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Eileen Coulter

Age: 64

Occupation:Semi Retired

Number of Cruises: 20

Cruise Line: Orient

Ship: Marco Polo

Sailing Date: April 29th, 2006

Itinerary: Mediterranean Highlights

Once again I sailed on the Marco Polo, mainly because some friends from the US were booked so decided we would catch up with them again on this voyage.

I booked with my friend Phylis whom I'd met on board the Marco Polo the previous year, and as stated above, we met up with some American friends we had met on a previous cruise.
My friend Phylis and I decided to share a cabin and so save the 'single supplement', we booked a twin cabin through a reputable travel agent who organised our booking. Following day travel agent phoned back to ask if we would accept 2 x single cabins instead of the twin, at the same price. We were both quite astounded as according to Orient Lines Brochure (and most Travel Agents) the Marco Polo has no single cabins. To cut a long story short we accepted this offer, and were very pleased with the two single cabins. I think their shape rather than size determined them to be singles.

Our overall view of the ship was that the food standards had certainly slipped especially at lunch time. In 2005 there was always a healthy option at both lunch and dinner of a grilled steak or grilled chicken breast. In 2006 steak was nowhere to be seen and the grilled chicken was only available on the dinner menu. This aside, in the past year the wine prices in the restaurant had more than tripled, and although prices for drinks in the bar seemed to be the same, the measure had been cut to far, but served in such large glasses that there was no liquid to enter the mouth, it all clung to the sides of the glass. In fact a glass of wine was the most expensive drink of all.

Whilst this is still a very friendly ship a bitter taste at the total rip off at the bar would make me think twice about sailing again. I wouldn't say never again, but that depends whether they will keep price increases in line with inflation.

It is also about time the Tour Manager looked at the not only the price of the tours, but the average age group of the passengers. having caught up at one point with the land tour, I can only say that the guides resorted to what in Britain would be called 'bullying'. They frog marched elderly people along at such a speed over somewhat 'rough ground' as if they were competing for the 'Olympics'. All of these tours could be done at a more leisurely pace for a fraction of the cost. Marco Polo - 'please stop the ruination of a truly Majestic Lady!


 

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