4 Fred. Olsen Black Watch Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

Chosen fro nights at sea and atlantic crossing. We had a major fire on board we were without water, sanitation, lights and power for many hours and adrift without engines or steering for 10 hours in the atlantic ocean. The crew saved ... Read More
Chosen fro nights at sea and atlantic crossing. We had a major fire on board we were without water, sanitation, lights and power for many hours and adrift without engines or steering for 10 hours in the atlantic ocean. The crew saved us but the management were dreadful. There were no contingency plans on board, No proper torches only key ring, no hot food for 3 days, having said that the food was not hot before the fire. After 1 day they could cook it but it was congealed cold eggs, cold bacon, cold beans etc actually served on the table. No bars open after dark we were told to go to bed. Even when arrived port on Saturday no help was given, no entertainment, no ice for cold drinks, hot tea and coffee turned off by 10.30 no alcohol available. We had to leave ship on Sunday to get food and drink which we had to pay for we also had to find places to charge our phones etc. We had not been allowed to contact the outside world. We were treated like moaning school children by reception staff who seemed to think giving information was beneath them. We asked many times how and when to pack and was told we would be informed however they finally told us at 8.45pm that we had to pack 1 case only and leave it outside cabin by 12 midnight. It had to be done in the dark and 1 broken torch was initially offered. We were finally dumped in Dover at 10pm with no means of getting home after 18 hours travelling and no hotels available. We are all physically and mentally traumatised and Olsen has even had the nerve to deduct the 3 days all inclusive charge for the days that we had nothing. They have offered a refund as the law reuires as they did not fulfill their contract but so far no compensation for all these out of pocket expenses and our severe distress Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We are all retired young at heart couples travelling for a birthday celebration with my husbands brother and his wife. We travelled on the door to door service organised by Saga which was very good. Embarkation was very good. We ... Read More
We are all retired young at heart couples travelling for a birthday celebration with my husbands brother and his wife. We travelled on the door to door service organised by Saga which was very good. Embarkation was very good. We were so looking forward to our cruise booked for my brother in laws 70th birthday year. The Cabins which were supposed to be superior outside, were awful. We have been cruising for nearly 20 years and superior these cabins were not. Once we set sail things went from bad to worse. The vibration from the engines and creaking and rattling of the ship prevented any of us from a decent nights sleep the whole holiday. We resorted to earplugs but these did not help with the vibration. When we put our heads on the pillows it was rattling our heads. I would advise avoidance of cabin nos. 5059 or 5061 arghhh! Needless to say we all complained but the situation went unresolved. The daily information on the ship was excellent. The food was very good and our waiters Chai and Arnold really looked after us and we had them the whole holiday which was great. The staff in the dining area and bars worked extremely hard and nothing was too much trouble for them. There were activities onboard such as Quizes and quoits but unfortunately a couple of these flew overboard Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My husband and I had the worst cruise in 25 years of cruising. We were due to leave Southampton on 20th December but the Captain announced that due to heavy storms we would have to stay in port overnight and leave the following afternoon. ... Read More
My husband and I had the worst cruise in 25 years of cruising. We were due to leave Southampton on 20th December but the Captain announced that due to heavy storms we would have to stay in port overnight and leave the following afternoon. We have subsequently discovered that we believe the delay was due to technical problems with the ship, bearing in mind this ship had a 2 day breakdown on the previous cruise, and a further breakdown on the following cruise. So because we were late leaving, our stop in Madeira was cancelled and our first stop would be Barbados after 11 sea days. We actually sailed past Madeira half a day later than scheduled so we could have had a stop there. The P&O ship Aurora left Southampton on the day we were due to leave so how did that ship weather the storm.? We could have left on time we were sure if the ship was mechanically fit. The first week onboard was a nightmare, the weather was awful and a lot of passengers were seasick, me included, I couldn't wait to reach a port, any port. The captain announced that we were only going to be able to have three and a half days port stops instead of the scheduled seven stops. We emailed Fred Olsen to show our disappointment and eventually the port stops were extended a bit, but still only 4 and a half days, everyone was disgusted. On top of all this people were so upset at having to pay £2 a day to have their dining time changed, it is an absolute ripoff. People should ask for the opposite sitting to the one they want because it is a money spinner for Fred. Then they closed one of the bars for 4or5 daysto redecorate it, can you beleive this. The next bombshell was workmen turned up and started moving a companionway on two decks. There was drilling and sawing all day for days on end, and tarpaulin coverings which looked so shabby, So many people complained that they stopped daytime work and started nightwork on both decks.You couldn't make it up. So many people couldn't sleep with the noise that the workmen went back to daytime work. It was so disrespectful to all the passengers onboard, no compensation was offered, not even a complementary bottle of wine on each table. Can you imagine it, sitting on deck, or eating lunch on deck and looking at men working on your deck and the one below, I could go on and on about our total disappointment with this cruise, the food was very average, not up to previous Fred Olsen cruises. We have cruised with P&O, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Princess and never ever experienced anything like this. We have used Fred Olsen cruises for years, we are gold members, and have always recommended them as good value for money and really lovely waiters, cabin crew and reception staff, in fact all the crew have always been exceptional, but since old Fred handed over to young Fred it has all gone to pot, it is such a shame. I really think because of all these cutbacks and lack of consideration for their passengers enjoyment that their days are numbered. We are very upset by this and so are many other Fred Olsen passengers that we know. Bring back original Fred please. I would never cruise on the Black watch again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first (and only) Fred Olsen cruise. Started well - very friendly and efficient bar and restaurant staff. Small, intimate ship. Food was OK but not the best. Lacked variety - why so much pork??? Then things turned grim. ... Read More
This was our first (and only) Fred Olsen cruise. Started well - very friendly and efficient bar and restaurant staff. Small, intimate ship. Food was OK but not the best. Lacked variety - why so much pork??? Then things turned grim. Atrocious weather (in August!) meant that that we had two ports-of-call cancelled. No substitutions arranged by humourless captain. We were begging for landings in the Faeroe Islands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Isle of Man, Republic of Ireland, England, Wales, Scilly Isles, anywhere! "Entertainment" was amateurish. The singers/musicians in the upstairs bar were fun but the so-called dancers in the Neptune Lounge were dreadful. Perhaps we've been spoilt by American cruises but these were more like unimaginative, lazy junior school productions! Other passengers were ancient. Lounge looked more like a care home than a cruise ship! Lectures were also delivered in the Neptune Lounge - rubbish venue. Loads of view-obstructing pillars and not enough seats. Why no proper theatre? However, we did like that we could order discounted cigarettes and alcohol from our cabin. And they would be delivered discreetly in a brown paper bag!Also, the ship was great for discounting certain drinks. And we had two nights of free drinks - the Captain's Welcome Party and a Gala Party. I can see why this company attracts repeat clients! However, like another reviewer, I too was irked by having to pay a hefty fuel supplement (after paying full price!) when other customers paid only £700 for a £2000 cruise! Not fair! Read Less
Sail Date August 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