Magellan Main Show Lounge (Decks 8 and 9)
Tiered seating in the lounge, which holds 793 people, means everyone has a good view unless it is packed to capacity and you have no option but to sit behind one of the pillars. During the day, the lounge is often a hive of activity with cooking demonstrations, shore excursion presentations and talks. During a recent cruise, ex-diplomat Sir James Hodge gave talks and lectures about the Vikings and about his time as a diplomat. This is the main venue for evening entertainment, with floor shows, singers and dancers. Two 40-minute-long shows --held at 8:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. -- comprise unremarkable-though-enthusiastic song-and-dance acts and comedians.
All manner of things take place during the day on Magellan including quizzes, bean bag bowls, bingo, rope quoits and word games in the Captain's Club, 'knit and natter' sessions in Hampton's Bar and fitness classes, dance-based exercise classes and ballroom dance classes in Scott's Nightclub and Sinatra's Lounge Bar. On cruises of five nights or more, there are craft classes too -- these include millinery, bead jewellery, mosaic decoration, calligraphy and decorative card art. Some require passengers to buy materials onboard. Most craft classes take place in the conference room and bridge players gather daily in the card room.
Casino Royale (Deck 9 or Deck 10): Even with seats for 100,the casino does not have a bar. On sea days, slots are open from 10 a.m. to late, and roulette and blackjack tables are open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. to late. When in port, slots and tables are open from 8 p.m. to late.
Bars and lounges are spacious with fresh decor, and they are all comfortable. Staff are friendly and after one evening it is something of a surprise to realise they remember your preferred tipple. Alcoholic drinks are reasonably priced with no additional service charge added to the bill.
Captain's Club Magellan (Deck 9): Open from 7 a.m. 'til late, this area, which seats 191, is an ideal place for a drink and is always busy with cruisers relaxing with pre-dinner cocktails. Different-coloured ceiling panel lights -- green, pink, silver, blue -- give a funky feel. On the stage you might find a singer or a jazz quartet and when the sun goes down, dancers come out to strut their stuff on the dance floor. The most expensive drink offered is Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial at £55 for 75cl, while aperitif cocktails including negroni, a dry martini and Champagne cocktails all cost £3.85. The Magellan cocktail, a mix of dark rum, Amaretto, lemon and pineapple, is £4. The Magellan is also the name of a specialty coffee with coffee, Amaretto and cream, costing £3.10.
Hampton's Lounge Bar (Deck 8): This bar with clubby feel, black grand piano and wall-mounted TV, seats up to 72. It is an ideal location for meeting friends for pre-dinner drinks, especially for those dining in the Kensington as it is situated right outside the main door. There are plenty of sofas and tub chairs for passengers to lounge in and small circular tables to hold drinks while being entertained by singers or pianists. The bar sells bottled, canned and draught beer, priced from £2.30 to £4.30. It is open from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.
Sinatra's Lounge Bar (Magellan Deck 9): With room for 84 and open from 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sinatra's is easy on the eye. This space has grey and cream bucket chairs, circular tables, black-and-green patterned carpet, ceiling spotlights, a grand piano and a selection of monochrome pictures of Hollywood stars. Panoramic windows afford great views. The drinks menu is the same as the other onboard bars.
Scott's Nightclub (Magellan Deck 9): This nightclub with sultry atmosphere has a '60s feel with impressively large circular multicoloured ceiling lights and chairs in a variety of colours -- tan, rust and blue -- tall silver-coloured bar stools and a gaudy yellow plastic bar. It seats 86 partygoers and has a dance floor and DJ. It is often almost empty until after the second show finishes when it bursts into life. Opening hours are from 8 p.m. until late -- when I was onboard this was often 4 a.m. or 5 a.m., depending on when the last revellers decide to go to bed. If you're a karaoke fan, this is where to come.
Eros Bar (Deck 10): This alfresco bar seats 224 and serves the main pool area. It is usually open from 9 a.m. until late, weather permitting.
Lido Bar (Deck 10 aft): Open from 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Seating 28, the cream-coloured bar curves outwards and has an Art Deco feel.
Neptune Observation Bar (Deck 11): Seating just 29, this bar is located outside high up on Deck 11, and is closed during inclement weather (as it was on our cruise).
There are two pools. The main pool on Columbus Deck 10 is in a large, teak-lined well deck. The Lido pool overlooks the stern on the same deck and has two Jacuzzis alongside. Sun loungers on metal frames have tan or blue covers. There is plenty of deck space so the area rarely feels overcrowded.
Deck 11 is where to find the few limited recreational pursuits including shuffleboard, chess, table tennis and table football.
The Sun Terrace on Deck 12 aft seats 50 sunbathers and has an oval-shaped hot tub. Metal frame blue-covered loungers are in evidence here. Due to the layout, it never feels too crowded.
Medical Centre (Deck 3): Open 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Reception: Open 24 hours a day.
Shore Excursion Desk: Open from 10.30 a.m. to 12.45 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; all passenger services are on Deck 5.
Nansen Card & Bridge Room (Deck 9): This room has 10 card tables each with four red plush covered chairs. This is where to find a small selection of board games including Scrabble, Monopoly and Othello.
Shackleton's Conference Room (Deck 9): Seats 26.
Livingstone Library (Deck 9): A quiet, tucked-away room, Livingstone seats 20 on dark-red antique Chesterfield sofas and chairs. Resembling an old-fashioned English club, it holds a generous selection of fiction, non-fiction, general interest and reference books. All are in English. There is also a selection of board games and jigsaw puzzles available. It is staffed from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. though is open all day and is popular with people doing puzzles or reading papers.
The Mall (Deck 9): The Mall is a wide, spacious area with seating in front of the windows. While onboard, stalls were set up on a couple of days for various activities including vegetable carving, towel folding and cookery demonstrations.
Shopping Galleria (Deck 9): While at sea, both shops are open from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. On port days, opening hours are 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Shops sell duty-free perfume, cigarettes and alcohol, jewellery, cosmetics, holidaywear including ladies dresses, mens' shirt and t-shirts, chocolates and a small range of paperback books.
Internet Cafe Magellan (Deck 9): Located next to Sinatra's Lounge Bar on a raised level. The Internet Cafe has seven work stations and Wi-Fi costs £10 for two hours, four hours is £15 and 12 hours is £35. Should assistance be required, call reception.
Photo Gallery Amundsen (Deck 9): The photographers are often in evidence around the ship and on a couple of evenings during the cruise, they also come to the dining rooms. The desk is staffed from 10 a.m. until noon on sea days and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m. on port days. The price for one photo is £10.99, but keep a look out for occasional offers where if you buy three photos, you get another three free of charge. The 'Crystal' package available only on the first three days of the cruise costs £135.99 and covers 12 photographs and the cruise DVD. The 'Silver' package costs £225.83 and covers 17 photos plus the cruise DVD as well as a Magellan calendar. The top package, the 'Gold' allows you to purchase 25 photos as well as the cruise DVD and calendar. It will set you back £345.73. However, the packages are occasionally reduced in price, so keep an eye out for these deals.
There are no self-service launderettes and no dry cleaning services onboard although passengers can have items laundered and/or ironed. Laundering and ironing a ladies dress is £3.75, an evening gown is £5.50, while a gent's dress shirt costs £2.50. It costs £2.10 for a shirt to be ironed only.
Jade Wellness Centre and Beauty Salon (Magellan Deck 9 aft)
Open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Jade Wellness Centre is a welcoming retreat with warm wood blends, marble and mosaics in the sauna and steam rooms. This tranquil area has jade-coloured decor, comfortable seating area and six individually decorated treatment rooms including a couples' room.
Treatments include aromatherapy, caviar, anti-jetlag and Eastern facials (costing from £41 to£68) as well as all manner of massages from athletic sports and lymphatic drainage to Ayurvedic head massages (a blissful 30-minute treatment at £45). There are the usual body scrubs, manicures and pedicures too. Specific treatments for men include an anti-age facial (£47) and manicure (£21). The sauna and steam bath are complimentary while mood showers and relaxation lounge are free of charge to those having treatments. There are always excellent special offers available on treatments while the ship is in port. The centre also has a separate hairdressing salon where a shampoo and blow dry costs £22.
Fitness Centre (Navigator Deck 11 midship)
The gym has a variety of 'Technogym' equipment including three running machines, two Nordic exercisers, three exercise bikes, several other pieces of gym equipment and free weights. The gym has windows at the front overlooking the pool on the deck below. There is space for aerobics classes in the gym, but it is not currently operational.
There is no jogging track on Magellan. There is a promenade deck, but passengers cannot walk all the way round. Circling the ship involves climbing up a deck, switching to a narrow walkway then down again.