Balmoral Cruise Review by 1962: Brits on the Balmoral
Brits on the Balmoral
As on all previous reviews Immigration at Miami airport was chaos,once cleared you have to then reclaim your bags and transport them to the bus yourselves,which some of Fred Olsens older cruisers struggled with. Embarkation on to the ship was OK and we where shown to our Cabin 1021.We where on Highland deck in a full suite, large and clean, the bathroom is a little tired looking but fine,ladies take your own hairdryer!as the one provided is poor. Dinning was in the Avon on late sitting,the food was excellent,the service was swift, though the wine waiter was slow and we where often through the main course before our wine arrive,would recommend pre -ordering any wine .The wine waiter in the Spey where we took lunch was much better. We used the Observatory bar for pre dinner drinks,the service was excellent,the bar prices are very good, though the wines on offer are limited,but if you ask for one of the restaurant wine menu they will get it for you. The "pub", what can I say its awful so More
far removed from a traditional British pub Fred Olsen need to look at P&O's version on the Arcadia much more like it and my husband would have appreciated a T.V. some where showing some sport. the T.V in the cabins shows news only .
We did not go to any of the musical presentations ,but the comedians were excellent. My husband joined in the darts,table tennis etc and had no complaints about the organization. I used the Spa on several occasions and found the staff wonderful ,also mysteriously the air con always seemed to be working !! Shore excursions need to work on the organization,as each trip has a letter why not designate each one an area of the Neptune Lounge it may make "spotting" of the tours easier . The real issues we had were with the reception desk , boy do they need a crash course in customer services !!! and the Customer Relations manager needs to remember to get back to people.The Commercial Director from Fred Olsen ,Pete was on board trouble shooting ,with a blond haired girl, not sure if she actually worked for Fred Olsen and was on holiday so not doing anything or really his girlfriend who just wanted to be helpful but did not work for Fred Olsen !!! neither wore Fred Olsen badges so alot of people didn't know he was there . The ship had an on going problem with its engines ,which meant we where unable to leave Roatan Island for several hours,when we got back to our cabins that night we had a letter advising the water was short so could we be economical in our usage . The water to our cabin went off 3 times during our 12 night cruise ,The engine failed again as we approached Cozumel so the ship went round in a circle for a while, the air con also went off and never full worked again for the rest of the cruise . Due to the problems they dropped the visit to Key West (we got £40 a head credit on board for that ). Cruisers, if everyone reads and listens to the information provided , disembarkation could go quicker! we waited for 30 mins while the crew search the boat for 2 cabins which hadn't shown for immigration.Our flight to Stanstead was cancelled so we where put up in a hotel Fred Olsen need to take this up with Monarch as it was bad , but on arrival at Stanstead Fred Olsen had organized a taxi to take us home which was a big relief! Over all we would still cruise with Fred Olsen , but never out of the USA , Barbados is so much smoother , but they need to learn from the Balmoral, for the launch of the Breamar in July Less
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