First impressions and accommodation
Once onboard, we were met by smiling Cabin Stewards and taken to our cabins to find some baggage was already waiting outside rooms. My cabin was a standard Oceanview Twin on Deck 5, Category 7 and was spacious with a large window, vanity area, bedside tables, sufficient wardrobes with a free safe inside and a decent sized shower room with toilet, sink, a mirror and shaver sockets. We were later upgraded to a Category 8 Standard Plus Twin, this room was slightly larger and more towards the middle of the ship. To get a better idea of the difference between cabins, we also spent a night in a Cat 3 Superior Twin. This interior room was small but sufficient and had an upper pullman on the wall (much like a top bunk).
If talk of the different types of room seem alien to you, it is not expected that you will know the differences between them all. A member of the sales team will be more than happy to help you find the right kind of cabin, in the right area of the ship to best suit your preferences.
There are 2 sittings at the main restaurants (Kensington and Waldorf); the first is at 7pm and second at 8.30pm. Guests are allocated a dining time and a restaurant for the duration of their cruise or they can choose to use the Raffles Bistro for more flexible and informal dining, buffet style. There were 2 formal nights on this cruise and most guests attending the main restaurants made the effort to comply with the dress codes which were as you would expect: jackets and ties for the gents and evening dresses or gowns for the ladies. Many of the gentlemen were suited in full black tie.
Our evening meal in the Kensington Restaurant was excellent, with delicious choices for each of the 5 courses served. The restaurant was modern, with space between the tables and a wide selection of tables for 4, 6 & 8 people - though not so many tables for 2, which I figured was to encourage socialising. The waiting staff was efficient and courteous and at times very amusing.
Waldorf is the largest of the two main restaurants and has a more traditional style. Overall, Cruise and Maritime catered well for special dietary requirements and they can even cater to Halal and Kosher requirements if notice is given prior to the cruise.
Entertainment and after-dinner drinks
I was pleasantly surprised with the choice of entertainment onboard, there seemed to be something for everyone's preference.
We had the pleasure of watching a show in the 2 tier Magellan Main Show Lounge. There are 2 shows in an evening which allows second sitting diners to see the show before dinner and first sitting diners to see the second showing after their dinner. This seemed to work well for everyone, especially as the ship was full.
The Captains Club proved popular for guests wanting some more evening entertainment from the band and performers which featured in the Main Show Lounge. Hampton’s Lounge Bar provided a more classical type of entertainment, like the popular and very talented onboard violinist. Sinatra’s Lounge Bar was very modern and spacious and had several large TV’s showing sports and news. Scotts Nightclub provided entertainment for anyone who enjoys karaoke or simply a spin on the dance floor. Eros bar, which has a smoking area, seemed to be most popular bar on this cruise.
The Jade Wellness Centre, which included a beauty salon and sauna, looked very nice and seemed to be very popular with guests because of the reasonable pricing.
The duty free shop was small, but had the essentials onboard and I was surprised to see the standard duty free prices on goods.
There is a small internet cafe area should you need to carry out your work and there is also a photo gallery area where you can buy any of the photos that can be taken of you throughout your cruise.
Inside on deck 5, you will find the nicely laid out reception area, which has separate desks for reception, shore excursions, Guest Services and Future Cruise. The staff in this area seemed very efficient.
I purchased an internet package onboard which cost £10 for 2 hours usage. You have to remember to log out to avoid your 2 hours being used up in one go. Other packages with more time are available on a sliding scale.
Smoking areas were fair to both smokers and non-smokers. The main smoking section was on deck 10, which was under cover and had views through full length windows. There were also a few places up on deck 11.
On the whole, the ship, for its size, has a lot to offer and would suit a wide range of passengers. It is not a ship I would recommend for passengers with young families therefore, if you would prefer more of an adult-only experience, this would be the ship for you. Speaking as someone in their 30’s, I would have no problem sailing on a cruise with Magellan as long as there were plenty of ports of call or if the days at sea were in warmer climates.
Considering the price of a Cruise & Maritime cruise when compared with some other cruise lines, I think what is offered is more than fantastic value for money and is definitely worth enquiring about if you would like your budget to stretch much further.
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