I took the second sector of the "Balmoral" 2014 world cruise from Dubai to Hong Kong. The flight from London by Virgin Atlantic was very good and arrived on time. After speedy airport formalities we were swiftly transferred to the ship. As ever, "Balmoral" looked in good condition despite the battering it had received leaving the UK earlier that month. Despite being an older ship it is well maintained and very comfortable. I had a single cabin on deck 4 which was spacious with plenty of storage space and a picture window. The room was serviced twice daily to a very high standard.
The cuisine was of a very high standard. I dined in the Spey restaurant on deck 10 which is relatively small. The service was very good. For breakfast and lunch I used all the ship's reaturants.
The daytime entertainment followed the normal pattern. There were lectures, some very good. The classical concerts were first class. I found the promenade deck and swimming pools a great asset and used then daily. The evening cabarets were mixed. The "Balmoral" show company put on a few good shows and some on the other artists gave good performances. One or two were well past their sell-by date.
The staff on Fred. Olsen ships are always cheerful, helpful and friendly. This was certainly the case on this cruise. The only small exception is the reception desk where pressure sometimes leads to a somewhat less than customer-friendly attitiude.
The itinerary of this relatively short cruise was my main reason for booking. . Muscat in Oman was as charming as ever , Mumbai as chaotic but attractiveas always and Cochin a delight. The call in Sri Lanka was great. I took an overnight visit to Kandy and wasn't disappoined. The hotel was superb and the sights in and around the city were fascinating. Our next port of call was Yangon in Myanmar (formally Burma). As we were one of the first cruise ships to visit there we didn't know what to expect. We were delighted by the reception we received and the beauty of the place. I took an overnight tour to Manadalay. The flights to and from there were on time, comfortable and the airports spotless. The city was real joy and all I had anticipated and more. There was so much to see. The hotel was excellent. I just wishes we had more time there. Singapore was much the same as ever and becomes progressively more affluent and the years go by. There is much to see there. After lovely warm weather Hong Kong was much cooler. . However, the weather was good and I did a crash tour of the main places of interest.
II flew home on Cathay Pacific who were very good but almost 13 hours is a very long flight.
It was a most interesting and ejoyable cruise.