Launched in 1985 and previously owned by Carnival Cruise Lines and Ibero Cruises, Magellan joined Cruise & Maritime Voyages in 2015. As far as cruise liners go she is a comparatively small ship with capacity for approximately 1250 passengers.
On board facilities
The public rooms are chiefly located on decks 8 and 9, with the reception on deck 5.
There are two restaurants on deck 8 – Kensington and Waldorf, the Raffle’s Bistro on deck 10, and a Lido bar/buffet. The show lounge seating is arranged on two levels on decks 8 and 9.
Other on board facilities are a gym, a wellness centre, a small casino, a very small library, a card room, the Captains Club lounge/bar and a couple of other bars, and a shopping gallery.
There’s also an on-board medical centre, and the long wide internal Mall with seating which is also used for various events.
Bearing in mind that our cruise was during a very wet and windy October we spent little time on deck, but we did spot a pool and some hot tubs.
Conditions on board
Our very clean twin bedded cabins on deck 6 were a good size with windows rather than port holes, an en suite shower room with excellent hot water, but only very basic toiletries, plus the bed linen was a bit shabby.
Our cabins were also rather noisy and we were frequently kept awake at night by ‘clanking’ noises from the lift or engine room. We also found the air conditioning in the cabins and indeed throughout the ship too cold.
Sadly we had other problems
The majority of the staff we came in contact with were cheerful and helpful (especially Mark Bernardo – Guest Services). Unfortunately we did have issues with some of them, and especially some of the reception staff, messages not always passed on, requests not dealt with and a general lack of interest.
Unfortunately too there were several problems with the cruise experience itself. And whilst individual head office staff were helpful we were not overly impressed with the company’s booking procedures.
Food on board
On the whole the food (British/International) on board Magellan was good, and I for one had nothing but admiration for the very hard working galley staff under the direction of skilled Exec Chef Shone Mathew.
And indeed for the charming Hotel Manager Allwyn Furtado, who had responsibility not only for all the on-board hotel departments, but also some 660 crew members from many different countries, as well as the well-being of guests.
Having said good morning to our lovely cabin steward Yana Matskevych we would head off for breakfast.
Sometimes we opted for breakfast à la carte in a restaurant and sometimes we went to the 10th deck Raffle’s bistro for the breakfast buffet.
It was always a difficult decision – I had discovered that in the restaurant they served a scrummy Granola Parfait (low calorie too).
However, there was more choice on the 10th deck and Assistant Cook Putu Jayantara, the ‘Live Egg’ chef, knew exactly how I liked my eggs cooked.
Some days we opted for self-service lunches in Raffle’s Bistro where I quickly discovered that along with all the displayed choices Putu, the ‘live egg’ breakfast chef, could also be found cooking up the likes of bowls of fresh pasta and sauces or maybe curry.
Other days, and especially if we wanted to meet up with some friends we had made on board, we would head for one of the main restaurants.
We looked forward to our evening meals served at our own designated table.
We were lucky with some delightful dining companions and our two splendid waiters Sedrick Rodrigues and Aung Myo Htwe who, when not serving the meal, would often entertain us with magic and conjuring tricks and even napkin folding lessons.
The Daily Programme
The day’s activities were posted in the Daily Programme – a quiz, a lunchtime movie, a demonstration, a lecture, the evening shows with a variety of entertainers.
Guest lecturer John Riley was excellent – his tips on how to compose and take good photos were really helpful.
The skilful ice and fruit and vegetable carving demonstrations were always popular, as were the towel and napkin folding and cookery/cocktail making demos.
Party mode in the Mall
Arguably however one of the most popular events took place in the Mall one evening after it had been cleared of its chairs to make room for the sumptuous Magnifique Buffet showcasing the skills of the various galley departments. Cameras flashed and passengers and crew alike relaxed into party mode.