CMV’s Columbus may look familiar to some from her time Down Under as Pacific Pearl. She returned to her old home of Sydney this week during her world voyage.

The flagship of CMV’s fleet, Columbus joined the Cruise & Maritime Voyages family in June 2017 following her time as Pacific Pearl for P&O Cruises Australia.

Well-loved by Aussie cruisers, the ship looks very similar to when she was handed over by P&O, with the only visible differences being to the programming and itineraries, rather than the overall look and feel of the vessel.

The most notable difference? This incarnation caters only to adults.

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The child-free Columbus joins her sisters Magellan, Marco Polo and Astoria in only allowing children under the age of 16 aboard on specific multi-generational cruises during the UK school holidays.

During those cruises, children are under the supervision of their parents, with no specific programming or entertainment arranged.

The former HQ & HQ+ teen lounges are now the Columbus Observation Lounge, featuring table tennis on one side and a quiet area to relax with utterly superb views over the aft of the ship, on the other.

The areas on deck 11 aft originally dedicated to younger cruisers have also been transformed. Shark Shack is now the Ship’s Library and Turtle Cove is now Trumps & Aces, a place to play a spot of cards.

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Formerly the HQ+ teen lounge, the Columbus Observation Lounge is now a quiet area to relax.

The former Captain’s Lounge, which not many people got to see aboard Pacific Pearl, is being put to good use as the Crafter’s Studio for those guests wishing to unleash their inner creative at sea on selected sailings.

Catering to a more traditional cruising demographic, the entertainment onboard includes cabarets, guest performers and classical music, with the shows offered in the Palladium Show Lounge (formerly the Marquee Theatre) accompanied by the ship’s live orchestra.

For those who sailed aboard Pacific Pearl, it’s hard not to take a walk down memory lane as you traverse Columbus’ corridors and venues.

The Dome is now the Dome Observatory & NightclubConnexions remains Connexions, The Orient is now Taverner’s Pub, MIX is now Raffles, Charlie’s Bar is now Hemingway’s and The Café is now Cappuccino’s.

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The Columbus still offers five dining venues, some of which have remained essentially the same and some which have been given a little twist. Plantations is now Plantations Bistro, offering up a buffet of delights and Waterfront Restaurant is still the main dining room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner as part of the cruise fare.

Breakfast and lunch are open-seating, whilst dinner is offered in the more traditional style of two set seatings at the same table.

Luke Mangan’s Salt Grill is now The Grill and offers up a delectable range of proteins and sides at a set cover charge of £24,90.

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Fusion by Chef Michael Shaji.

Asian fusion has made way for Indian fusion with Luna now called Fusion by Chef Michael Shaji. CMV’s Corporate Chef designed the menu as a homage to his homeland and this specialty restaurant serves up varied Indian fare at a cover charge of £14,99.

For those after a little more pampering, P&OEdge and Aqua Hut on Lido deck have been transformed into the Jade Spa Cabana offering a selection of massage treatments while guests relax on the pool deck. The full-service Jade Spa and gym is still located on Deck 2.

All-in-all, fans of the Pacific Pearl will be happy to see her looking much the same, however, the ultimate vibe is one that caters to a much more mature audience. In the words of Cruise & Maritime Voyages Australia MD Dean Brazier, “this is not a party ship”.

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Connexions remains as Connexions.

Columbus will continue on her world voyage tonight with an impressive 1,000 of her guests remaining aboard for the full itinerary.

P&O Cruises’ Pacific Eden will be the next addition to the Cruise & Maritime Voyages Fleet when she enters service as Vasco da Gama this April. She will be based out of Adelaide from 6 December 2019 before repositioning to her new home port of Fremantle in January 2020.

CLICK HERE for a collection of video tours from onboard the vessel.

 

What new element of Columbus do you like the most?