart we received a telephone call from CMV saying that due to a minor technical fault the ship would be sailing from Dover, but to go to Tilbury and be bussed down to Dover. This was done quite efficiently meaning that we were on board about two hours after the original time and we were given afternoon tea instead of lunch. The first port was Amsterdam to collect passengers from Belgium and Germany. As we got off the ship crew members were busy painting out the scrapes and scratches all along the side of the ship. Apparently on the previous cruise an error of judgement was made by the Norwegian pilot resulting in some of the propeller blades being damaged. This information was not relayed to the passengers as the captain seemed not to have any communication skills throughout the voyage, and became common knowledge by talking to other crew members. The captain did find his voice the following day by saying that the safety of his passengers, crew and ship was paramount and as the repairs could not be done at Dover we would need to have to go straight to Tenerife for the repairs which would take longer to get to so Gibraltar was cancelled and £50 per cabin compensation was paid.Bearing in mind that this meant five days at sea for the festivities there were not enough places for all the passengers to sit down during the daytime.Christmas Day was lovely with a carol concert in the atrium and excellent food (no problem with the food at all). Although there was an altercation in the buffet restaurant at breakfast (in full view of some passengers, me included) between a supervisor and a kitchen worker. After Tenerife, Lanzarote and Gran Canaria was supposed to be the highlight of the cruise - New Year's Eve in Funchal, Madeira. Despite the weather being very wet and the seas rough, the captain allowed all the excursions and the walk off passengers to get into the tenders to go ashore. Fortunately we did not go ashore as we were in Madeira last September. Several of the other ships, including the P&O Queen Victoria who were also anchored in the bay, decided that it was too dangerous to go ashore. The result for our passengers was that they were abandoned on shore with no food, drink or shelter as the rain lashed down because it was not safe to try to get back to the ship. The last tender that tried to get to the platform of the ship dipped down with the wave action and smashed its roof under the platform. Several of these passengers had become unwell with some suffering cuts, bruising and fractures. There were 500 passengers abandoned ashore who had to buy bin bags to try to keep dry and some managed to shelter in a circus tent! The last of the passengers made it back at 10.30 pm and no provision was made for them to get anything to eat (lack of communication again). The passengers who remained on the ship had champagne at midnight on the sodden upper deck which had artificial grass on it - a bit like walking on sponge! The fireworks were amazing but could not be enjoyed as we expected. Whilst the ship was at anchor (and spinning round) two tugs with strong ropes had to be deployed on both sides of the ship to try to keep it stable. After stopping at Lisbon we had two days at sea across the Bay of Biscay which was also rather rough resulting in the open decks being out of bounds. Disembarkation at Tilbury was chaotic with people having to sit on the stairs to await 'express disembarkation'. The final straw was sitting in the atrium and listening to the message that a passenger had died in their cabin. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on ... Read More
This really was a very good cruise certainly for this time of the year getting away to a bit of warmer weather , the staff laid on lots of entertainment with singing carols and everyone joined in ,also many other things were going on throughout the day , cocktails go down very well on the cruise also plenty of waiters serving drinks throughout the day and evening to save us getting up to get a drink at the bar,I am not sure where CMV get so many friendly staff but the staff really did make the cruise such a pleasure , nothing was to much trouble also looking at a closer issue the ship was spotlessly clean , on a couple of down sides we missed Gibraltar due to an issue with the propeller which got sorted in the Canaries the other was Maderia which had choppy waters for the tender boats going to shore , this made some not to well but maybe they should of stayed on the ship , i really wanted to see Maderia and as i don`t get sea sick it wasn`t a problem , the only main problem was docking the tenders coming back the swell was up a bit more and did cause an issue trying to get back but saying that I think all got back onboard to watch the fireworks which were fantastic , would i do this cruise again at Christmas , `Of Course ` , it is a great ship with great staff . Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with ... Read More
The ship was lovely especially the dining restaurant, which is set out so nice with partitions so you are in a secluded small section rather than open to the whole restaurant, what an absolutely brilliant idea, food was very nice and with plenty of choices. The staff were friendly and nothing was to much trouble. Getting on and off ship was very organised. The only down side was the entertainment was a little hit and miss, Christmas show was very poor but other shows very good. The venues got very busy and we failed sometimes to get a seat. I would choose the ship again purely on the lovely dining experience. After sailing on Costa ship last May which was a really bad experience in every way I promised myself I would never ever cruise again, this one was already booked which I did not want to do but has restored my faith in cruising. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. ... Read More
Three-night / two-day pre-Christmas family-cruise for £225 each for an outside cabin - what's not to like? Destinations (Antwerp and Amsterdam) - good. Cabins - good. Food - average. Service - in the main, attentive and friendly. Entertainment - no idea (we didn't bother). A few words of advice / recommendation for potential travellers: (1) Expect long delays at dinner in the main restaurant. And if you order drinks at the table they are likely to arrive well into the meal. (2) If the time of arrival in a port of call is quite late, don't think you can have a lie-in and go for a late breakfast close to closing time in either the restaurant or the self-service buffet. If you opt for the former, the service will be very slow and the food likely to be dried-up. If you go for the latter, you are very unlikely to be able to get a seat. Go early is the top-tip. (3) There's no pressure from the onboard photographic team, but on our short trip the shore-photographs at Antwerp were frankly hopeless (totally washed-out). Don't be tempted to buy (at unjustifiably high prices) just for the sake of it. (4) Think carefully about the 'onboard gratuity added daily to your account for your convenience'. We chose to remove this because there were aspects of the trip which we felt made it unwarranted. Of course it's a marketing ploy on the part of all cruise lines to make the base-price seem as attractively-low as possible. Better to reward individuals separately (as we chose to do) whom you feel may have gone above and beyond. Sorry about the 'invisible' members of crew who then receive a share of nothing - but that's life! (4) Don't be put off from considering CMV (with whom we have now cruised three times, out of twenty cruises overall) or the Columbus. Recognise that for what you pay, you will get really good value for money. How or where else can you get transported to two different European cities and enjoy a full-board experience (the beds are very comfortable incidentally) for £75 a day? On this trip, it was even possible to secure late-availability inside cabins for £129 - that's just £43 a day, which by anyone's standards is amazing value. Choose wisely and you will be well-satisfied. 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
Columbus Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.6
Entertainment 3.0 3.5
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 2.0 3.0
Service 4.0 3.9
Value For Money 5.0 3.7

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