As you can probably tell from the title, the www.CRUISE.co.uk team were recently on-board Cruise & Maritime’s latest ship The Magellan and purely in the name of research we took it upon ourselves to try as many drinks and as much food as possible, explored the ship and bounced on the beds to test the mattress’ – all so you can know what to expect when you find yourself on-board.
So what did we think of the ship…
From boarding to disembarking we were busily looking around the ship, seeing all it had to offer, from its spa services, bars, clubs, pools to the library but perhaps what surprised us most was how incredibly modern and stylish the ship felt throughout (in case you didn’t know the Magellan is actually thirty years old but has been bought and refurbished by C&M).
The reason this is surprising is that Cruise and Maritime’s biggest strength has always been in offering traditional British cruising to its guests, what we wondered was how this would translate on such a modern feeling ship…
It’s a difficult one; after all, just what is ‘traditional British cruising’? It’s kind of like fine art we think – hard to put your finger on but you know it when you see it.
Well we saw it on the Magellan…
When first stepping on-board the Magellan you walk into a modest atrium (none of your over the top American glitz here!) with friendly staff smiling wherever you may look – always a nice welcome when first venturing on-board a cruise ship! The staff didn’t take long to find us in their systems and then they personally escorted us to our rooms!!! Can you remember the last time you were personally escorted to your room?
Always a plus, due to its size we’re happy to confirm that the ship is incredibly easy to navigate (no hiking gear needed to get from one end of the ship to the other as you get with some new ships these days). The Magellan is hardly the smallest ship at sea but at 46,052 it’s still more than sizeable enough. There’s twelve decks to explore but all the entertainment, restaurants and pools can be found on the top five decks. The lifts (located at the front and centre of the ship) are of course the easiest way to get about quickly but it’s quite simple to find your way if you’re feeling lost as a map or helpful member of staff is rarely far away.
You’ll also find the buffet restaurant on deck 8 with the numerous bars scattered around meaning you have constant access to just one more drink.
Cabin decks make it fairly simple to find your cabin and the cabins themselves were more than spacious. There was plenty of room to store clothes and toiletries and the room was well lit, with the decently sized windows letting in a lot of natural light and plenty of smaller lights and lamps to illuminate the room even in the dead of night.
The bathroom was small but perfectly sized for a single user at a time! The shower initially seemed complicated (what shower doesn’t though?) but with brief experimentation it didn’t take long to get a warm shower on the go. The Magellan also gives you the choice of a bath depending on the grade of cabin you book.
Cabin thoroughly explored it was time to check out the rest of the ship…
First target was the large and grandiose theatre, we sat at the back, high above a majority of our fellow passengers. The view was slightly obscured but show was still perfectly visible and with plenty of selection when it came to seating, it was our own fault that we had perhaps picked not the best seats in the house! Still, with comfortable plush chairs we wouldn’t have traded our seats…
Gloria Hunniford took to the stage as the Magellan’s Godmother and said some choice words (including some about how the Queen’s christening of P&O’s Britannia was merely Gloria’s “warm up” – naughty!) with the captain and officers introducing themselves on stage shortly afterwards.
You can watch the full Naming Ceremony here…
It was followed by a fantastic pair of young dancers who completed a mesmerising performance, followed by a very talented and powerful Opera singer to close the event.
After the show the www.CRUISE.co.uk team headed out to see what Magellan’s bars had to offer (it’s a hard life but we suppose someone has to do it!)
Scott’s Nightclub was incredibly stylish and modern, whilst Sinatra’s Bar had a retro casual feel and had a perfect soundtrack, provided by the in-house violinist and pianist, which made the atmosphere perfectly relaxing and welcoming.
Dinner was in the Kensington Restaurant and as we sat down we were looking forward to the five course meal to come. Overall we’d say the meal was very enjoyable, our dinner guests were delightful and staff were always attentive no matter what, leaving us satisfied with the service we had received.
It wasn’t long after dinner that Cruise & Maritime celebrated the naming of the Magellan with a fantastic fireworks display lighting up the river Thames. Most of the ship’s passengers were on deck watching the display and it felt like a great communal event where everyone came together.
That evening the casino opened with Poker and Roulette tables and slot machines aboard the ship we were spoilt for choice and couldn’t help but join in with the festivities, although Roulette and Poker can be just as entertaining to watch.
Like all great bar staff it didn’t take long for the bartender to memorise our favourite drinks and after a few more of those it was most certainly time for bed!
The beds were comfortable and the room was easy to sleep in, although it didn’t take long to ease our eyelids closed and rest after such a busy day!
When dawn broke the breakfast buffet was already served, with a great selection of your typical English breakfast choices, eggs, bacon, beans, sausages, with of course continental choices and some morning sweet treats such as pancakes – great to wake up to after an evening in Sinatra’s Bar!
Checking out was effortless and the reception staff were just as polite while checking us out as they were welcoming us aboard. Although it’s possible that they were happy to see us gone – after all, the bar staff had their hands full with us around…
All in all, Cruise & Maritime Voyages’ Magellan is a beautiful ship, lovingly refurbished with beautifully large rooms and a comfortable decors that never feel garish or out of place. Very welcoming and very comfortable, the Magellan is a ship that we wouldn’t hesitate to stay aboard at all. May she enjoy a fantastic maiden season and have many sailings to gorgeous locales beyond that!
So, coming back to our original point, “Traditional British Cruising” isn’t just cruising with British sensibilities in mind, it’s the atmosphere, the glamour, the ability to dress up for dinner and not for one second feel overdressed or out of place. It’s friendly dinners with friendly passengers, getting to know people at the bar, being able to step aboard a ship knowing that they’re unlikely to run short of Earl Grey. Traditional British Cruising is very much defined while aboard the Magellan and we recommend it to all.