As a regular and loyal Fred Olsen cruiser I would like to add my comments about this cruise.
I chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding Aniversary. It was booked last year at the full brochure price.
Embarkation was smooth and the itinery was fantastic with excellent weather.
We were last on this ship 10 months ago and in our opinion it has changed not for the better. Gone has the happy feel good factor and it does seem that corners and cuts are being made.
In the main restaurant the food was mixed with mundane boring starters and sweets, quantity varied every night. Lunches were not to previous standards and gone was the lovely fish dishes, although breakfast was up to the usual high standard.
Entertainment was very mixed. The live orchestra has gone so there is no atmosphere in the theatre ( this does not include the Braemar Show Group who where fantasic). Drink prices have been hiked up and we think the reason for this is to subsidise the free or £10 drink packages. At times the drink waiters became a nuisance pushing drinks.
The last week of the cruise was ruined when we were informed that a few cars had suffered minor damage on the car park on Dovers cruise terminal. (this turned out to be approx 118 alone from this Ship.) Although this was nothing to do with Fred Olsen Cruise Line it did have a big impact on the holiday mood as information only dribbled through about the situation. When sailing from Dover I usually use Reylon for parking but having recently bought a nearly new car I decided to pay the extra £60. Dover Port flout their Park Safe status. No where does it mention the exposed location and that it could be subjected to sea water damage.
The disembarkation was chaotic due to faulty gang way equipment. Eventually we got off to be faced with the carnage of our cars. The holiday was finally ruined when the Insurance company met us to say that our car was a total write off leaving us thousands of pounds out of pocket.
My warning to anyone sailing out of Dover. DO NOT USE THE PORT OF DOVER'S CAR PARK as it is not fit for purpose and you may also feel mugged as we and many more felt. They claim that you park entirley at your own risk.
Finally we still have 2 more cruises booked with Fred so will make up our minds to see if the standards that we have enjoyed on previous cruises return.