In May, 6 of us travelled on the Balmoral to Norway as first time cruisers and we are now really hooked on cruising. The ship was lovely as were most of the staff and we really the enjoyed the entertainment especially the crew's entertainment with the engineers in their bin bags and orange coats! Everyone was in stitches and whoever thought of this has a brilliant imagination! Unfortunately my husband missed this as he was feeling rather seasick - anyone got a cure for this?
We were so lucky with the weather as it only rained in Bergen and this was during the afternoon which was a pity as I would like to have explored this pretty town a bit more. I have to say I didn't like the fact that they were selling whale meat on the market stalls and there was a shop selling pelts, some of which were of wild animals. I don't have a problem with farmed animals, but I don't approve of killing wild animals.
My main gripe is with the allocation of cabins. The six of us all booked at the same time - superior outside cabins - and all paid the same price. It turned out that 2 couples were on Deck 6 and we were on Deck 5.
To be fair we were told by the Travel Agent that there was no guarantee where we would be, but surely common sense should have kicked in and put us all together, as I am now feeling very aggrieved that we were in "cattle class" and the other were on a nice Deck with larger windows and twin beds and on the reception deck. We had single beds with bunk beds folded back over the top but at least we had a bath as well as a shower. I rang Fred Olsen when I knew the cabin allocation and asked if we could all be on the same deck and they had the cheek to say that I could pay to upgrade! If we hadn't all booked at the same time I could understand the difference but as we all paid the same price I do think we should all have had the same standard of cabin. For this reason I will probably not cruise with Fred Olsen again.