Black Watch Entertainment
Showtime is staged twice nightly in the Neptune Lounge, which is furnished with a combination of banquettes, tables and chairs. The best seats are in the middle section; try to avoid seats near the front of the side sections, which are at a sharp angle to the stage, while sight lines of some seats in back rows are partially blocked by pillars. There is a Black Watch Show Company which performs with an orchestra at 8:45 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. every evening, though, this can be interspersed with variety-type acts: comedians, vocalists and instrumentalists. The Casino is very small with just two tables -- one for blackjack and one for roulette. Musical entertainment is also provided nightly in the Observatory piano/bar and the Lido Lounge has music for dancing.
During lunch time there is piano music in the Lido Lounge and a trio play in the Braemar Lounge, a favourite gathering place throughout the day and night. It is adorned with a green and blue Scotch plaid carpet and green, blue and red sofas and chairs. People come here to chat, read, and relax before and after meals as the Braemar is adjacent to the Glentanar Restaurant entrance; this room also plays host to the popular, heavily attended afternoon tea.
Just across from the Braemar is the smaller Piper's Bar, a Scottish-themed watering hole with tartan-patterned carpet (orange and green) and décor featuring golf clubs, old posters that reference golf and news clippings. The Braemar Lounge is next to the Braemar Room where the trio is set up to entertain. The Lido Lounge has a bar, nightly entertainment and karaoke. The Lido Lounge includes outside seating overlooking the pool where classes such as vegetable carving take place, and is alongside the attractive wood-panelled Explorer's Library which (they claim) has one of the largest collections of any library at sea. Three decks up and all the way forward on Marquee Deck is the Observatory Lounge, an elegant piano/bar with deep blue carpets surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows. This is a great place to watch the passing scene drift by during days at sea and enjoy a cocktail in the evening.
Other onboard recreational activities have a distinct British flavour such as deck quoits, carpet boules and darts, while traditional cruise ship favorites like bingo, bridge and dance classes are also on the daily agenda. There is an internet room where you can send and receive e-mail and surf the web. In addition, several movies are screened every day on two channels of the cabin televisions, and one movie is shown daily on the big screen in the ship's Marina Theatre.
During the day, port talks, as well as the VISTA programme lectures (formerly the ArtsClub), are also in the Neptune Lounge. VISTA-themed talks are on specialist subjects e.g. antiques, singing, comedy and more. There is shuffle board, darts, table tennis and deck quoits on deck and exercise classes offered in the gym. Quizzes and Bingo are organised by the cruise staff and take place in the Braemar Room. Art classes are also taught, as are Bridge lessons in the card room next to the library. Port talks can also be viewed on the in-cabin TV.
The dance training couple and dance hosts were exceptional and the dance classes were accessible for everyone with easily attainable goals.
Black Watch Public Rooms
The main business of the ship resides on Main Deck 5 where you will find Reception, shore excursions desk, two retail shops and photo gallery. The Atlantic Deck below houses the beauty salon though massage treatments do take place in the fitness centre on Sun Deck 10.
The spacious cinema and medical centre are on Marina Deck 3, while the Internet café, library and card room are located on Lido Deck 7. The self-service launderettes are on Decks 4 and 5; purchase a token at Reception and washing detergent is automatically discharged.
Black Watch Spa & Fitness
The fitness centre on Sun Deck 10 is surprisingly spacious with enough room for exercise classes, such as Pilates, and for numerous pieces of workout equipment. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow guests using treadmills and stationary bikes a view of the sea. There is no Spa per se, but there are treatment rooms for massages and spa treatments.
Golf nets and tennis courts are also on Sun Deck (10) while deck quoits and shuffleboard are available on Lido Deck 7. The walking track, also on Lido Deck 7, has a couple of obstacles to navigate around (large screens used as wind breaks).
The pool on Lounge Deck 6 is heated which makes swimming a pleasure, and is also quite large at 36 feet (11 metres) by 21 feet (6.5 metres) and with a depth of over 6 feet (2.18 metres) at the deepest point. The pool has a shelf or platform that runs along both its sides. This ‘shelf' is covered with water so you must wade in a few inches of water before getting into the pool. A Jacuzzi is situated a few feet away sharing the same platform and the entire pool area has a surplus of sun loungers. Marquee Deck 9 has a small pool and two Jacuzzis and more sun loungers.
There are other recreational options such as a Games Room on Deck 6 behind the Neptune Lounge with table tennis and board games.
Black Watch also has three golf nets which can be used by passengers. They are often used on cruises that feature Fred. Olsen's Flagship Golf package (additional cost to the cruise).