3 Fred. Olsen Balmoral Middle East Cruise Reviews

We flew to Singapore and spent the next 35 days sailing back to Southampton. This was to be a cruise of a life time combined with our honeymoon. This was my 6th cruise and my husbands 3rd so we knew the ropes , more or less. The 1st ... Read More
We flew to Singapore and spent the next 35 days sailing back to Southampton. This was to be a cruise of a life time combined with our honeymoon. This was my 6th cruise and my husbands 3rd so we knew the ropes , more or less. The 1st week was fine, nice However later on we went on excursions tho even then there were disappointments. WE were taken to a museum in Thailand that was empty apart from a few photos on the walls, WHY? then we went on to a fishing village and were treated to some allegedly authentic native dancing. This was just a line of women swaying to some caterwalling singing, and wearing clothes they must have bought recently in a local market. Later on this tour we were taken to magnificant temples so that made up for the shortcomings. WE had noticed a lot of coughing all round the ship, people referred to this as The Balmoral cough". My husband contracted this in our second week, and I got it 2 days later. It was a nasty cough, sore throats and flu like symptoms, which made us feel really ill. WE saw the Doctor after 7 to 10 days as we were no better. WE were given antibiotics and pills, which worked for me, but not my husband. He had to go back to the Doc and get more medication (which didn't work either). All had to be paid for of course. Captain and crew were only concerned about the norovirus, not at all worried by all the coughing etc going on. WE started to recover, but about a week later we had the bug again. THis was common amongst the passengers. However we did manage to enjoy some of the cruise. BUt we felt FRed Olsen was cutting costs everywhere. The food wasn't good. On a cruise that is the least you can expect! The entertainment wasn't up to much either. WE felt that the tours were expensive and most not really worth the money. For instance the visit to the Maldives was ridicuous. WE opted out of that, but other passengers said it was just a hike through a building site! To top everything off, on asking reception about booking a taxi home we were told, no they had no provision for bookings but there would be plenty of taxis. There were NOT. Hordes of fellow passengers trying to hire a taxi, with no luck at all. WE ended up walking to the railway station, lugging our cases, and getting a taxi at the station.This was about half an hours walk! So, now we will never cruise again, and certainly not with Fred Olsen. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I boarded the balmoral on jan 4 in southampton as a solo traveller , going thru passport control and the embarkation was nice and easy well organized. I had a nice cabin ( my home for the next 4 months ) it was an inside cabin but no ... Read More
I boarded the balmoral on jan 4 in southampton as a solo traveller , going thru passport control and the embarkation was nice and easy well organized. I had a nice cabin ( my home for the next 4 months ) it was an inside cabin but no matter, my plan was to spend as much time around the ship doing things as possible. I chose to eat in the Psalms the self service restaurant, there was a great amount of different types of food for everyone. In the morning there fresh baked rolls and pastries were excellent. The entertainment was good and varied and lots of talks in the, you could learn to paint, sing in a choir, dance lessons, lots of games and a gym. I feel its a very happy well run ship all the staff on the ship are polite and well mannered and a pleasure to deal with at whatever level. For me all the service was first class. The one problem on this is the "Balmoral cough" from the day I arrived untill the day I left it was on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Balmoral Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 3.9
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.1
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.6
Family 2.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.4
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.8

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