Small but beautifully formed
Our 11 night cruise around the British Isles and islands from Avonmouth on the Marco Polo was a delightful holiday. We find cruising such a relaxing experience, like a 5* hotel only much better! This cruise began in the small dock at Avonmouth and boarding was smooth, quick and very easy. We were shown to our cabin by a crew member who ran through everything we needed to know. The cabin was number 718 on the Columbus deck, which has 2 large windows obscured by a lifeboat, plenty of storage space in a large wardrobe and chest of drawers, it also had a kettle for tea and coffee making. The Marco Polo was easily navigated as most of the public areas are located on deck 8 the exception being the Waldorf restaurant on deck 6 ,Scott's bar on deck 9 and the gym on deck 10. The crew were extremely helpful and kind, the cabin was kept spotlessly clean by Standly our steward in fact all areas of the ship although fairly old were very clean and tidy. Our cruise took in many islands which we wouldn't have managed to visit if we hadn't chosen this type of holiday although the April weather did prevent us from docking at the Scilly Isles and the Isles of Lewis and Harris.Each of the ports had visitor kiosks set up to give everyone maps and general information, Honfleur in Normandy was a delightful little town with cobbled streets and plenty of little shops and eateries. At Newcastle we caught the metro to Wallsend and the roman museum and Hadrians wall, well worth a visit. Invergorden has an interesting museum it's a small town with some lovely murals dotted around. At Kirkwall we caught the T11 bus which took us to Stromness then onto Skarra Brae which was mind blowing! Then the ring of Brodgar and return to Kirkwall, takes about 3 1/2 hours in total but well worth the bus fare of 15. Tobermory was a pretty place with colourful houses and a nice walk through woods to see the waterfalls and view points. Belfast surprised us by being a vibrant city that blends old buildings with new, the city hall is a beautiful building with many small rooms exhibiting some wonderful aspects of Ireland. We walked from the centre out to the Titanic Museum, you can easily spend a few hours here, it's very well designed and takes you on an emotional journey. The Isle of Man was a nice island although we felt there could be more done to promote their heritage and individuality, Douglas was a great disappointment, it looked run down and unappealing but Peel was a lovely friendly little town. I would definitely recommend the Marco Polo ship if you're looking to relax and are of the slightly older generations, we are 57 and 60 and certainly enjoyed the fact that it was an adult only ship, we would be happy to sail on this ship again.
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