True to Fram's Norwegian heritage, its cabins are comfortable and offer modern furnishings without pretense or glitz.
To reduce the necessary fuel-burning that creates electricity, the ship requires passengers to insert their key cards in slots just inside their cabin doorways when entering. That means when you leave the cabin and remove the card, all electrical power in the cabin is cut off. However, lighting itself is not spared; it is exceptionally good in the bathroom and cabin, and every bed has a tiny reading light.
However, many travelers are used to returning from an excursion or time ashore and immediately recharging their camera batteries or computer tablets upon their return to the cabin. On Fram, that only works if you plan on staying on inside; when you head to a lecture or a meal and remove your card, the electricity is cut, and the batteries of your electronic devices stop recharging.
There are 128 cabins, divided into seven categories of suites and standards; 24 standards are interior. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TV's, a hair dryers, safes and fridges. You can ask to have your mini-bar stocked by filling out a form found in your cabin; you'll pay about $2.85 for sodas, $3.60 for water, etc. Suite occupants get a bonus: their fridges are already stocked with liquor and soft drinks, and those first cans and bottles are included in the fare.
One unusual aspect of the cabins is the bedding. The bed covering is a duvet, but instead of a sheet atop the mattress there is a slightly rough, textured pad.
The tile and chrome bathrooms (with showers) are small and efficient. Bathrooms in the suites are slightly larger, have an extra floor-to-ceiling cabinet for stowing toiletries, and showers with a nicely curved Plexiglass door. (Standard cabins have shower curtains.) Recognizing potential problems caused by sailing rough waters, that curved shower door is held open by a plastic hook on one end of a bungy cord; to secure the door once you're in the shower, you need to reach up and slide forward a small bolt at the rear of the door. Bath amenities are few -- a bar of Palmolive soap, a shower cap, a bottle of skin lotion and combination soap-shampoo-conditioner found in dispensers at the sink and in the shower. If you want a bath mat, you need to request one from housekeeping. Passengers in standard cabins can "rent" bathrobes.
Aside from space (183 to 291 square feet, plus one of 420 square feet), the primary advantage of the 39 suites is the bed. It's a real queen-size mattress, not the usual two twins pushed together. Standard cabins (118 to 140 square feet) have two or four single beds that fold out from the walls. During the day, one bed converts to a sofa.
Other amenities in each suite are a sitting area with a glass-topped table, couch and large wing chair, electric kettle for making tea or instant coffee, bowl of fruit, welcome bottle of wine and terry robes. And, at meals, suite passengers can sit at reserved tables at the stern and enjoy complimentary beverages at lunch and dinner. They even have a tiny buffet with such additional items as smoked salmon -- intead of the gravlax or peppered salmon on the main buffet, perhaps a dozen steps away.
Six grand suites that fill the stern across Decks 5 and 6 have balconies, furnished with teak lounge chairs and fabulous views.
You'll need to pack adaptors for the round-pin 220-volt outlets. While many battery chargers and laptops can convert that voltage to 110, it's a good idea to bring a converter, too.
There are two wheelchair-accessible cabins on Deck 3, close to the two elevators.
Fram Cabin Reviews
We were in suite 638. It is a category MJ suite with a balcony. The suite was very spacious but not as conveniently appointed as we have seen on other lines. There was not much storage for this size cabin and the bathroom was very small and without the finishes that we...continue
January 2013 Longterm Traveler
Very pleasant "F" suite on the 5th floor, with good view window and very comfortable queen bed. This was about the size and quality of a good (not luxurious) hotel room, and was more than adequate for the the two of us....continue
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The two person cabin was pretty small. We had two beds with about 40 cm in between. The cabin was about 2 by 4 m, including a little shower/toilet. It was just enough but not more then that....continue