27 April 2019
Mull and her Inlets and Islands
Having returned the feedback form, had not planned to post any review of our cruise but have changed my mind as thought it may be helpful to balance a review on a later trip to the same area. Our first Majestic cruise certainly met and exceeded our expectations, helped by better Spring weather than we had anticipated. Highlights for us were the half day trip with a wildlife expert around the countryside and shoreline of the north of Mull, standing at the entrance to Fingal’s cave, a sunny afternoon ashore on Iona, and the magic of 4 or 5 dolphins playing under the bows of the ship for 20 minutes on our last full day at sea. We were well looked after and enjoyed the friendly and informative hospitality of our Scottish and American crew. There were one or two occasions when things could have be a little better organised or the service a little more polished but this was the first time they had worked together, and this genuine care by local people is one of the things that for us made this holiday special. On what other cruise do you get the skipper serving breakfast each day! As for the food we enjoyed all our meals, especially not having to make menu choices. We felt the menu was well balanced, with special touches such as freshly made bread each lunch time, and the range cakes at coffee and teatime. The standard of cooking was good, but perhaps not the “cordon bleu” standard suggested in the brochure. Perhaps we were just realistic in our expectations as to what can be produced by one cook in a small galley, but in our feedback suggested it may be better if the company puts the emphasis more on freshly prepared meals from local ingredients, with some traditional local dishes, which were the elements we most enjoyed. A personal preference would have been to have more fresh fruit offered. Finally, a brief comment on our journey to and from Oban as it was the prospect of such a long journey from the West Country that proved one of major issues for us in deciding whether to book this holiday. In fact we decided to drive and had a very comfortable journey with an overnight stop in a quiet budget hotel (PI) just off the motorway near Wigan, followed by 2 nights in Glasgow that we much enjoyed, staying in a another PI in a converted tax office in a good central location.. On our return to Oban the skipper helpfully booked a early taxi for all the car drivers to collect our cars from MacQueens, so we could make a prompt start on our journeys home; this proved uneventful for us with an overnight stop at the same hotel near Wigan. A memorable and special holiday for us in my wife’s 80 birthday year. We enjoyed sharing the relaxed and informal lifestyle on board with our friendly and considerate fellow passengers and crew. Richard Coode June 2019.