The week after we got back from our first cruise, we were able to visit Cruise & Maritime Voyages new cruise ship MV Columbus at Tilbury Docks. This is a great way to see what the ships are like as you have evening meal, entertainment, bed and breakfast and can pop into the different cabins on show.
As this is a medium size ship, there is no comparison really with the much smaller MV Marco Polo. It is a beautiful ship, with a stunning central atrium and many areas for eating and drinking or just relaxing. It has inner cabins as well as outside ones with balconies, and they have committed several double rooms as singles (with a supplement) which is great news.
Excellent food and service as you would expect from Cruise & Maritime Voyages plus a very entertaining cabaret show. You have to be impressed by staff who are part of the boarding system then sing and dance tirelessly to entertain you!
The only thing we find a little tiring is the drawn-out procedure for embarkation on a par with airport boarding, especially as you are only staying overnight and not sailing anywhere. No problem once you are on board, of course, and much easier to disembark at Tilbury than Cardiff as there is an excellent local taxi service.
We would certainly consider the Columbus for longer trips, although a couple of passengers said they were not sure if it would suit them for a long-distance hallway around the world cruise. Clearly it is all down to personal preference, and I think it would have been lovely to do a river cruise onboard this ship. It is well-worth signing up for one of the overnight visits Cruise & Maritime Voyages regularly hold for their ships.
Please be advised that Cruise & Maritime Voyages has now ceased trading. For more information, please visit www.cruiseandmaritime.com