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TheGinBoy

Trying out CMV's MS Marco Polo

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Hi Guys,

 

Myself, my partner, and a friend (we're all early thirties) are trying out CMV's MS Marco Polo for a one night taster cruise tomorrow night (Sat 29th June 2019). 


As you can see from my signature we're used to the newer mega-ships, so this is going to be a WHOLE NEW experience. We booked it partly because it was so cheap (£59 per person) and partly to try something new.

 

Given the weather is due to be 30c (86f) we're likely to be sat around on deck with a cold drink most of the time - BUT those of you who've sailed her before do you have any tips/tricks? Must sees? Cool spots to hang out? 

 

Thanks in advance!

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She is definitely not like the megaships. She is an old more traditional ship and very small. One of the reasons it is cheap is because CMV are a budget cruise line, however it is a good opportunity to see whether you might fancy a longer cruise on her as she has some interesting itineraries. I would't say there are any cool spots to hang out as such, Scotts bar is where the evening entertainment is once the show has finished, you can check all the bars out in an hour as she is small. The food is on par with most of the main stream cruise lines, the drinks are cheap compared to the American lines. Go with an open mind and  please come back and tell us what you think.

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Thanks for coming back to me so quickly, Phil.

 

I think we're going in with open eyes knowing it's a 55 year old converted Russian ice-breaker, and that the decor is looking a little 1990s dated. But if you're with friends and visiting great locations those things can disappear into the background can't they?

 

I'll be taking plenty of photos and be writing a report for my blog TomLovesCruising.com - I'll be sure to report back here too.

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Marco Polo is not a converted icebreaker. She is a proper old-school ocean liner built for worldwide service. She has some icebreaking capabilities, because her original home port was St Petersburg and the Gulf of Finland has lots of ice in the winter.

 

Please google "Finnish-Swedish ice class" for an explanation. The ice classes are (from strongest to weakest) 1A Super, 1A, 1B and 1C. Marco Polo's ice class is 1C, which means she would need icebreaker assistance in tough ice conditions.

 

Every ferry and cruiseferry trading in the northern Baltic Sea is certified as 1A or  1A Super. They have to be, otherwise they couldn't maintain a year-round service between Helsinki and Stockholm, for example. You see 1C mostly in cargo ships. So, nothing special in Marco Polo's capabilities -- it's just that the marketing people have decided to always mention her "icebreaking capabilities". Marco Polo's ice class 1C means she has *some* strengthening in her bow, rudder and propellers, but not much.

 

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It is just one of those urban myths that has prevailed over the years, we used to think she was built as an icebreaker as we had been told that, but we purchased the Marco Polo book whilst onboard many years ago where the strengthening is explained. I have never seen any icebreaking capabilities mentioned by the marketing people as she doesn't cruise anywhere where that would be any advantage. It will be interesting to see how much longer she is kept in service as a cruise ship now she is getting on a bit.

 

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Hello GinBoy,   Just wanted to check in and see how things went for you and your mates on the Marco Polo.

Thanks!

 

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Hello!

 

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you folks on this, I came back from our mini cruise and went into a massive media campaign for work. Anyway, just finished my review.

 

I know some people have very strong opinions on specific cruise lines / cruise ships, and I know no one review will please everybody - this is just my honest thoughts after a short trip aboard the Marco Polo.

 

http://www.tomlovescruising.com/2019/07/15/marco-polo/

 

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Hi Tom, thanks for your review, it is well written with good attention to detail. I have shared on the Cruise and Maritime group on facebook. I am not sure what the VAT issue was as I have never experienced this on CMV before. Marco Polo is a bit of a marmite ship in my opinion, saying that we don't love her but feel she serves a purpose especially if you want a cheap cruise. We will be cruising on her again in September to Canada for 30 nights. She tends to rock and roll a bit in a deep swell, being so small but that doesn't bother us. We cruised to the Caribbean and back on her last November, not for the faint hearted. 

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46 minutes ago, yorkshirephil said:

We will be cruising on her again in September to Canada for 30 nights...

 

...We cruised to the Caribbean and back on her last November, not for the faint hearted. 

 

Oh my gosh, I think I'd go stark raving mad! Glad you had a good time tho :)

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We also did a one night party cruise on her a few years ago.  We had a good time, but the ships itself is very old, walls paper thin and she her stabilisers (if she has any) don't do a great job, so you do feel the swell a lot more than on the bigger ships.  Just take your sea sickness pills and you'll be fine!  Just bear in mind that CMV is a budget line in every sense of the word.

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On 7/15/2019 at 3:54 PM, TheGinBoy said:

Hello!

 

Apologies for the delay in getting back to you folks on this, I came back from our mini cruise and went into a massive media campaign for work. Anyway, just finished my review.

 

I know some people have very strong opinions on specific cruise lines / cruise ships, and I know no one review will please everybody - this is just my honest thoughts after a short trip aboard the Marco Polo.

 

http://www.tomlovescruising.com/2019/07/15/marco-polo/

 

Marco Polo is unique and CMV have their own way of doing things so I imagine it must have been a shock to you at first. I enjoyed your review and thought it very fair. I don't understand either the hour long muster or the VAT situation, I hope you did take it further. I agree with the comment that she is like Marmite, she was the first ship I had ever cruised on and I fell on the love side, but with my eyes open I can also see where others more used to the bigger ships with much more entertainment, and probably younger passengers, might not be so enamoured.

I am disabled and I agree that there are some difficulties there, at the moment I can get about on crutches but when the times comes and I need a chair I don't think I would manage. We're on her for Christmas  then in April next year, I'm getting everything in while I can. Thanks again for the fair review.

 

 

 

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Only just found this thread.  Thanks for the great review Tom and I'm glad that you found quite a few things to enjoy on your brief cruise aboard Marco Polo.  She is becoming somewhat a niche market nowadays.  I love classic ocean liners/cruise ships so thoroughly enjoyed my cruise to Iceland on her some 15 months ago.

My preference regarding ship size is those that take less than 2000 pax so MSC Meraviglia (for example) would be my idea of a nightmare 😱😄

Unfortunately, I think several of the British-based cruise lines seem to be poor communicators - Marella and P&O both attract a lot of negative comments in that respect, as well as CMV.  Before sailing aboard Marco Polo I contacted the Customer Service Team to try and find out the split of different dress code nights and all they did was refer me to the FAQs, which I had already explained didn't answer my query!

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Just off the Marco Polo. It appears they fixed the VAT issue and now do not have any thing on the menus about VAT nor do they show it on any of the receipts.

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On 8/11/2019 at 6:34 PM, Britboys said:

Only just found this thread.  Thanks for the great review Tom and I'm glad that you found quite a few things to enjoy on your brief cruise aboard Marco Polo.  She is becoming somewhat a niche market nowadays.  I love classic ocean liners/cruise ships so thoroughly enjoyed my cruise to Iceland on her some 15 months ago.

My preference regarding ship size is those that take less than 2000 pax so MSC Meraviglia (for example) would be my idea of a nightmare 😱😄

Unfortunately, I think several of the British-based cruise lines seem to be poor communicators - Marella and P&O both attract a lot of negative comments in that respect, as well as CMV.  Before sailing aboard Marco Polo I contacted the Customer Service Team to try and find out the split of different dress code nights and all they did was refer me to the FAQs, which I had already explained didn't answer my query!

That is an interesting comment regarding poor communication. I have to say CMV Australia have been brilliant. We are booked on a cruise on the Vasco da Gama, and every email I have sent has been responded to within a day and all queries answered. I've been super impressed with the service so far.

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