No peace on this horrible, noisy, smoky ship: Fernao de Magalhaes Cruise Review by Boaterlady

Fernao de Magalhaes 1
Member Since 2014

Overall Member Rating

No peace on this horrible, noisy, smoky ship

Sail Date: May 2017
Destination: Europe - River Cruise
Embarkation: Porto (Leixoes)
This was a last- minute booking. We knew the ships could be outdated - and this one was (gaudy orange walls, green carpet and shiny gold ceilings) and that the majority of people on board would be French but decided to give this company a try.

Unlike other lines, Croisi Europe does not include any trips although they say that all drinks are included - this is true unless you want any liqueurs, branded spirits, decent wine or anything but very basic port. There are daily cocktails which appear to come ready mixed and don't seem to contain much alcohol. The wine we got with meals was cheap and nasty- we found one of the bottles for €3 in a local shop. Trips are expensive and you get the impression that things are included as time-fillers rather than because they are interesting. There are no allowances for slower walkers, as there are on other lines.

Smoking is allowed in all outside areas which means that everyone has to suffer when someone smokes at the front of More the sun deck, which they do all the time. There is nowhere to escape from the constant noisy chatter on board.

There is no choice at mealtimes, although they try to offer alternatives if you let them know you don't like something. They do try to include regional specialities. Breakfast is largely continental and is the only meal served buffet style. There were eggs and a variety of weird sausages and we even had bacon one one occasion.

The river is stunning with wild, remote areas and five dams with huge locks. The canopy on the sun deck had to be lowered each time we went through the locks and for low bridges and you have to be careful not to get wet when the ship passes under the guillotine gates from which water pours as you leave the locks. The only places where there is anything to see when you stop are Regua and Pinhao. Both are small places with a few shops and cafes but neither is anything special. If you go on the excursions, the ship moves on and you miss a lot of the beautiful scenery. Porto is interesting but very hilly. It has 30-odd port houses.

We didn't feel that this cruise was good value because the trips were extra. By the time you add flights and transfers onto the basic cost, it didn't work out much different from other far superior lines and would have been more expensive if you went on the trips. We did see other Croisi Europe ships which appeared to be much nicer than ours and we were told that the ship is due a re-fit at the end of the 2017 season. This is long overdue! Less

Published 06/08/17
2 Helpful Votes

Cabin review: StandardTop deck

Cabins are small, cramped and very basic. There is a tiny bathroom pod which has a nasty clingy shower curtain. Ours was never cleaned properly. The raised edge of the shower is a trip hazard and the floor floods easily. The bathroom was up quite a step. Cabin walls are paper-thin and you can hear everything in the neighbouring cabin. Our cabin was above the lounge and we were disturbed by the noise of the entertainment in the evenings which went on until after 11pm. There are 2 small, hard twin beds. Storage is on shelves and wardrobe space is limited. The cabins have windows but they are not full height. Reading lights over the bed are low and you bang your head on them. There was a small desk and chair right next to the bed and no bedside table on the window side.

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