I always say you can’t compare cruise ships as they all have their unique qualities and are so different. But since the Marco Polo from Cruise and Maritime and the Fred Olsen Boudicca are of similar size I have decided to evaluate plus I got straight of the Marco and went onto the Boudicca on the same day.
I think it’s time to say I have lost my heart for the Marco Polo it has been stolen by the Boudicca. It’s such a shame as I really wanted to make the Marco Polo my mother ship as it has so much potential for being fantastic but there is just one big thing letting it down and that’s food.
I have to confess the thing that has swayed it is bacon. Yes, I’m a sucker for the proper bacon you get in the UK and not the crap that is served on the Marco polo. To be honest it’s not just the bacon but the whole food experience.
I’m young I have my own teeth but I had problems eating most of the food on the Marco polo. After having spent 12 nights on board and then making the mad rush from Tilbury to Liverpool to get on the Boudicca I had to fit in a McDonalds as I was craving something edible just in case I was gonna go hungry for the next 16 nights.
It’s not all about the food but that is such a big factor for me.
To be fair the Marco polo wins over the design of the ship, it’s a traditional looking ship that feels so British to me, even though she is originally a Russian ship but at 51 years of age it didn’t feel dated. The Boudicca looks like something out of the 70s even though it was apparently refurbished in 2011.
My cabin is about twice the size on the Boudicca and it has the added benefit of a kettle. A little thing but so great to be able to make a cup of tea and watch a film in my pjs, I sound older than my 34 years but its these little things that please me.
Everything just seems more spacious on the Boudicca. Even the corridors and stairways seem wider, not that I plan on spending much time on the stairs.
After the first night of delicious beef that I was asked how I liked it to be cooked and actually edible vegetables I had already started to shift my favouritism.
The show lounge is not ideal with it being a flat level the same as on the Marco polo, unless you are at the front its likely you are going to have reduced visibility.
The bartenders seemed so much more friendly on the Marco Polo, not sure if it’s just because I am all-inclusive this time and not as afraid of ordering a drink as I won’t be getting a huge bill at the end, they are very slow on the Boudicca. But I’m not sure if everything is just in slow motion on here as even the passengers seem to move at a snail pace everywhere, I suppose there no rush to get anywhere at the moment as its still sea days.
The swimming pool on the Boudicca looks so inviting unfortunately my trip is to Canada so it’s not the right temperature to be swimming although it does say its heated. I didn’t like the pool on the Marco Polo as it was in the bar so everyone used to sit around it I never went in it and to be honest I think I only saw a handful of people braving it and we were in the lush temperatures of the Caribbean on that cruise.
Food: Winner Boudicca
Entertainment: Winner Marco Polo
Entertainment Staff: Winner Marco Polo
Cabin: Winner Boudicca
Bartenders and Waiters: Winner Marco Polo
Ship in general: Winner Marco Polo
Swimming pool: Winner Boudicca
Even though it looks like the Marco polo is the winner the two major factors for me are food and the cabin so I have to say that the Boudicca is now my favourite ship so far. Things might change as I go on more cruises
Unfortunately, I wrote this review before all the problems I experienced on the Boudicca and at the moment I would never ever return. But I am a fair person and as this was my opinion at the time I have decided to still publish.
Note to Fred Olsen cruise line – see you could have been the perfect ship if you planned the itineraries better!!