Marco Polo looked beautiful as I walked along the quayside at London Tilbury. Although I was only spending one night onboard, I was looking forward to exploring this golden gem, as the ship sailed to Hull for the very first time.
The ship is fairly simple to navigate, thanks to nearly all of the public venues located on Magellan Deck 8. Public rooms are certainly not glitzy, instead they are intimately sized, comfortable and tasteful for the market Cruise & Maritime Voyages attracts.
It was a joy to escape the floating cities of modern cruise ships and return to a more traditional aspect of ocean travel, where the primary aspect is comfort and a connection with the sea. I would happily return for a longer cruise on the ship. Marco Polo maybe a veteran vessel built in 1965 as Alexander Pushkin for the Soviet merchant fleet, but inside she is a warm and stylish ship perfect for British travellers and as the cruise director continually explained, she is a “friend-ship.”
Waldorf Restaurant (Deck 6, fwd)Open for breakfast, lunch and evening dinner, the Waldorf Restaurant is the main dining room on the ship. Featuring a subtle Orient theme, intimate booths line both sides of the restaurant, with a raised central section which has a decorative ceiling panel and home to larger sized tables. The food was great and appealed to a wide range of tastes.
Marco's Restaurant (Deck 8, aft)Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and evening dinner, the rather small Marco's Restaurant is the main buffet on Marco Polo. The food selection was decent and an outdoor grill is located just outside serving pizza and burgers.
Columbus Lounge (Deck 8, mid)I immediately fell in love with the Columbus Lounge as soon as I walked in. This nautical-themed, yet stylish and contemporary bar had a great ambience and was more like stepping into someones living room, where conversations and a friendly vibe were constantly flowing.
Palm Garden (Deck 8, mid)Palm Garden is a quiet place to spend a leisurely day at sea and is secluded by decorative plants. Large windows overlook the sea and provide lots of natural light.
Captain's Club (Deck 8, fwd)With its modern decor, the Captain's Club is another great venue to enjoy a drink in. Featuring a spacious dance-floor, this is where live musicians such as the ship's pianist and violinists perform in the evening and at various times during sea days.
Scott's Bar (Deck 9, aft)Scott’s Bar, located overlooking the fantastic aft terrace area, is a popular lounge bar and nightclub located on Deck 9. I loved the vibrant decor of this venue and during the one-night sailing the nightclub was very popular, so much so that I could not even get in, which was a shame. The dance-floor was packed and the venue was so busy, that people had dragged chairs inside from the outdoor terrace area.
Marco Polo Lounge (Deck 8, fwd)Situated at the very front of the ship on Deck 8 is the Marco Polo Lounge. This is the main show lounge onboard and is very impressive considering the size of the ship. The singers and dancers, put on a great show during my one-night sailing dedicated to songs from the 50s and 60s called "Rock & Roll Dreams." Although I had seen the show before in March on Astoria, even with several of the same singers and dancers, the production element of the show was much better thanks to the larger stage on Marco Polo.
Jade Wellness Centre (Deck 10, aft)Deck 10 is home to the Jade Wellness Centre which is spacious and offers a variety of beauty treatments. The gym is large for a ship of this size and an exercise room with sea views is located next to the gym. This is where the table tennis is positioned.
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