Cruise and Maritime - Columbus
Built in 1987, the Columbus has had various lives including time as the Star Princess, the old Arcadia, then Ocean Village, and most recently, Pacific Pearl, sailing for P&O.
First christened by Hollywood legend Audrey Hepburn in 1989, The Columbus has long since been a favourite with our passengers due to its contemporary but casual style.
The impressive Columbus joined the Cruise & Maritime fleet in June 2017, and has gone through many renovations since 1987, the biggest and most recent of which is the conversion of all the former children's clubs into entertainment spaces, turning the ship into a haven for adults only.
Now sailing from her home port of London Tilbury, she offers a number of exciting voyages close to home, throughout Europe and across the world.
As part of the refit in 2017 the newly decorated atrium certainly bringselegance and style to the entrance with its bright purple patterned carpet and a grand piano as a centrepiece. However, for familiar comfort, you will find the lounges and restaurants offer outstanding service and a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere.
A high priority is placed on your comfort on-board, and the cabins are designed to make you feel at home, your cabin steward will ensure a high degree of service throughout your time on board too.
All of the cabins on-board are equipped with a flat-screen television with over 20 channels including BBC world and Channel Four. There's also an armchair, small table and a dressing table with a stool. Self-service launderettes are positioned on Main Deck 6 and Upper Deck 10. However, to access this the costs are added to your on-board account, and you must head to reception to get tokens for the machines.
- Washer: £2.00,
- Dryer: £3.00,
- Washing powder: £2.00 per box.
There are restaurants that are included in your package and some that come at an additional supplement, here is the information you need to know about dining on-board the Columbus.
The Waterfront Restaurant (Deck 7)
This is where most passengers will have their meals and the restaurant works on an open seating basis, except for two fixed time sittings at dinner. There are tables for two, four, six and eight, and dinner is assigned seating, with first sitting at 6pm and second at 8.30pm
It is also open for breakfast and lunch, but dinner is the main event. With lots of choices on the menu and a good range of vegetarian options.
There are drinks packages that you can add to your booking, that start at £17 offering house wine, house beer and various cocktails and discounts on things outside of this.
If you don’t go for the drinks package, house wine starts from £14 a bottle or £5 a glass.
How to add on drinks packages.
Cruise & Maritimes Additions Packages may be arranged at the time of booking or by visiting Manage my Cruise no later than 7 days prior to sailing date.
Plantation Bistro (Deck 12):
This venue is open for early bird breakfast at 6.30am, then main breakfast untill 10am, lunch 12pm to 2.30pm and afternoon tea 3.30pm. to 4.30pm, and dinner 6pm to 9pm
Pool Grill (Deck 12):
Open from 11am to 6pm this is where you can get snack foods such as, burgers, hotdogs and they offer a ‘daily special’ too.
This is available, however, the menu is limited unless you are in a suite, and not everything is included in your package.
If you want something a bit distinctive on your cruise, head to one of the speciality restaurants, costs range from £14.90 to £49 for meals, however, a trip to the Fusion or Grill is well worth the small extra cost. For extra special occasions the 8 course select menu at the Chef’s Table is an extraordinary experience but does require you to pre-book.
Hemingway's (Deck 5, mid-ship); a la carte pricing
All kinds of coffee and a variety of cakes can be purchased here, the setting is almost Italian coffee shop, with a nice peaceful environment to take a moment and read or relax, however, you do get afternoon tea within your package at the plantation bistro (between 3.30pm to 4.30pm).
Chef's Table (Deck 7, aft); £49:
It seats 14 and is in the centre of the Waterfront Restaurant, it serves as the Captain's table on formal nights and on other nights it offers a smart, eight-course menu, which costs £49 a head and includes wines paired with every dish and an aperitif held in the library pre-dinner.
The Grill (Deck 12, forward); £24.90.
As you would expect the menu of The Grill consists of the finest cuts of meat, (ribeye, rump and strip loin steaks, racks of lamb and Chicken). The experience starts with a basket of mixed breads and dips, an amuse-bouche before your starter, and there's a big selection of sides and sauces to go with the meat.
Fusion (Deck 12, aft); £14.90:
Sitting in a section of the Plantation Bistro, the Fusion restaurant focusses on high quality Indian food, with a selection of appetisers, such as lamb koftas and samosas, dips and breads, and followed by a choice of five mains, one of which is vegetarian.
Gelato's (Deck 12, mid-ship)
This Gelato, is family run and offers traditional Italian ice-cream in numerous flavours, it is open between 12pm and 9pm. A scoop in a waffle cone is £1.50, or two scoops for £2.50.
Cappuccino's (Deck 12, forward);
Another coffee shop, offering the same menu as Hemingway’s, but on the pool deck.
Columbus has three dress codes:
- Casual (but no shorts or vests in the evening);
- informal (dressier but no need for men to wear ties); and
- formal (cocktail or evening dress, ties for men), with up to two formal nights on a week's cruise.
A highlight of daytime and evening facilities
There is a huge array of facilities to keep you busy on board during the day and night, you can choose to go on shore excursions or make your own way in the destination, but if you stay on-board here is what the Columbus has to offer:
The Rooftop Dome Observatory
This is a must see, it offers outstanding panoramic views of the surrounding sea and coasts, head up in the day to get a birds eye view of your location, and then at night it becomes a nightclub.
If you are in the mood to learn something, you can attended a port lecture, join the morning quiz, take an exercise or dance class, and even head to the crafters studio to try your hand at one of the arts and crafts classes.
There is a fully equipped gym for those that want to keep fit, or for those looking to relax there are two heated pools, one of which has reclining sun loungers and the poolside bar to keep you hydrated through the day.
There is also a library and lounge and on the top deck, where you will find a range of titles to read or head to the big screen which during the day shows major sporting events and movies.
If you forget to bring essentials on-board, fret not, there is a three-deck shopping atrium, where you can shop till you drop.
In the evenings
The Palladium Show Lounge hosts an exciting nightly entertainment programme, specialty acts and guest performers such as musicians, dancers, comedians all providing passengers with the perfect entertainment for their evening.
If you want to step away from the shows and cabaret, a quieter time can be had in one of the lounges where you can choose from live piano and violin music.
For gamers head to the Trumps and Aces Bridge and Card room, or try your luck at the casino.
If that’s not enough there is even an outdoor cinema, where you can wrap up in a blanket and watch a classic film.
With so much to see and do onboard, the choice of restaurants and the destinations you can get too, these cruises are perfect for anyone wanting a relaxed and friendly holiday.
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