Cruising the UK
On the 2nd of July 2020 I was lucky enough to enjoy a 7 night cruise on board Cruise & Maritime’s Magellan (my first ever cruise experience) with a handful of other travel agents from up and down the country. The cruise departed Newcastle heading round the British Isles, ending in Liverpool. Here are some of my favourite parts and why you may want to choose to cruise with Cruise & Maritime next!
The Magellan is a small cruise ship holding 1200 guests. She is an older ship and doesn’t necessarily have the same facilities that bigger liners have. This isn’t something I am able to compare with this being my first cruise experience, however I can say if you are looking for something more personal and great value for money, then I could not recommend Cruise & Maritime any more. Great itineraries, great food and even greater staff.
Let’s start with the itinerary. We set sail from Newcastle visiting Dundee, Shetland, Faroe, Orkney, Isle of Skye, Belfast and finally disembarked in Liverpool. What’s great about this itinerary is that you are visiting so many beautiful parts of the country you wouldn’t usually get to see. Visiting Faroe was a real highlight for me, with its stunning scenery it really felt like you were in Norway travelling through the Fjords. Some other highlights were visiting the beautiful Isle of Skye, something I have been meaning to do for years, and also getting to visit Shetland where my mum grew up as a wee girl. It is always the places on our doorstep we forget to take the time to explore, and I am so glad I was given this opportunity to do so.
The food on board the Magellan was fantastic. Breakfast was either a buffet served on deck 10 in Raffles Bistro, or you could enjoy a waiter served meal on deck 8 in the Kensington restaurant. Both had plenty of choice including a lot of healthier options such as fruit & granola or avocado on toast with eggs which I enjoyed (trying to make up for what had been eaten the previous night at dinner). Lunch was also served in Raffles Bistro, followed by afternoon tea so there was always food on the go for those who had worked up an appetite out on their excursions. Dinner was a 6 course affair starting with an appetiser then onto soup, salad, main course, dessert and finally cheese. Don’t worry, you get to choose how many courses you are served. I never opted for any more than 3 courses in one night but there were some people who went the full hog. Every dish I ate was delicious ranging from baked sea bass, to grilled lamb chops, to lemon meringue pie. Another great thing about the Magellan is that they have such a great offering for those with dietary requirements. A couple of the other travel agents were Vegan and each night got given a menu with options to choose from for the next day’s dinner. One of the agents who had been on multiple liners actually said it was the best food she had ever received on board a cruise! There are speciality nights on board the cruise that you can pay extra for, and we got to try out the brand new Indian Fusion restaurant. It was £14.90 as standard, £11.17 wth the CMV premium package or only £7.45 with the CMV VIP package. I would highly recommend this as it is cooked by Indian head Chef Michael Shaji and some of the best Indian food I have ever had…well worth the money.
Value for money on this ship is second to none, especially when it comes to the drinks package. For our 7 night cruise it worked out at £156 for the premium package when adding it on board the ship. This is something I would recommend prior to sailing as it saves you some money and time. Included you get an all inclusive bar, a welcome bottle of wine in your cabin and lots of other great discounts. However, if you aren’t a big drinker and would rather just pay as you go, you can do so. I am a gin drinker and for a gin and tonic on average it was around £4.35 which I personally think is very reasonable.
All in all I would highly recommend a Cruise & Maritime’s Magellan, and I know that this definitely won’t have been my last.