Personal Background Information Widow of nearly 70 years who likes to travel Only had experience of 3 cruises, the first on Grand Princess to Scandanavia spoilt me, I could not fault the ship experience and assumed that other crusie lines wold be as good.
Travel To Port of Embarkation arranged private travel to Dubai Hotel and Igloo Cruises arranged transfer to Fred Olsen's Balmoral
Hotel Info (if any) - Arabian Courtyard in Dubai is central and opposite the Dubai Museum which is well worth a visit. Nice hotel very efficeint, cheerful and helpful.
Embarkation - I need assistance up the gangway but Olsen's staff were not in evidence despite asking for assistance. One of the cruise speakers helped me and took me to my cabin.
Stateroom - Single inside
Ship Info Fred Olsen's Balmoral Deck 6 Starboard exit in front of Palms diesel and air-conditioning fumes vented out. Very bad design that Olsen's are aware of but do not rectify. I was unable to use deck 6 starboad because these fumes triggered asthma, laryngitis and sinusitis.
Also one day paint fumes invade the interior of deck 6 again bad for my health.
Complaint made to Guest Relations Manager whos eattitude was patronising and unhelpful.
A fellow passenger told me that on a previous cruise he could not use his balcony (above the doorway deck 6 starboard in front of Palms) because of fumes and on complaint could not be moved but received compensation from Olsen.
I have not yet received any official acknowlwdgement of my complaint. Cruise ended 27 April 2013
Dining -reasonable choice but food deteriorated towards end of cruise
Activities - limited
Children's Clubs none
Staff & Service not up to standard in most areas BUT in Palms Cafe waiters were excellent.
Shore Excursions seemed OK
Disembarkation well organised.