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Cruise Blog

We Review Cruise & Maritime's Marco Polo

13th June 2014

Updated August 2019

 

We sent Sarah from our marketing team out to get to know more on what Cruise and Maritime Voyages are all about. Read on to find out just what she thought.

 

cruise and maritime marco polo

 

Having minimal exposure to small cruise ships, I was keen to get onboard Marco Polo, which has a maximum capacity of just 850 guests. The difference in service and attention to detail was evident straight away; as soon as we stepped onboard the ship, a friendly staff member took our bags and guided us to our cabins. This was a great personal touch to give a positive first impression; something that would be hard to offer on a larger cruise ship with a higher guest capacity.

The Cabin

Upon entering my cabin my initial surprise was how large it was. For a ship of this size I expected it to be much smaller. It was immaculately cleaned with a perfectly made bed, large vanity area, flat screen TV and huge triple wardrobe. But, as inviting as it was, the sun was calling.

 

cruise and maritime cabin

 

The Bar

As a welcomed surprise the warm sun was beaming down on London, so it was easy to imagine cruising the Mediterranean or some other glorious sunny destination onboard Marco Polo. This meant only one thing, it was time for a cocktail on deck. We found a perfect spot right at the top of the ship to base ourselves for the day, before making our way to the bar to see what kinds of tropical cocktails we could choose from to quench our thirst.

The bar menu offered an array of different cocktails including a Marco Polo Special - although I must confess I did not try this. I went for a frozen Mango Daiquiri that came complete in a large exotic glass with fruit and an umbrella. The drinks prices were the cheapest I had ever seen on any cruise, with the cocktails only costing around £5 each.

The Deck

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing on the comfortable loungers, laughing, drinking cocktails, and taking an occasional dip in the hot tub. We enjoyed a peaceful sail away from Tilbury watching the surrounding scenic countryside views. It gave a quintessentially British feel that showcased views we would not necessarily see unless sailing on this stretch of water.

 

cruise and maritime deck

 

As the sun started to set over the aft of the ship, it was time to see if the evening offered the delightful experience we had enjoyed all day. While Cruise and Maritime are known not to put on huge production shows, we did not know what to expect on this quaint ship when evening sets in.

The Lounge

After a refreshing shower and change  of clothes we met for pre-dinner drinks in Scott’s Bar. There are no formal evenings onboard and most people were in smart/casual wear. We sat by the window and shared a bottle of house wine which was delicious. We were, however, the only ones in the lounge which gave the impression that most guests opt for the earlier dining time.

 

cruise and maritime lounge

 

The Restaurant

The Waldoff dining room is large and filled with immaculately laid tables and smiling wait staff. The menu was varied, making it hard to decide what to order. I'd have to say that the cuisine was what impressed me most about the cruise; it was what you could expect on a luxury line. My six courses were:

1. Onion Baji

2. Pumpin Soup

3. Salad

4. Filet Minion Steak

5. Baked Alaska

6. Cheese Plate

 

cruise and maritime dining

 

The Entertainment

After dining we head for the Marco Polo Lounge to see the evening entertainment; The 'Bon Voyage' show. It's a small-scale cabaret that showcases singers, dancers and a live band. This time gave us the opportunity to see the 'type' of guests onboard - mostly couples with an average age of 60 – 80. Everyone appeared to enjoy the show and smiles were seen all around.

Evenings are my favourite time onboard cruise ships and I love to experience the array of different bars and nightclubs. Although Marco Polo does not offer such an extensive range of different evening venues, Scott’s Bar was heaving with smiles and people enjoying themselves. The first part of the evening saw three male jazz singers entertain, this was then followed by disco music. Like an intimate family party, it was obvious this atmosphere is one of the reasons why people love this line.

 

cruise and maritime show

 

The Breakfast

After a comfortable night’s sleep, we head down to the main restaurant for a delicious breakfast. This consisted of a full English followed by fresh pastries and coffee before it was time to say goodbye to Marco Polo.

The Conclusion

The Cruise and Maritime experience was very different to many other cruise lines, and I must say it opened my eyes to how different people’s cruise expectations are. Do you need rock climbing walls, lots of restaurants and multiple activities? With the impressive 90% return customer rate that Cruise and Maritime has, clearly many people don’t. They do not sell themselves on having the most innovative ships at sea, but pride themselves on offering an intimate, family-like cruising experience to take you to some of the world’s most intriguing places.

Many have said that people have forgotten the true meaning of cruising is to explore the world in style, but this is certainly still a core value of Cruise and Maritime. Overall it was a wonderful experience that I would recommend to anyone who simply wants to visit intriguing destinations on a friendly ship.

 

If this sounds like the cruise line you are looking for, browse our range of Cruise and Maritime cruise deals for some inspiration.


Cruise Lines Prepare To Remember D-Day on 70th Anniversary

13th May 2014

Although cruising has become my passion, during my time at school it was history lessons that stimulated my mind with intense interest. 

I can remember spending hours studying World War II and being particulary intrigued by D-Day and the iconic importance it plays in the world today. It never crossed my mind that you would be able to combine a cruise with a significant part of history so when I found out you could take a cruise to celebrate the anniversary of D-Day I wanted to find out more…

What Is D-Day?

D-Day represents the day that saw the largest invasion in history and marks a key date in the story of the Second World War.

The Battle of Normandy saw the Allied liberation of Western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control and on June 6th 1944 the battle began with British, American and Canadian forces landing on the coast of France’s Normandy beaches.

These Normandy landings are known as the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.

Today these beaches are an iconic place for people to stroll, relax or enjoy a family picnic. Lined with museums and memorials it is a place to remember those who fought and died for the freedom we now enjoy.

Re-living history…cruise style

2014 sees the 70th anniversary of this life-changing event that forever stays in the hearts of the world.

With such a significant event to remember and thousands of people wanting to take part in these celebrations, cruise lines have decided to take guests on a trip of a lifetime to pay their respects during this momentous time.

Cruise & Maritime

Cruise & Maritime will set sail for two special D-Day sailings in June and plan to be an important part of the celebrations. A moving ceremony of remembrance will be held onboard whilst cruising past the coast of Normandy before arriving in Honfleur where you can visit the original Pegasus Bridge. The opportunity to cross the Caen Canal is an experience in itself and guests on Discovery and Marco Polo will have the opportunity to do this before visiting Cherboug where they can visit Allied landing areas and the D-Day Museum.

Marco Polo will depart 2nd June from Tilbury and Discovery will leave 1st June from Bristol.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Line

Fred. Olsen have prepared a cruise on Braemar to truly treasure this special time. From an overnight in Le Harve, a private tour of the landing beaches and an exclusive Help For Heroes speaker onboard, this cruise will take guests on a real-life history lesson.

The overnight in Le Havre gives guests the opportunity to tour the iconic landing beaches, before sailing to Dunkirk to visit the War Museum. This museum commemorates the history behind the 1940 evacuation. Guests will also have the opportunity to see the Town Cemetery where the graves of Commonwealth soldiers died in both World Wars lie.

The New Squadrobaires Orchestra will be onboard to perform 1940s swing music as well as other commemorative events.

Braemar will depart from Harwich on June 1st.

Swan Hellenic

Smaller ship, Minerva from Swan Hellenic is set to take a cruise from the popular British port of Portsmouth to visit the Normandy Beaches. A special ceremony will be held onboard whilst cruising past the coastline.

Calling at Dunkirk, guests can visit the place where thousands of stranded British and French troops were rescued by Royal Navy ships. Upon leaving the coasts of Normandy she will sail up the canal into Caen where guests can take a tour of Gold and Sword beaches.

Minerva will depart for her 70th Anniversary cruise on June 4th from Portsmouth.

Holland America

Although not advertised as a special D-Day cruise, ms Eurodam recently called at Cherbourg offering two excursions to give guests a glimpse of the D-Day history. The first to Sainte-Mere-I’Eglise where a life-size mannequin hangs from the church spire to represent where a US para-troop misjudged D-Day landing. The other excursion to Bayeux, gave guests the opportunity to see a strip of embroidered linen that illustrates the invasion from Normandy to England.

Ms Eurodam departed Civitavecchia on April 29th.


By Sally Grimes


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