Wednesday, 23 October 2013

That Marco Polo Style

Guest blogger Danielle Fear, aka Cruise Miss, reports back on her most recent voyage, a mini-cruise aboard the classic Marco Polo...

I recently returned from a 3-night sailing with Cruise & Maritime Voyages aboard their MS Marco Polo visiting Gent in Belgium and Amsterdam in Holland. This was by far the smallest ship I had cruised on, but boy does she have a big heart.

I was on Navigator Deck, cabin 821, and was pleasantly surprised by the overall size of the room. I had two single beds along with a large chest of drawers, chair, table and TV and a three-door wardrobe. The bathroom was generous, too. and the spacious accommodation made up for my obstructed window view.

In the evening, we dined in the Waldorf restaurant on a table for 10. There were quite a few
large tables, surprisingly, and the restaurant felt a lot bigger than it was. The speed of service was just right, too. I have cruised on ships with half-full dining rooms and we have waited an age between courses. But, every night, the dining room on Marco Polo was packed and not once did the system break down.


My absolute favourite part, though, had to be her aft pool deck. What an incredible space - and her tiered stern just added even more character. I love a tiered stern and I was pretty
much in my element there. Every day, it was alive with people sitting and enjoying the view or a few glasses of wine. I wish we had more ships that offered such a wonderful space.


Scott’s Bar was the “go to” place of an evening and the music and dancing lastws well into the early hours. Columbus Bar was nice if you wanted something a little quieter and, of course, you would visit the Marco Polo Lounge for the evening’s main entertainment. One space I especially liked was the Captain’s Club (below). It was modern, bright and airy and had a great relaxation vibe about it. I didn’t get to spend as much time here as I would have liked, but the brief “chill out” was very much appreciated after my five-hour journey to the port.

Marco Polo is an old ship, coming up to her 50th birthday in fact, yet she is still going strong. Yes, in some areas she is a little dated, but she still has a few years left in her and the overall atmosphere was relaxed and welcoming. I met several passengers who have cruised on her dozens of times and are still going back for more. The biggest appeal for
them was first of all her size, followed by the atmosphere and then, in the words of one passenger, the fact “they simply don’t make ships like this any more.” One lady had cruised more than 40 times and still wanted more!


I hope to cruise on Marco Polo again in the not-too-distant future. I am definitely starting to get a taste for small-ship cruising.

For more from Danielle, visit www.cruisemiss.com.

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