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Review: MV Marco Polo

Cruise - Ocean Cruise

Marco Polo, Lunch and Show

  • By SilverTraveller Alan-Fairfax

    83 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Dec 2011
  • Wife
  • Special occasion
  • Inside

47 people found this review helpful

The sun was shining as we drove towards the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury. It didn’t seem 10 weeks ago that I was here to visit the Marco Polo for the first time. This time it was to sample a lunch and show that Cruise and Maritime had advertised. I was so impressed with the food on my previous visit that it was decided to incorporate this visit with the Silver Travel Advisor Christmas lunch.



As before everything went smoothly from the moment that we drove into the car park that is virtually alongside the ship. Very little walking from car to terminal which was a blessing as although the sun was shining the wind was bitterly cold as it blew up the River Thames from the open sea.



Once in the terminal boarding was swift. Check in with passport, receive boarding pass, through security and onto the ship. Waiting to greet the visitors were smartly dressed waiters with trays of sparkling White and Rose sparkling wines as well as Bucks Fizz. Drink in hand it was then time to explore the ship. Starting in the Captains Club and then onto the Palm Garden, Livingstone Library and into Marco’s Restaurant which is the buffet area. This is light and airy and leads out to the pool area and deck bar. Continuing onwards it was up to the next deck where you find Scott’s Bar. This is a lovely area with a white baby grand piano in one corner with a large bar in another. The rear of this bar looks out across the stern and would be a great place to sit and watch the setting sun whilst observing the wake of the ship as it ploughs through the oceans of the world.



The next deck up houses the Jade Wellness Centre which has within its area an excellent Gym for getting off those extra pounds you are bound to obtain during a cruise on this ship. Also as part of this complex is the Beauty Salon and Internet Café.



It was then time to explore some of the cabins on this ship. Although some are a little smaller than you might expect they are all well equipped. Even the lowest grade cabins have Personal Safes, Hairdryers, Direct Dial Telephones and TV’s. Move up to a De Luxe Cabin and Tea/Coffee making facilities, Enhanced Bathroom Amenity Pack, Fresh Fruit Bowel, Welcome Bottle of Wine and many other enhancements are added. Going to the top grades gives even more benefits. Book a De Luxe Suite and receive Pre Dinner Hors D’oeuvres, Complimentary Laundry Service and other enhancements added to those of the lower grade cabins.



It was the time for lunch. This was held as before in the Waldorf Restaurant which is the main dining room on deck 6. We had a table with 10 places and each place was beautifully laid with gleaming cutlery and sparkling glasses. There was a choice of not only Red and White wine but also Rose. This is the only ship I have visited that gave the option of Rose. Other cruise lines take note. The starter was Smoked Salmon, followed by French Onion Soup and for a main course I had the Steak, with Carrots, Green Beans and a Jacket Potato with a mash on top that had been ‘crisped’. There then followed the ‘Parade of the Baked Alaska’. Whilst this is entertaining to those who have not seen it before it is something that I could personally well do without. The Baked Alaska was however first class.



After lunch it was time to make our way to the Marco Polo Lounge which is the ships theatre. The show was that of a ‘Journey Around the World’ and featured the singers and dancers of the Marco Polo Ballet who were accompanied by the Marco Polo Orchestra and a guest solo violinist. This ship being built in the 1960’s does not have the advantages of revolving and moving stages found on modern large cruise ships and therefore I was interested to see how the cast would cope. The result was a fabulous show. The singers were first class. The choreography was excellent and the choreographer is to be applauded. The show and the cast were up there with the 4 and 5 star ships. The massive applause at the end said it all.



On leaving the ship it was time to reflect back over the previous 5 hours and see how it compared with the media visit I had done 10 weeks earlier. Although the ship is marketed as 3 star it is not, it is well above that and in my humble opinion compares well with some that are marketed as 4 star. Yes, some of the lower grade cabins are smaller than those on the newer bigger ships but after all you are only going to sleep in them. Those that have outside views are larger. The public areas of the ship are in first class condition. Some of windows have been affected by their continued expose to salt but these are few. A lot of TLC has been devoted to this ship. The food is fabulous, up there with the big boys. Today’s food like that on my previous visit was superb. Great service, excellent presentation, tasty and good sized portions. The afternoon show was again excellent and like the food it is up there with the big boys. This is a ship I look forward to doing a cruise on.

For those interested in the Marco Polo my original Silver Travel Advisor review can be found here.


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