2 Fred. Olsen Black Watch Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Baltic Sea

We wanted to get away over Christmas and New Year. This cruise was ideal but the only one we could find. We had extreme trouble in the port on the embarkation day. The Port Authority could not cope with the volume of passengers. We sat ... Read More
We wanted to get away over Christmas and New Year. This cruise was ideal but the only one we could find. We had extreme trouble in the port on the embarkation day. The Port Authority could not cope with the volume of passengers. We sat in a non moving queue watching the taxi meter go from £13 to £20 finally getting out and carrying our luggage 100 metres to baggage check in. The cruise itself was great although we were struck down with a "Virus" for the last 5 of the 15 days. We didn't leave the cabin. Luckily this virus was in the form of a hacking cough and not stomach related. Many passengers were affected. Everything on board was good, food, service, cabin and most of the entertainment although we did have a guy called Christopher Gee who had, quite frankly, seen better days, dreadful. We did have issues with a couple of the port tours. We were disappointed that the catamaran used to take us Whale Watching was so large ( about 200 passengers) BUT we did see Whales so all good really. The other disappointing tour was Reindeer Sledding. Got to do it when you go to Norway. We arrived at the Sami Village and had a drink and traditional cake along with a talk about Sami Life, all very interesting. We were then divided into groups to go down to the reindeer. Bear in mind it was dark. We were led outside and a guy on a snow mobile helped a disabled person to get down to the lower level. He shot off with her on the machine and left the rest of us floundering around not knowing where to go. The Path was unmarked and unlit. We finally made it. They were having trouble controlling the reindeer! We were in a line of about 6 sleds, we were 2nd to last with a young reindeer behind us, well, we thought it was going to get into the sled with us and it was only my hand pushing it away which stopped by wife being injured. She was petrified and the trip was totally spoilt. I did complain at the time to the handler he admitted the problem. I complained again when back on board. I was given a 33% refund as a "Good Will Gesture" but I'm not happy. When taking these shore tours it's important to feel safe and that someone from the ship is keeping a lookout for you. Well this certainly wasn't the case. Definitely no Health and Safety procedures here. Other shore tours were good if a little more expensive than usual. Brilliant Northern Lights experience and an Igloo Hotel. This is my 2nd time to Norway so not sure would go back again but the scenery is amazing. My wife absolutely loved it. Seeing snow at Christmas really made the experience truly great. We've been travelling with P & O for our last few cruises on their smaller ships and I don't think there is much to choose between them. Hope this is helpful. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Yet another superb cruise – our 7th so far. This was the second time with Fred and Black Watch for my wife and I and we chose this cruise for the ports of call and the fact it departed from a local port. The only slight drawback was that ... Read More
Yet another superb cruise – our 7th so far. This was the second time with Fred and Black Watch for my wife and I and we chose this cruise for the ports of call and the fact it departed from a local port. The only slight drawback was that this cruise seemed to attract much older clientele than previous cruises we’ve been on so there weren’t too many folk our age or younger (we’re early 50s). Sadly we didn’t make Mull (Tobermory) due to weather and anchoring issues but we disembarked at all the other ports and did a variety of walks under our own steam. The Fred Olsen excursions are a bit pricey and we instead used the Walkhighlands website to plan trips. Everything lived up to (or exceeded) expectations so it’s probably best to call out the highlights. 1. Food – everything was top quality and the service invariably good. We had requested a table for two but ended up sharing with a tee-total couple in their 80s. We feared this might not be a good match but ended up having a great laugh with them. 2. Lido Lounge – located aft on Deck 7 it’s the place to go if you want to party a bit on board. You need to seek it out as it’s hidden away. Lovely staff in here and great music too. A special mention for The Secret (Jane and Andrew) who are not only extremely talented musicians but also really nice people. They would take time to stop for a chat and a laugh if you met them on-board or in port. 3. Entertainment – the Show Team performed a number of times over the course of the week and each show just seemed to get better and better. The other evening entertainment (Gerry Graham/Leo Shavers) was decent too. 4. Ports of call – a friendly welcome in all ports and I personally loved them all. Lerwick possibly my favourite and a visit to the museum highly recommended. Loved being back on the (refurbished) Black Watch and we will certainly consider further cruises with Fred. Olsen in future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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

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