First Cruise and Most Enjoyable: Braemar Cruise Review by Yachties
Overall Member Rating
First Cruise and Most Enjoyable
Destination: Canary Islands
In all were were impressed with Fred Olsen's service although we have no other experience for comparison. A future cruise will depend on the ease of flying to the departure point or we would go from Southampton given interesting destinations. Minor niggles include the closure of our "local" bar on our deck 8 - the "Observatory" for a private party while entering the port of Funchal. Closing a public facility for whatever reason for the benefit of a few is not fair - we paid a lot of money for our cabin and don't expect to be denied a service. We think that the idea of some staff working for tips is unfair. We paid the standard sum as it would be difficult to single out individuals for reward as they are all so good and we visited so many areas on board. Why not pay all staff fairly and charge accordingly? Charging extra for shuttle buses to port was a bit unfair on the less mobile guests. We are used to long walks so we didn't need them but I can't remember mention of any charge at the time of booking or on the web site. The wifi service was dire and ridiculously expensive. We found service ashore most times but when at sea all day reluctantly paid £5 for 25 mins but due to the lack of speed hardly got anything done. People who work from home or are club volunteers monitoring their organisation's web site need better than this. Most of the time we couldn't get Ch5 on the cabin TV where the information videos on ports of call were. We found it strange not to be able to bring back a bottle of local wine to drink in our cabin; it felt like we were returning to England each day. We felt a bit like captive customers here but would never go all inclusive as the choices available were not to our taste (why go all the way to Spanish Islands to drink Boddington's!) The cabin shopping was useful as a decent bottle of gin was quite reasonable.
Overall we had a memorable experience and cruising is an ideal way to see lots of different places. Despite the niggles mentioned we would go with Fred again without hesitation. We aren't attracted by larger ships despite having conversations with other guests regarding the merits or otherwise. The lack of sun deck or pool space is no bother - pointless getting an all-over tan when you have to wear winter woollies on return home. We are restricted to winter months for travel because our summer is taken up by other activities but a cruise provides a welcome break from the misery of English weather. We were impressed by our first ever cruise and life on Braemar. Less
Cabin review: 8001
Great position next to the Observatory Bar and on the top deck. Bigger cabin made for more comfort and the balcony is larger that those on deck 6. Actually ideal and we would request similar on another cruise despite the expense!