6 Fred. Olsen Black Watch Canary Islands Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have sailed with Fred Olsen on the Boudicca before and enjoyed it, so thought we'd like to try one of Fred's other ships. The cabin was just about adequate in terms of living space although storage and wardrobe ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed with Fred Olsen on the Boudicca before and enjoyed it, so thought we'd like to try one of Fred's other ships. The cabin was just about adequate in terms of living space although storage and wardrobe space was fine. The one thing which spoilt the cruise for me was the vibration in our cabin which was persistent and very noticeable. I will come back to this later in the review. We chose the cruise because it went to a warm destination at a time of year which we thought wouldn't be too stormy, sadly we were proved wrong, but this wasn't the fault of the ship or Fred Olsen. As a result of bad weather we couldn't dock at Funchal so missed a chance to visit that lovely island. The Dining Room was well lit and clean and the food well presented. The food on the the cruise was very good. The choice on the menu and the quality of the food was exceptional. We were on the Drinks Package which was limited in choice but more than acceptable. The onboard lectures were limited and on very similar topics which sadly did not appeal to us. Daytime entertainment was fine especially the quizs and Bridge. Evening entertainment was varied and "entertaining". The vocalists in the bars were exceptionally good. The service from all of the crew was fantastic and couldn't be faulted. Embarkation and disembarkation went without a hitch. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
The cruise was some what spoilt by the need to up date the cabins we could see that the chairs could do with a good cleaning or throwing out. The chairs in the library are very hard to get out of for older people. The pillows in cabins and ... Read More
The cruise was some what spoilt by the need to up date the cabins we could see that the chairs could do with a good cleaning or throwing out. The chairs in the library are very hard to get out of for older people. The pillows in cabins and quilts could also do with throwing out and start again Getting on and of ship was no problem for fit people but for people with disabilities it was harder for them but staff did do there best with a smile on there faces. Entertainment is very mixed the show company could do with a big shake up very very boring it just the same all the time. The comedian we had on was so out dated it was bad. The rest of the entertainers were very good Olger the lady who played the piano and Kim who sang in the afternoon where great. Really enjoyed taking part in the Christmas pantomime that we did and the guess the killer. The ships crew night was great entertament Dining . I'm afraid not as good as other times. Some days it was great then the next it seemed to be cut back day but overall it was ok. Staff. The staff are always smiling and look happy and always happy to give a willing hand where ever they can All in all it was a very good Christmas cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
As soon as your car arrived in the drop off area, porters would immediately take your luggage and it was in your cabin after we had checked in. Embarkation was delayed as the ship was a little late in arriving at Liverpool, due to the ... Read More
As soon as your car arrived in the drop off area, porters would immediately take your luggage and it was in your cabin after we had checked in. Embarkation was delayed as the ship was a little late in arriving at Liverpool, due to the bad weather; many people could be heard complaining to each about the delay and how cold it was. Even though we were late in departing from Liverpool due to gales, the rest of the cruise was fault less. The weather for the rest of the cruise kept on improving. The crew were wonderful always polite and friendly and worked extremely hard. The drinks waiters always remembered what you liked to drink and your name - how they can remember with so many aboard, I'll never know. Food was excellent, we only ate one breakfast and lunch in the Glantanar restaurant, but dined there most evenings with full waiter service. We had our breakfast and lunch in the "Garden" restaurant, self service buffet, you could choose anything and any amount. The entertainment was good, but trying to get a seat in the main theatre lounge was difficult, so we usually went up to the Observatory and then to the Lido lounge. The ship was very clean, in all areas and naturally the painting of the hull was ongoing when we were in port. We went on a few ships tours, these were well organised, very informative and gave you a chance to see the interesting area of the various places. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We booked the cruise via Saga, and were told that it was All Inclusive. The list included all on board gratuities. However, at the end of the cruise we were charged the standard £4 per day for this. On the first day we did not know that ... Read More
We booked the cruise via Saga, and were told that it was All Inclusive. The list included all on board gratuities. However, at the end of the cruise we were charged the standard £4 per day for this. On the first day we did not know that we had the all inclusive drinks package. Fred Olsen had written to us inviting us to pay for this. However, once on board, our Saga rep told us that we already had this package included. Some miscommunication there between Fred Olsen and Saga. Other than that the cruise was very enjoyable. The food was wonderful, the staff could not have been more helpful and friendly, and there were various on board activities and talks. We liked that the boat was relatively small, and the slick way in which it docked and left the ports was very impressive. The time ashore was rather short, and as we chose not to go on any organised trips (very expensive), our options were somewhat limited. Just time for a short stroll around really. We didn't dare to venture too far for fear of missing the boat departure time. There were shuttle buses where the town was far for walking, and, as Saga passengers we did not have to pay for these, though others had to pay £5. It would have been nice to spend a couple of days in Madeira and miss one of the other islands. In fact, maybe miss two islands and spend more time at the other two? That might encourage us to book another cruise to the Canaries, next time seeing the islands missed. As it is, we will probably go on another cruise, but to a different destination. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We left from Southampton (not on list of choices).Worth going the extra miles to reach Cape Verde... warmer and sunnier. We liked the 2 days at sea and then a port stop procedure. All good ports to stop at and Lisbon especially interesting ... Read More
We left from Southampton (not on list of choices).Worth going the extra miles to reach Cape Verde... warmer and sunnier. We liked the 2 days at sea and then a port stop procedure. All good ports to stop at and Lisbon especially interesting (but cooler of course). Fred Olsen did screw up with embarkation as boat was late (or still being checked after a dry dock experience) and passengers were slowed down by queues of some length. Not what was expected by an older crowd. Finish one queue and then find another. Not good. Lots of standing when we could have been sat down for 2 hours. AND WE HAD TO PAY FOR TEAS AND SANDWICHES! Only the British put up with this nonsense. NB on returning, the porters are FREE but not very forthcoming. Taxis will 90% take you to the wrong Train entrance... deliberately as it saves them 5-10 minutes. Find out where you want to go before you get in and insist and then check on arrival at the train station! Take Taxi number. A big big problem for older people. A great crowd of people on board and much fun had, especially at the 10pm quiz every night. Entertainment was very good. Thanks to Ashley, the acts and all the entertainment staff. I would easily do this cruise again. Good enrichment speakers, well attended. Food? Very good and back to where it was 2 yrs ago. Lots of choice and good meals. Currys are always excellent. We ate more in informal Garden Cafe. Very nice. Food staff did seem a little more stressed and tired than previously. Black Watch is great allround winner. And the passengers seem younger than they did 10 years ago! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Smooth and well organised embarkation, nice welcome from staff as we entered the ship. The cabin was spacious with ample storage, we had a wardrobe each with space for shoes & suitcases, the cabin was clean & tidy and the beds were ... Read More
Smooth and well organised embarkation, nice welcome from staff as we entered the ship. The cabin was spacious with ample storage, we had a wardrobe each with space for shoes & suitcases, the cabin was clean & tidy and the beds were really comfortable, the cabin steward made up our beds and cleaned the cabin whilst we were at lunch & dinner. The highlight for me was the standard and quality of the food served at all meals, our table waiter (Danzil)was first class friendly & very professional what we really liked was that the staff had time to stop and chat unlike the P&O staff on our last cruise who were surly and too busy to care.The soups served at lunch & dinner were hot extremely tasty and well presented, the meals were good sized portions and were always hot and well presented (unlike the lukewarm effort one gets with P&O). Entertainment wasn't always to our choice but the 3 shows we did choose to watch were excellent, I would say that the majority of passengers went to most of the nightly shows. The weather wasn't always good enough to have a sail away party when leaving ports but the one we did have was great fun and we were even given complimentary rum punch unlike P&O who charge an average of £3.50 per drink. Disembarkation was as smooth as embarkation we were driving out of Dover within 1 hour of getting up and we even had time for breakfast! We will certainly be going with Fred.Olsen again they seem to have everything right, the ships are not the huge liners that one sees these days but for quality of service, food and the right balance of all day entertainment small is definitely beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Black Watch Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 5.0 4.2
Entertainment 5.0 3.7
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.4
Family 2.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.6
Rates 4.0 4.4

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click