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Discovery goes down market

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    Discovery goes down market

    We could not believe our eyes when we received new brochures today from Voyages of Discovery. When Discovery returns from her long overdue refit she is joining the Cruise & Maritime Voyages fleet! Discovery will then discard many of the good things that have madeher popular (loyalty discounts, free car parking at ports or free transport to ports, included gratuities and gentle sedate shows). In comes a regime that 'focuses on evening entertainment' and cuts to the operational budget. Next Summer's programme shows many changes from the First Edition brochure, now reflected in a cheap summary brochure entitled ' Discovery Sailaway'. Voyages of Discovery's main brochures now only feature MV Voyager which will still cruise enjoying the old standards. VOD's only involvement will be as booking agents for Cruise & Maritime Voyages. Thank goodness there is a ready made alternative in Voyages to Antiquity's Aegean Odyssey's programme. So sad.

    #2
    Hi Andrew, I can't compare the standards between CMV and Voyages Discovery only having cruised on the Marco Polo. However I found the food, service and entertainment to be surprisingly good for the fair paid.

    I assume that this joint venture must be something to do with the fact The Discovery was not as successful (profitable) as they would have liked. If Discoveries standards are really being repositioned down-market as you say, that must be were the money lies.

    That's capitalism for you!
    See my cruise blog: HERE

    Comment


      #3
      Hi Andrew. I can't say that I am surprised to be honest. We sailed on Discovery for the 3rd time in July on the Nordic Adventures cruise to Norway and Iceland. The ship was only 80% full, despite last minute deals being offered during 2/3 months before the cruise.
      We noticed a marked decline in the quality of food in the MDR and got the feeling that things need to change or Discovery would begin to lose her loyal regular passengers.
      Sometimes change might turn out for the best.
      Jill

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Andrew,

        I don't share your fears for Discovery nor the belief she is going 'down market'. I have just transferred my Cruise and Maritime booking for next May to Discovery : she is replacing Ocean Countess which is a little more creaky than Discovery- although still a lovely old ship!

        Having cruised with Voyages of Discovery and Cruise and Maritime I believe they provide a similar cruise experience. It is six years since I cruised on Discovery but have been on OC twice in last two years. As the food on OC is better than Discovery I am pleased that this is one aspect of the C&M brand that will be maintained along with the entertainment. The show lounge on Discovery has a better layout than OC with its 'blind spots'. I prefer the dining room on OC but maybe after refurbishment Discovery's will be acceptable to me.There is no lift from Bridge deck to Tower bar on OC and for anyone with even minor mobility problems it can make access difficult. I like the fact that all the main entertainment areas on Discovery are on one level. Due to the changes in itinerary Liverpool, Hull and Newcastle have lost
        a couple of departures planned for 2013. I am looking forward to joining Discovery and will be pleased if she leaves from Liverpool in future seasons.

        Are you planning a cruise on Discovery or have one booked? I have managed to secure a single cabin on Promenade deck mid ship which I think will be better than the one I had in the bow on OC.

        Forgot to say that the guest lecturers were very experienced in their field and if Richard Sykes is cruise director on Discovery that will be a bonus.
        Last edited by Lacey, Wirral; 3rd September 2012, 09:04 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          When were they ever upmarket?
          Any one wants to plays bridge and is on any of the cruises listed below please send me a private message





          cruises 2012
          Eclipse 12/05
          Queen Victoria 24/03
          Eclipse 12/05
          Oceania Riveria 13/08
          Eclipse 29/09
          Queen Victoria 20/12

          2013 Cruises booked
          Eclipse 11/05
          Eclipse 06/07
          Eclipse 31/08
          Eclipse 20/10

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by PG of A, A View Post
            When were they ever upmarket?
            Welcome back Peter, we have missed the wit.Looking forward to your Oceania debrief.Richard

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by PG of A, A View Post
              When were they ever upmarket?
              I think the poster was referring to the educational, cultural and classical shows which are a feature of the V of D ethos. He needn't t worry as Voyager, their new ship, is doing some new and interesting ports not commonly available on the British market

              Comment


                #8
                with the renowned on board experience of Cruise & Maritime Voyages,
                What is actually renowned about C & M most reports I have read say budget cruising with unsmiling East European waiters

                Comment


                  #9
                  I have sailed twice on the Ocean Countess, and was booked on the 28night West Indies Cruise due tosail 15/02/2013.(now cancelled) I don't recollect any unsmiling waiters, in fact the ones that I have met have been quite cheerful. We all have our own ideas about the ships, but I have sailed on the Queen Mary and prefer the OC.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I agree that many of the Eastern European staff may not smile all the while but if you engage them in conversation they are pleasant and polite and work extremely hard. We shouldn't judge other cultures by own own. Some don't appear to smile a lot among themselves but they work well together.

                    When I joined Ocean Countess in May and went to the buffet I asked for a glass of wine, the young female waiter suggested I buy a bottle that I could take back to the cabin for later and compared to the individual glass price it was good value. I hesitated and she said words to the effect of "I know about it, it is best for you." It seemed rude but whilst her understanding and command of English was good it was not perfect. Additionally, she was giving me information I did not have at a very early stage in my cruise and it was very good advice. The majority of the MDR staff appeared to come from Indonesia, Brazil, India and others and were invariably friendly. I would imagine we appear serious to Filipino staff who smile more readily than us.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Not so good for those of us who had already booked on Discovery's advertised 2013 voyages with V of D. I am very destination-driven and had found one itinerary that ticked a lot of boxes. Now I've just had a letter to tell me it's cancelled. This is the second time All Leisure has done that to me - I lost a voyage to India when Minerva went for her refit - and they won't get the chance to do it again!

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I find this very interesting. I would love to read posts from forum members who do choose the "new" VoD. We have only cruised once with them, chosen because of the 3 ports of call in Libya. I am also destination driven and did have one cruise in mind for next year. The one thing I did not like was the fixed dining time and fixed seating. Our table companions were great but I am not keen on the idea of being stuck with a couple I found hard to talk to. This reflects on me, not them. I do not watch much TV or read popular magazines and find general conversation hard. Also, especially after a long day excursion that gets back late, it is nice to be able to have a shower and stroll off to eat rather than rushing for the fixed deadline. So I was dithering a bit and keeping an eye on the prices offered. Then the chance to cruise the "middle " Nile, after a 20 security gap came up, so we have chosen that.
                        We are going with Voyages to Antiquity very soon. We went on the third and fourth weeks of their inaugural "challenging" first season.It will be interesting to see how things have changed. My husband is taking the jacket that got shredded in the tender last time in case this has not improved. The trip is very destination driven, plus one can eat the evening meal on the deck if desired. I do not like going to sea to eat indoors.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          We went three times with VoD, to the Black Sea, Libya and Murmansk, Archangel and the Solovesky Islands. All outstanding cruises as we too are destination driven having cruised to St Helena and been on the MV Manatee on the River Napo in Amazonia this year. We have decided to go with Voyages of Antiquity on their upcoming Byzantium cruise from Istanbul to Venice to see what they are like and have found your comments most interesting. Should we take protective clothing for 'tender' wear? We will also be most interested to hear how you enjoy the middle Nile as we have seen that this is now on offer. We have cruised the other stretch of the Nile, Luxor to Aswan and the length of Lake Nasser and would welcome an excuse to return to the Nile once again.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            We are also going on the Istanbul to Venice cruise , I am really looking forward to it. We went with V to A because, in the first season, they offered a cruise that focused intensively on Sicily. Advice is to never go on an inaugural cruise because the problems are not sorted.However I thought that they may not repeat the itinerary. There were quite a lot of problems, like black soot from the funnels all over the deck (and chairs of course), problems with the layout of the buffet etc. The tender had not been finished properly, and had rivets sticking out which performed the shredding. Then there was the Great Aegean Odyssey Picnic. Someone had clearly researched this in the winter, but the trip was early summer. We were all given a picnic lunch to eat on the beach. It was midday and very,very hot. No shade.There were some scrubby woods behind the beach we all sort of semicrawled into. Those in the best cabins had a low wall, we were on the ground.Waiters had come up from the ship to clear the rubbish, which was extensive, it overflowed all the bins the poor little town had. Happy days. I believe, from reviews, that most problems are now solved. Anyway the itinerary on this next cruise really appeals so we are giving them another try. We are going to do our own thing in Istanbul as we have been several times. It is the Byzantine emphasis of the cruise that attracted us.
                            We have been on the Nile twice, once on the steamship Karim, and once on the steamship Misr. The Misr trip was an alternative trip for people who had been once and wanted to visit different sites . We had a great time. Again it was the first time the trip had run and there were a few problems, but in Egypt that never seems to matter much. We had only been home few days when the revolution started, so it will be interesting to experience "new" Egypt.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Should we take protective clothing
                              I would take a flack jacket and tin hat if I thought it necessary to visit an Arab or Islamic country, it's a long time since tourists were shot dead in Egypt, or a bomb went off in a tourist resort but in my view it's not if ever again, it's just a matter of when.

                              20 years ago we had armed guards on the tour buses, and its only in 2011 that the superb Cairo museum was attacked as locals were trying to damage the artefacts which draw tourists.
                              Nothing has been issued by Arab tourist ministries to say that tourists will be protected, and our TA's will continue to sell holidays to places like Sharm El Sheikh until something happens, but you only have to look at the unrest in Arab countries to make a reasonable opinion for yourself, and I for one would not risk travelling with a bunch of tourists in an Arab country.
                              I do hope that I am wrong.

                              Comment


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