7 Fred. Olsen Boudicca Europe - British Isles & Western Cruise Reviews

We have been to Greenland before and wanted to repeat the experience as the scenery was stunning, not so much ice this time but still overwhelming. Boudicca has been refitted and the ambience is bright and cheerful but only on the surface ... Read More
We have been to Greenland before and wanted to repeat the experience as the scenery was stunning, not so much ice this time but still overwhelming. Boudicca has been refitted and the ambience is bright and cheerful but only on the surface (more later on this) The restaurants were all very nice and the staff were excellent. We did use the new outside grill and this was well worth the extra charge. The entertainment was mostly good the on board show company was excellent, some of the other acts were pass there sell by date, the best comedian on board was the Captain. Captain's cocktail parties were hilarious. My Wife enjoyed the arts and crafts and I enjoyed the quizzes. Now to the downside Early this year we were on the ill fated Balmoral cruise to California and we said at this time Goodby Fred. The Boudicca cruise was already booked and paid for so rather than lose money we went. Our cabin initially looked good an adapted cabin on deck 7 (my wife is disabled) I went for a shower, the water flooded the whole bathroom, I put this down to the angle of the ship being still tied up, mopped it up and asked for more towels. Next day it flooded again the water would not drain quickly enough, so we sent for the plumber. Plumber cleaned the drains and left a note to say it was now fixed. The result of the supposed fix resulted in noxious smells in the bathroom which I quickly found could be minimised by placing towels over the drains. Needless to say we flooded again and again and again. Eventually it was admitted that the pipes were all wrong and needed major work. 4 days to the end of the cruise we were offered another cabin which seemed rather pointless at this stage. So we asked to be compensated for the aggregation. Innitially a future cruise voucher was offered, this we declined and eventually on board credit was arranged and my Wife went shopping, they also gave us the use of the other cabin on the same deck to shower in. Surprise surprise that bathroom flooded too. So why I ask are these cabins being sold as they are obviously not fit for purpose. We have 3 more cruises booked none with Fred Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We took this cruise as we were already booked on the previous cruise and it was reduced to a good price for Black Friday. The ports of Lisbon, Portimao and Leixoes (for Porto) also appealed. We upgraded our cabin on the first full day ... Read More
We took this cruise as we were already booked on the previous cruise and it was reduced to a good price for Black Friday. The ports of Lisbon, Portimao and Leixoes (for Porto) also appealed. We upgraded our cabin on the first full day of the cruise to a terrace balcony cabin, which we liked a lot, though sadly due to poor weather we could not use the balcony as much as we would have liked on the sea days. It was a good sized cabin with enough storage facilities and a sit was on Prom deck was one of the few balcony cabins on which Fred does not allow smoking - so no smells of smoke. Cabin Stewardess was good. The food and restaurant staff were excellent as always, and as I mentioned in my previous cruise, the self service restaurant was open until midday for breakfast, so no need to rush to breakfast before 10am. The entertainments were extremely poor on this cruise, especially considering that there was such a long time at sea during the nine days. The entertainments in the Lido lounge were definitely not up to Fred's standard. We are in our 60's but do like to hit the dance floor at times for disco type dancing and the entertainers were just not up to that, though Fred is still offering Ballroom dancing between shows in the Neptune - even though they often only had 3 or 4 passengers dancing there. It would have been far better if they had just run a disco sometimes, but the only disco was in the small hours (1am usually), when Fred passengers tend to want to sleep. It is about time Fred realised that the passengers who are still able to hit the dance floor (those less than 70 or so) are of an age when ballroom dancing was way outdated during their teens, so they did not partake of such dancing and provided entertainments accordingly. No Rosario Trio nowadays and the pianist in the observatory spent more time talking to passengers than playing the piano. Fred are also running 'cheese and wine' sessions now, as well as the afternoon teas that had started doing a few years ago, when they cordon off the whole of the front section of the observation lounge, even parts which are obviously not booked out and this is done a couple of hours before the events. We usually sit in the observation lounge for a few drinks as we do not generally go to the shows etc. This meant that we were left with nothing to do and nowhere to go a fair bit of the time on board - especially on the sea days as the seats at the side of the lounge soon got occupied and are nothing like a well placed. This was obviously done to increase revenue, but I wonder how much they lost by refusing others somewhere to sit there. Even the speakers were not of interest as the subjects were just not of interest. The Captain's welcome party and the one at the end of the cruise were very enjoyable as Captain Degelund is extremely funny and treats all his staff really well. We were also well supplied with drinks and canapes, unlike our other cruises in recent years, when there seemed to be a lot of cutbacks with those. Disembarkation was earlier than it usually had been in the past (we were called to disembark about 7.37am, which is ridiculous given that we had a 300 mile drive journey ahead of us. We did not leave immediately, but the ship was cleared whilst breakfast was still being served. The disembarkation details did not give these times clearly. We have travelled with Fred a lot in recent years, due to some unusual destinations, but we may well not continue to travel with them given the lack of good entertainments and bar areas to sit, which is a shame as we had enjoyed many Fred cruises in the past. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We booked this cruise as originally we booked a P&O cruise which was cancelled because they sold the ship! We booked it 7 months in advance and requested 1st sitting for dinner on a table of 6-8 people so that we would have a variety ... Read More
We booked this cruise as originally we booked a P&O cruise which was cancelled because they sold the ship! We booked it 7 months in advance and requested 1st sitting for dinner on a table of 6-8 people so that we would have a variety of people to talk to over a lengthy meal. However on arrival we discovered that we were on the 1st sitting but on a table for 4. The other couple were very pleasant but were very elderly (guessing near 90) and had very little conversation. We decided that we could not take another 9 evenings of stilted conversation and asked to move table but there were none available, so the only option was to move to the 8.30 sitting which we reluctantly did. Luckily we were on a table of 6 like minded people and enjoyed the rest of our meals. However, this meant that I was starving each evening waiting for my meal and had to fill up on snacks. Also there is absolutely no entertainment on the ship between 5pm and 8pm so the only options were to go to the bar, read a book or watch TV (which did not work a lot of the time as it lost the satellite signal so there was only the news or films to watch). In Addition the 2nd entertainment show was not until 10.30 pm, so we could not go as we wanted to be in bed by 11pm as we had be up early for tours. So our evenings were spoiled. However, we enjoyed the daytimes, food was very good and so was the service. We took advantage of the drinks upgrade which meant certain drinks were included all day. We enjoyed the one show that we did go to and the various tours, with the exception of Dublin, which was not very good. We were lucky that the weather was lovely and saw the Scottish islands at their best. We had a balcony cabin mainly because it gave you a larger cabin as the standard cabins on Boudicca are very small. Fresh fruit, water and canapés included every day, comfortable bed. Would not cruise with Fred Olsen again unless they change the evening meal to open dining. We were surprised that Shetland, the Orkneys and Lewis are very bleak with hardly any trees, the tours were of good quality. Only spent half a day in Mull, would have preferred longer. Some people had to get up at 6 am to go on a lengthy tour to be back in time to leave. Loch Ness boat ride was lovely. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because of departure from Greenock. Embarkation went smoothly and our luggage was in our cabin before us! We sailed out on the five night cruise up the Scottish coast our itinery was Fort William, Ullapool and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of departure from Greenock. Embarkation went smoothly and our luggage was in our cabin before us! We sailed out on the five night cruise up the Scottish coast our itinery was Fort William, Ullapool and Invergorden before sailing back to Greenock. On board the entertainment was excellent with a very talented group of singers and dancers. Food was very good and drinks very reasonably priced. All staff were excellent in restaurants and bars. Our only gripe was lack of information as to where we were when sailing through the Western Isles. It would have been helpful to be kept informed as to where we were. The lack of communication was responsible for most of the passengers not being informed while passing by Fingals Cave this should have been a highlight of the cruise. We missed out on a trip due to not booking early enough I would advise book a trip as soon as possible or risk missing out. This was the first time we have sailed with Fred Olsen and we were impressed with the staff and the various lounges, bars and eating places. We would certainly consider using Fred Olsen for any future cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our first and last time with Fred Olsen, which went to the Lochs of Scotland (plus Mull, Skye and Orkney). The selling points for us was that it went to Mull and offered an excursion to Iona, Portree in Skye (where we have ... Read More
This was our first and last time with Fred Olsen, which went to the Lochs of Scotland (plus Mull, Skye and Orkney). The selling points for us was that it went to Mull and offered an excursion to Iona, Portree in Skye (where we have family) Orkney and from Holy Loch offered a trip to the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow as well as offering free time in Glasgow City. Embarkation from Liverpool convenient and went smoothly. Table size request not honoured. Ate in casual diner instead which was surprisingly good. Didn't manage to get to Iona. Skye cancelled. No free time in Glasgow. Ship rolled at slightest sea conditions and generally very noisy. Many passengers with mobility problems. Would be surprised if no one injured. Tender intensive cruise. Ship moored further out than expected for a small ship. Very scary experience on one occasion. Junior crew excellent. Enjoyed the entertainment. Very much enjoyed the Scottish scenery and warm welcome we received from the Scots. We did enjoy our time on Orkney, Kelvingrove Museum and Dunrobin Castle. Generally felt excursions overpriced compared to other companies. Sorry but Fred isn't for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I think a three star rating is fair. We thought we would try this one out as a taster to try Fred Olsen. We were only on ship for one night so the fact that we were late boarding 5pm (ship late in port) and made to be out of our cabins by ... Read More
I think a three star rating is fair. We thought we would try this one out as a taster to try Fred Olsen. We were only on ship for one night so the fact that we were late boarding 5pm (ship late in port) and made to be out of our cabins by 8am made it a very short taster ! Food at dinner was excellent but breakfast was a bit like going to Asda for breakfast. Just a bit dissappointed, don't get me wrong the choice was there but all a bit shabby and uninviting. The usual greedy people piling there plates high with no intentions of eating it all. It just felt a bit like Butlins to me. The entertainment was good. We had just an small inside cabin for the one night, clean and efficient but would not like to stay in it for week! Staff were nearly over-friendly, smiles not genuine but forced. I suppose it cannot be easy for them depending on tips and not liking it one bit. A lot of staff had very poor English which I was suprised at. All in all I am glad we went, we had a good time BUT we would not go again. ps it was suppose to be a 70s night. saw little of that apart from some 70's music being played. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Firstly: we boarded in Bristol A one night mini cruise - Bristol to Liverpool - isn't long enough to form a full judgement about a ship or a cruise line, but it gives a flavour and I'm not certain that Boudicca is going to be to ... Read More
Firstly: we boarded in Bristol A one night mini cruise - Bristol to Liverpool - isn't long enough to form a full judgement about a ship or a cruise line, but it gives a flavour and I'm not certain that Boudicca is going to be to our taste. Especially as the smell of fuel oil seemed to permeate several areas. We had a suite. Good size, comfortable with plenty of storage but dated. Bathroom with full size tub but no bath plug, so unusable. If we'd been on board for more than one night we would have complained. But it showed a lack of attention to detail. No toiletries or shower cap and no soap other than a dispenser, which when I pressed for the first time deposited liquid over my trousers. Having a limited palate I liked the selection of food - very British. On Crystal two months ago I described their menus as "complicated" and "very complicated". Unfortunately the actual quality of the food on Boudicca was only average. Afternoon tea was poor consisting of a choice of mushroom pate sandwich (I don't like mushrooms but my wife said 'not to worry' as the sandwiches she chose had no pate on it - and the bread was dry), a slice of chocolate sponge, a cookie and a pink cup-cake. But the tea was good. At the buffet lunch I ordered a dessert from the menu. After 15 minutes I enquired where it was? It was found immediately sitting on the waiters' bar and when delivered was a sea of melting ice cream. No apology. I found the staff friendly and attentive - when called, but they spent too much time chatting together. Doubt they would make the grade on a line such as Celebrity or Princess. Drink prices were better than on many ships but our waiter didn't understand the difference between Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon, following which we were presented three times with an incorrect bill. And it seems Fred's left and right hands don't speak to each other (I'd been quite determined not to personify a cruise line, but got dragged in). Example [1] cruise docs said "Embarkation will start at 1.30pm". On arrival at the port the sign said 2.15pm. We got on at 2.45. [2] we booked 8.30pm late sitting dinner because being Bristolians we wanted to film the sail away at 7pm. All dinner reservations were changed to 7.30pm - and the ship left late, so we missed one of the main reasons for being on Boudicca. [3] All cabins must be vacated by 8.30am according to our reservation. By 10am (thank you) according to The Daily Times. [4] Afternoon tea will be served from 3.45pm said The Daily Times. From 3pm said the captain in his (very good) noon briefing. [5] The ship will dock at 4.30pm for disembarkation at 5pm said the general information leaflet. The ship will dock at 3.30pm announced the captain (probably explains the change to tea time). Enjoyed the entertainment very much. Better than some more up-market lines. Boudicca is well maintained but to anybody who has sailed on more modern vessels you do wonder whether the thickness of the paint or the actual metal is holding things together. Hopefully it's the metal. However what truly amazed me was the loyalty of Fred's people on the ship. "You can't beat Fred", one lady told me. Asked what other cruise lines she'd been on the answer was none. However many others also sang Fred's praises (Thomson seemed to be the norm by which most reached this judgement). It is beyond doubt, at least my doubt, that Fred Olsen has a very loyal following. And that's fine; that's what a holiday is all about - being relaxed and enjoying your environment. I tried to open the minds of some to other cruise lines, but if it wasn't Fred, Thomson, P&O or Cunard they didn't want to know. We wouldn't rule out a Fred Olsen ship if the itinerary was one we were looking for as their pricing is very reasonable, but it would probably have to be Balmoral or Braemar (judging by the deck plans) as they seem to have proper restaurants rather than seats and tables in wide corridors. I'm probably going to have to go into hiding now before Fred's fans find me. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Boudicca Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.8
Dining 4.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 3.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.5
Family 1.0 3.5
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 5.0 3.8
Rates 5.0 3.8

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click