In early October 2019 we took a 3 night mini cruise on the CMV Magellan, which was built in the 80s and served as the Carnival Holiday, hence her dolphin wings on the funnel.
We had booked an outside cabin and were assigned 6131. The cabin had twin beds that could be made in to a double and a Pullman on the wall. As to be expected the cabin was dated by modern standards but on first appearance clean and would do us fine for 3 nights. We decided not to get the beds pushed together to make a double as it wouldn’t be quite big enough.
Owing to the age and size of the ship we fully expected it to be different to our usual size of cruising, and were up for the small ship experience of getting to know the crew and fellow passengers. We knew the entertainment would be somewhat more sedate and the range of bars limited.
Drinks prices were reasonable which was great since a drinks package was not available. £15 for a bottle of house wine isn’t too bad.
Our assigned dinner table was in the Waldorf Restaurant on a table for 6. Our table companions were people who’d not cruised before and we all got on incredibly well.
The food on the first night was tasty enough, particularly the Thai Beef Salad. The Carbonara didn’t appeal as it should NEVER contain cream!
one disappointing aspect was that a number of times we were asked by crew if Andy is my dad. I think about 15 times in total over the 3 nights with most being on the first night.
After a couple of drinks in the pub listening to some Irish music and by chance meeting some ladies who follow our blog and MSC groups it was soon time for bed.
On getting in to bed, I noticed that the light fitting above the bed had what appeared to be flies in it! After further investigation so that I could ask the steward when I saw him to give it a wipe, it turned out to be thick with dust!
Obviously this didn’t impact my sleep, and could wait until the next morning, just wasn’t nice to see (this fitting is open so it was easy just to put my phone up to get the picture.
What did impact our sleep was the bizarre whistling noise heard intermittently through the night! I contacted reception and they just advised the ship was full and nothing could be done. Great.
The next morning we went to the Kensington restaurant for breakfast which was served quickly. A range of traditional breakfast items were available to order, and we had a quick look at the buffet to check whether it was roughly the same. Andy didn’t enjoy his full English and thought the ingredients were cheap. I was surprised at the sauce on the eggs florentine – it wasn’t smooth in the way a Hollandaise tends to be, perhaps they were sat warming for a long time?
It did feel as if it was an inconvenience to ask for another glass of orange juice.
We watched the sail in to Dublin from the top deck and I had a cappuccino from the pool bar – again I think we inconvenienced the bar man as most of the customers were using the ‘free for all’ in the Raffles bistro to get their own hot drinks.
We arrived in Dublin and took the complimentary shuttle to the city and took in the main spots such as the GPO and Temple Bar
We headed back to the ship in time to change for dinner, and as we’d not eaten since breakfast and were on the late sitting went to the buffet to get something to tide us over. The evening menu wasn’t to our taste so we therefore went back out to Dublin and had a fantastic night out on the town, taking a taxi back to the ship at around midnight.
It did seem strange to have a gala night when the ship was overnight in port with many guests out on an excursion for the evening!
Unfortunately yet again we didn’t sleep well due to the thin walls but owing to the tiredness perhaps better than the first night. The steward still hadn’t done anything about the dust that I’d pointed out to him!
For our second day in port, Saturday, the programme of events on the ship was the same as the day before – I.e. very little with activities such as take yourself for a walk, Christian meet up and jigsaw puzzles.
With that in mind we caught a shuttle to Dublin with the aim of spending as much time off the ship as possible. We went to the Guinness stores and had a great time, learning about the black stuff and pulling our own pints (someone knocked me slightly so there’s a little spillage on mine)
By this point we’d decided that aside from the dust, thin walls and the noise the line just wasn’t for us even though there was nothing ‘wrong’ with the line. Fair enough the food and entertainment wasn’t to our personal choice but that’s exactly all it is – personal choice and we completely understand why others would actually find what they enjoy on this line.
Then things got worse.
We got back on to the ship and went to the cabin. We walked past one a couple of doors down that had the door open and an industrial blower. We got back to ours and lo and behold there was one in ours. The steward soon came to say there had been a small leak a few doors down, ours wasn’t impacted too badly but to give it an hour and we should be fine. Not a problem we thought an hour isn’t too bad and we could drop the bag and go on deck to relax.
An hour and a half later we went to change for dinner. Andy has a bottle of cola by the window and went to get it. The floor was sodden. So much for an hour!
There was no way it would be dry that evening or we could have the dryer going. Back to reception!
I asked the receptionist what had happened with the leak and he was oblivious. We showed him the video of the wet floor and he replied that it wasn’t the cruise line’s problem and not their fault! We had to be very insistent to move cabin for the final night, so it was then back to pack earlier than we anticipated and to move.
Our new cabin on deck 7 was of a similar standard – we didn’t bother unpacking for obvious reasons! There was a bag of laundry in the room that was removed promptly. We both noticed a tube of Pringles on the tea tray and thought it odd as there is no mini bar type service…
On to the restaurant for dinner and we had another lovely time with our tablemates.
The food again was tasty enough but really felt too similar to what we could have at home, whereas when we go on holiday we enjoy ‘different’ cuisines and more unusual choices. We both commented on how nearly every hot dish is served in a sauce – possibly because it’s easier to keep warm?
On returning to the cabin that evening we were exasperated to find that the new cabin steward had placed someone else’s rubbish of a toothbrush, ratty old suit carrier and an empty sea sickness tablets box on my bed! Where on earth had that come from? Did she think it was ours that had been left elsewhere in the cabin since we had the cases on the bed ready to put out for disembarkation? Why were they still there from the last passenger? The mysterious Pringles has also gone so I can only assume that the room hadn’t been fully cleaned after the last guests had checked out in Dublin!
A slightly better nights sleep followed after I’d calmed down however we were again up early to make sure we were ready to disembark as early as possible. We were ready to leave the ship after the issues and near sleepless nights!
When our allotted time came to disembark we went to the gangway on deck 3. There was one last parting shot after queuing for 30 minutes or so. We were not allowed off the ship as reception wanted to see us.
Back up to deck 5 to reception. Gave our details, the receptionist looked perplexed and searched for the details. It was regarding the flood and was to ask us to see reception when we got back onboard the day prior!
Back down to queue again and we were finally let off the ship.
We will not be going with CMV ever again after this. As mentioned previously we would have been happy to have turned round and said it was ok but not for us, but with these further problems our opinion is very negative.
It was of course wonderful to see the Liver Building and the Cunard Building!