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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Travelscope Tours

MV Van Gogh

Your Rating:Five Stars
Reviewed by: Donna Spark
# previous cruises: 0
Date of Trip: July 16, 2005
Itinerary: Europe

The van gogh is budget ship currently being operated in the uk by travelscope. The ship is small but of good standard offering excellent service and value for money.

Public Areas
There is a library with large selection of books and games that can be borrowed. There is a casino (oddly placed next to the library). There is a boutique/shop selling everything you may need and more. There is a large and spacious show lounge, the captains club were there was a piano player, the nautilus bar next to the restaurant were there are tvs and was used by some passengers as a smoking lounge during meal times. Sky bar this tended to be a lot quieter than most of the other bars and did quizzes and things. A disco that was used by the older children and teenagers in the earlier part of the evening but became an over 18's at midnight. There was a cinema showing up to date films. A children's room for children aged from 3-8 and a teenagers room used by the older children and teenagers. There was a pool bar and ample open deck with tables and chairs around the pool areas. There was a small swimming pool and a splash pool for children. There was main restaurant (2 sittings) and buffet by the pool breakfast and lunch weather permitting. The pool deck can be covered by a tent during warm sunny days good for protecting people from suns harmful rays but meant the pool was often freezing as it is the sun that heats the pool. There was also a small sports deck. A gym which was small but adequate and a sauna. There was also a photo shop and 24 hour reception which money exchange (limited to certain times of day).

Food and Service
The waiters were absolutely fab couldn't fault them in anyway very helpful and always smiling (good going since they worked very very long hours) they even sing to you if you celebrating a special occasion and give you a cake to celebrate. The breakfast was in buffet with hot and cold choice with vegetarian choices and options for people on special diets i.e diabetics. This could be taken in the restaurant (open sitting) or at the pool (weather permitting). Some options such as eggs were ordered fresh for you buy asking the waiter who serves your table. various cereals, croissant,bread and pastries are also available Lunch could be taken in the restaurant in two sittings (sometimes buffet if docked) If in sittings this was served to you buy your waiter and was split into 4 courses (don't need to have all courses). The choice was usually wide with vegetarian options and diabetic options (although these options can be limited) baked potatoes and chips can also be requested. Lunch can also be taken by the pool (weather permitting) and is buffet service there is only a very limited vegetarian option here although there is plenty of fruit and salad available and rolls. There is usually a choice of three or four main dishes, veg, potatoes or chips. Hamburgers are also available at the pool. Dinner is served in two sittings (sometimes buffet if docked) and is again 4 courses with vegetarian and diabetic and other special diet options. There is usually a variety of options for each course. There was also a barbecue on the open deck on one of the evenings and salad, rolls, spare ribs and chicken were served. There was also a midnight banquet which was absolutely fab. There was also afternoon tea served in the show lounge and midnight snacks available in all bars.

There were 4 of us sharing a grade 5 outside cabin which was adequate for us. The shower room was more than adequate and would fit even a tall person so i was informed by my nephew who is quite tall. The cabins were cleaned twice a day by the very dedicated travel stewards with toiletries in all bathrooms.

There were the usual caberet of singers and dancers called the elite singers and dancers. Being backed up by the van gogh orchestra with a female vocalist in between shows to keep people entertained. There was pianist in the captain bar every night. There was a kids club with activities a different times and a club for older children and one for teenagers these seemed well run and very organized and in addition to the full emergency drill which was done on the ship by all passengers and crew within the first twenty four hours the children did one with just the children's entertainers so they would know what they were to do in the event of an emergency and they where separated from there parents. There was a disco for the older children a teenagers most nights and a barbecue on one of the evening. There were also a few game show type competitions with passenger participation. There was also films on in the cinema and a casino.

There were talks on all the ports at which we called and there was excursion offered at every destination. There was also plenty to do on board with the sports deck, swimming pool, gym, library, games of darts, giant chess, giant connect four were also played, bingo. There were also demonstration of veg carving, ice sculptures, cocktail making etc offered. All times of set activities were advertised in the telescope (paper delivered each day by cabin steward). For children there was as I said earlier the dedicated children crew and a small splash pool. Younger children could also use the children's room but must be accompanied at all time by a responsible adult. Out with advertised times the children could use the children room as long as they were accompanied by an adult.

Who Goes
These cruises are direct from the uk and Larne in Ireland and it therefore usually british nationals who cruise on the van gogh. At the summer there were a large number of children and teenagers on board although because of the wide variety of entertainment available you wouldn't really know it if you hadn't seen them at boarding.

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