We have cruised with Fred Olsen on several occasions on the Boudicca. Having had two cruises this year we only decided at last minute to cruise on the Black Watch because of the attractive 28 days Anchor Fare. We opted for a Superior Outside cabin and late dinner sitting.
When our tickets arrived shortly before the departure we were placed in cabin 5112 - a Superior Outside which was marked "subject to some noise and vibration" and allocated an early dinner sitting.
When we rang F. Olsen to change the dinner sitting we were told it would cost £2 per person per night to change. Very reluctantly we paid £112 as an early dinner is not to our liking.
Our cabin was certainly a Superior Outside, spacious and well equipped BUT when manoeuvring in port, at certain sea states or engine revs. the cabin shook so that items fell off the dressing table and the noise was akin to having a pneumatic drill in the cabin. Having booked a late fare we were obviously given the crap cabin!
Talking to other last minute Anchor Fare passengers it was obvious that Fred Olsen now have a deliberate policy of giving late bookers the opposite dinner sitting to the one they request and then try and extract a £2 per passenger per night levy to change. A cheap, unpleasant way of raising revenue and doing little for passenger relations. Because the ship was only 2/3rds full the dining room on both sittings had plenty of room.
The irony was that, after we had booked, cruise web sites were offering balcony cabins for less than we had paid for an Anchor Fare Superior Outside.
The cruise itself was excellent although with 3 days bad weather on leaving Dover and not F.Olsens fault.
Food was good but by no means top class and the entertainment what you would expect on a small ship.
Cost cutting was obvious judging by our previous F.Olsen cruises but still good value.
However, if attracted by last minute deals be aware of the possible problems I have written about.