12 Fred. Olsen Boudicca Europe - All Cruise Reviews

This was a Mystery Cruise the only clues we had were the vague descriptions of excursions in 4 ports one of which was overnight. The Captain gave us confusing descriptions each day from 28 Deg in our next Port to Heading for Florida, 12 or ... Read More
This was a Mystery Cruise the only clues we had were the vague descriptions of excursions in 4 ports one of which was overnight. The Captain gave us confusing descriptions each day from 28 Deg in our next Port to Heading for Florida, 12 or 18 knots overnight speed etc. Our electronics were no help. Everyone woke up one morning with a message on their Mobile giving the cost of calls from the USA ! The ShipMate App could not find us. We ended up visiting Oslo, Gothenburg, Copenhagen and overnight in Amsterdam. His weather button worked a treat we had excellent weather in each port and other than Gothenburg were able to walk into town (City). Neptune was sleeping so our time at sea was extremely smooth even though we were in the vicinity of the Viking Sky. Definitely a cruise for the "Older" cruiser, the entertainment was average but the intrigue was excellent throughout the ship. Some did not even realise we were in Amsterdam just as we were docking !. Our Cabin was one of the best we have had for the Class with the exception of the Showerhead. Chinese Water Punishment comes to mind. The staff were excellent and the new updated IT facilities made a big difference. The ship is 74 years old but has been well preserved. Nothing like a Mega ship but enough space to find your own comfort area when needed. Would we go again...Yes ! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and the fact it sails from Dover, close to where we live. We had never been to 4 of the ports, and so were looking for new experiences, we had visited 3 already, so knew what we wanted. We ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of the itinerary and the fact it sails from Dover, close to where we live. We had never been to 4 of the ports, and so were looking for new experiences, we had visited 3 already, so knew what we wanted. We had cruised last year with FO to Norway...what a difference! Good bits....the restaurant staff were the usual helpful, attentive and able selves. Embarkation at Dover was simple and fuss free Some of the places we moored were excellent....Las Palmas, Funchal, Lisbon and Vigo...close to the town, and not too grotty. Of course FO need to moor where the port allocates them. One of the lecturers was very good...low key, but accurate and interesting. Adequate....food of a lower standard than the Norway cruise.....desserts at lunchtime very poor, better at dinner. Menu OK, but unimaginative...maybe suited the age and nationality profile of many of the passengers. House wine no better than adequate, at OK prices. Cabin fine, not too good in rough weather (force 9) but not a problem. Poor.....some meals were just bad, or weird. Schnitzel with peas and carrots? One day was awful: I complained, but got no real response. Customer service desk was hopeless....defensive and not given any updates on pool problems etc. Shore tours laughably overpriced. To ask for £10 per person for the shuttle from the ship to Arrecife (on a Sunday, when the town is closed) is taking the mickey...its buried in the T & Cs, apparently. Arrival at Vigo as Siesta time is starting and departing at 5 pm is incomprehensible. One lecturer was inaccurate, a little Englander and mumbled. No, we will not use FO again for a sea cruise Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I wanted a trip that my young nephews could go on and so could older members of the family through Saga. The average age of passengers was probably 70 but there were a few younger folk. The ship ran a 'Young Skippers Club' ... Read More
I wanted a trip that my young nephews could go on and so could older members of the family through Saga. The average age of passengers was probably 70 but there were a few younger folk. The ship ran a 'Young Skippers Club' which catered for children 5-11 and this worked very well even though there were only 10 in it the 2 staff worked very hard. The ship itself could do with a bit of an update some of the carpets were threadbare and sometimes there were the odd strange smells (possibly sewage and petrol or cleaning fluid). My cabin was a single inside one so no porthole. It was quite small but adequate. Air conditioning actually worked in fact I couldn't turn it down but that was ok for me and it was quite noisy. Food was very good and the small swimming pools and hot tubs were a hit with the kids. There were shuttle buses running to and from the ports every 15 mins which were a great help. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This is our second cruise on Boudicca since her refit and we have noticed several "economy measures" this year. Gine are the chocolate left on the pillow with the turn down service, more often or not its a boled sweet instead, ... Read More
This is our second cruise on Boudicca since her refit and we have noticed several "economy measures" this year. Gine are the chocolate left on the pillow with the turn down service, more often or not its a boled sweet instead, a humbug is not quite the same Fred! Trimmings in the cocktails , a pina colada with no cherry just a slice of pineapple and a leaf. No theme nights such as Indian, Chinese or Asian but still they persist in the dreadful "British Night", probably as an excuse to serve cheap food such as bangers and mash and cottage pie. Personally I find the concept of elderly, overweight women in John Bull bowler hats and waistcoats singing Land of Hope and Glory quite nauseating, particularly as my husband is Irish. How would they feel if he acepted the invitation of wearing national costume by coming dressed as a leprechaun singing The Wearing of the Green, after all fancy dress is fancy dress! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
During the bleak November short evenings an e mail arrived in my inbox from Fred Olsen advertising a mystery cruise for 5 days over Easter. Where were we going ? Don't know! So of course we booked on! Driving down to Dover from ... Read More
During the bleak November short evenings an e mail arrived in my inbox from Fred Olsen advertising a mystery cruise for 5 days over Easter. Where were we going ? Don't know! So of course we booked on! Driving down to Dover from the Midlands is always fraught with delay so we went down the day before and stayed at the Best Western Hotel on the seafront. Nice hotel and a good bar meal. Taking a walk I looked over to the port and there was the Boudicca, tied up in the docks. Over breakfast we could see the steady arrival of lorries replenishing the ship which had been undergoing a refit for the previous two weeks. We boarded at 2:30 pm after a trouble free check in. We had a wheelchair and were taken on to the ship with as much help as we needed. A quick visit to the Secret Garden on deck 6 supplied the first of our tea and cake stops. There were sandwiches for those who were more hungry. The lifeboat drill was our first event and it passed the time until dinner. I was getting a little worried as the ship was getting underway and our bags were not in the cabin. However I need not have worried as they turned up shortly afterwards. Our first port if call was Ghent in Belgium which is a pretty town and accessible for visitors. There is a chocolate shop there where you can see chocolates being made and they are the best in Belgium. There was a shuttle bus from the port and our driver was a star getting the large coach through the narrow turnings and obstacles. The second port was Amsterdam which we accessed by a taxi. It was really busy and a frightening experience, but we are glad we went as we have never seen so many bikes. To be honest I never want to see that many again. Rotterdam was accessed by the port shuttle bus and was quite nice with an outdoor market and an indoor food hall but I think quite a lot of the town was shut as it was a Bank holiday. However we came back laden with cheese. We booked two outside cabins on deck 3 with port holes. We like deck 3 as it is the evenest place to be on the ship when the weather is bad. It is also good when the boarding is at deck 3. Boudicca is a small ship which means that you can find anything you want and you don't lose your family or friends for too long! We tend to hang around the same areas such as the library so we can find each other. The ship has had some changes since we were on her in August. Most noticeable is the Indian Ocean Restaurant which is now a light and airy place to eat and the oriental tea room on the way to the Neptune lounge. Again this is light and airy. There is a new TV system which seemed to work and had some reasonably new films on it. There did not seem to be the controlled chaos which followed the first trip on Black Watch after the refit . ( We were on that too) There is no 24 hour dining on Fred Olsen ships but I can't think why people want it anyway. Breakfast is available in either the main restaurants or the Secret garden at the times displayed in the Daily Times. There is probably everything to eat that you have at home and everything that you could wish for, from cold meat, cereals and porridge through to the full English. Lunch is a choice, you can go to the buffet and choose what you wish yourself or the waiters will serve you. We tend to do a mixture of both as my husband is very keen on the soup which is waiter service only. Afternoon tea is served in the Secret Garden which is the self service restaurant and is available without booking. There are a selection of sandwiches and cakes for those who have an appetite. Following this there is dinner which can be a 5 course extravaganza if that's what you fancy. There are limited options to choose from but the food is usually good or excellent and I have yet to find an equal at home. There is a supper club but I am usually tucked up in bed by then. Service is good in the restaurant and the bars and I noted that there were staff taken on to provide some activities for children. Would we go again? You bet! Would we go on a mystery cruise? Yes! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
we were intending to visit Spain this month and when this last minute fly cruise to Spain and Portugal came up we jumped at it. I was a little nervous as Fred. Olsen has a bit of a fuddy duddy image and some reviewers have been positively ... Read More
we were intending to visit Spain this month and when this last minute fly cruise to Spain and Portugal came up we jumped at it. I was a little nervous as Fred. Olsen has a bit of a fuddy duddy image and some reviewers have been positively unkind about the older cruisers it attracts. Its true the clientele are mostly middle aged to senior but they were the sprightly kind, who scrub up well and a pleasant, active bunch. There were some smart people on board. After my experience on Brittania last year the complete absence of children was welcome. There wasn't anyone who was too elderly and/or infirm to enjoy the cruise on the ship. We had dreadful weather and were unable to visit 2 of the scheduled ports which was unfortunate but not Fred. Olsens' fault. The Captain explained the situation very clearly during the first Cocktail Party and the ship handled the rough seas well. Boudicca is a smallish ship and its very easy to orientate yourself. It is not glamorous but is extremely comfortable, pleasant and well kept. Cleanliness is an absolute priority and the anti-norovirus procedures are stringent - they do everything they possibly can to prevent an outbreak. The food was outstanding, we had some delicious meals, roast duck, filet mignon, steak bernaise, dover sole and some excellent puddings, including crepe suzette and creme brulee. Drink prices are about the same as in a good pub or restaurant on shore and hairdressing, beauty treatments etc are not expensive. I enjoyed the 2 cocktail parties - the Captain was very entertaining in his dry way and we all felt he was a consummate professional. The ship was pleasantly warm inside. The swimming pool and jacuzzis on deck are kept well heated and people were using them even in the chillier weather. The gym is well equipped with great views as it is right at the top. There were talks, crafting, bridge and dancing lessons to keep you occupied. The dance hosts were very pleasant, mostly a bit older and genuinely interested in helping anyone who wanted to learn a dance or improve their skills. I thought the live music onboard was good and the shows were excellent, songs from the current musicals in London etc. and well known, lively favourites. There is a late night buffet and dance scene later on for those interested - didn't experience it but saw the ice sculptures etc. being wheeled up on the last night. We really enjoyed our holiday and are Fred. Olsen converts. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose Fred Olsen which seemed a quality operator we were sadly proved wrong we were on for a week and two ports in northern Spain were not visited Workmen were carrying refurbishment from day one and our cruise resembled a building site ... Read More
Chose Fred Olsen which seemed a quality operator we were sadly proved wrong we were on for a week and two ports in northern Spain were not visited Workmen were carrying refurbishment from day one and our cruise resembled a building site dust and workmen in all our areas making our holiday miserable pool empty and the ship very tired and rundown we were the youngest guests most over 75 so the entertainment aimed at them not us This was our first cruse and turned out like a living nightmare We found out onboard that the ship was going for a refit on return to Southampton but FL started while we were on the cruise this is totally unacceptable The workmen were wearing masks WHERE WERE OURS THIS HAS PUT US OFF CRUISES FOR LIFE Don’t go with FL they do not care for there guests and do not deliver Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have been cruising with Fred Olsen for many years but this was the first time on the Boudicca. This was the last leg of the cruise we were on and we were so disappointed, having recommended Fred to many people in th past. The weather ... Read More
We have been cruising with Fred Olsen for many years but this was the first time on the Boudicca. This was the last leg of the cruise we were on and we were so disappointed, having recommended Fred to many people in th past. The weather caused us to stay in Cadiz for an extra day and avoid the bad weather, fair enough but, those two days at sea were spent avoiding the cables down the corridor and also the ceiling which they replaced, there needed to be hard hats supplied. To cap it on on the day that my wife could sit on the balcony they were chipping off the paint above us and she had to come inside or get covered in white chippings. To be honest we could not believe that it was the same company that we had been so loyal to. Apart for the maintenance work everything else was fine, food excellent, staff extremely helpful and cabin really comfortable. We have received 25% off our next cruise, however, I do not think that will be helpful to those who were trying Fred Olsen for the first time. Come on Fred Olsen Jr. get your finger out and get back to what we expect from our cruises with you. Unhappy customers means people do not come back. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
'Essential ' maintenance was carried out. Now we'd all agree the maintenance to lifeboats is essential. However, Fred insisted on chipping off the paint on the upper decks of Boudicca during the very brief time that the sun ... Read More
'Essential ' maintenance was carried out. Now we'd all agree the maintenance to lifeboats is essential. However, Fred insisted on chipping off the paint on the upper decks of Boudicca during the very brief time that the sun came out when we were trying to relax in the sun. The noise was unbearable. Unbelievable given that the ship was about to go into dry dock for a refit the week after! The weather was against us (no fault of Fred) and so the captain decided that we should miss out 2 stops. Quite understandable from a safety of life view, but the holiday was ruined. The prospect of spending three nights and two days at sea in the forecasted storms made us jump ship, stayed in an hotel overnight in Lisbon and flew home early., at quite a price. We would welcome the views of other passengers. The other comment is that the entertainmment (with the exception of the comedien, who was hillarious), seemed to be aimed at a much younger audience, for instance, 'Get off your feet and dance' shouted over and over again, didn't seem to suit the average age of about 68.. This is the last cruise we shall be booking. Nick Lodge. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My partner bought us two tickets for a 12 day cruise beginning April 1st 2017; to visit the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon; he paid a year in advance ie oer £3,400 with extra £160 each for unlimited drinks if we wanted them. Near the ... Read More
My partner bought us two tickets for a 12 day cruise beginning April 1st 2017; to visit the Canary Islands, Madeira and Lisbon; he paid a year in advance ie oer £3,400 with extra £160 each for unlimited drinks if we wanted them. Near the beginning of the cruise we found out that our fellow diners had been to the Captain's Cocktail Party but we had not had the relevant leaflet put in our room so we did not go. During our stay onboard we received around half of the leaflets we were meant to ie ie the pieces of paper which list what activities will be happening that day/week (we missed out on a few chocolates also that went with the leaflet but that was ok of course:)) We were very grateful to cabin staff and even did things ourselves incase we bothered them too much eg pushing two single beds together to make a double (they were not easy to move!). I only once asked for assistance from the cabin staff and that was when I needed a safety pin for my dress but the woman I asked was very impplite and just said 'NO' as if I had asked her to cook a swan for breakfast. The food was ok and most waiters and waitresses were nice with just one or two being bad tempered for no reason. On the last day of the cruise my partner went to pay our onboard bill in cash; he was told it has already been paid!! We were very puzzled and wondered how this had happened! The morning we got off the ship; we found that everyone's cases had been left outside of their cabins the night before to be carried to shore by staff etc. My partner had a very very painful knee but had to carry his suitcase across a very rickety metal temporary stair to the shore and I had to carry a heavy case also which was dangerous given the wobbly stairs etc and also very tiring as it was a long walk. We had not been given the appropriate paperwork telling us to leave our lluggage outside the cabin etc. When we got home we received more than one threatening letter about the onboard bill - it had not been paid of course an d we were treated as criminals until it was paid soon after. When I reported the missing paperwork we were told that this would not have happened and that (surprise surprise) the staff member denied it. I also found an item of jewellery missing on my return which i had left in the room and that also was ignored by Customer Services as were one or two other missing items. I was asked if a dress they found in the room was mine but that only happened because I contacted Customer Services ie I would not have got that back if I had it seems. This cruise was not cheap so the Customer Service we received was really a shock. So I am writring this to warn others that paying a lot of money is no guarantee of good customer service. We have travellled a lot so were not expecting VIP treatment but just some normal care and respect. The captain seemed nice but we did not get to meet him as I said; the entertainment was very amateurish we found and some was more Holiday Camp perhaps than Cruise Ship (one male crooner miming to a recording and so on and lots of young brightly coloured people jumping around but enthusiasm is not the same as talent (although we appreciated the work they did). Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our first cruise so we did not know what to expect. Fred Olsen customer service is terrible, I booked by 'phone, they got my name wrong and it took four telephone calls to get it corrected, their on line service ... Read More
This was our first cruise so we did not know what to expect. Fred Olsen customer service is terrible, I booked by 'phone, they got my name wrong and it took four telephone calls to get it corrected, their on line service didn't work and what ever you do don't give them an e mail address you cannot print from because they then insist on using it for everything including the tickets even if you ask them not to. The ship is lovely and the staff cannot do enough to help you, the only problem is the other passengers we dubbed "The Black Tie Ya-Yas" although if you eat in the Secret Garden and use that lounge where the dress code is always casual you can usually avoid them. If you want to dress up like a penguin don't prance around belittling those who don't want to take part in the pantomime. I tried the main restaurant for lunch on the first day but found the staff attitude very poor, probably because I was a woman eating alone so we used the Secret Garden after that where the staff were much more accommodating. One tip on this, make sure that the compulsory £4.00 per couple per night tip for the waiting staff is paid to the restaurant you dine in or it will automatically be allocated to the main restaurant. Don't pay for any excursions unless it is something you really want to do as you can do the same trips when you get there for a quarter of the price. When you get back to Dover take a taxi from the taxi rank rather that booking thru F/O again much cheaper. Bar prices are very reasonable and the all inclusive package is definately worth doing, we didn't see anybody take advantage. We were very pleased with our cabin, the maid service' entertainment on board, everything was good once we got on board so we will know what to expect next time although the stress caused by the poor customer service prior to the start of the holiday could have so easily been avoided if the promised new cruise passengers pack had been sent as promised. On board info wasn't that good either, the speaker on our radio was turned off so we missed the safety and lifeboat drill and it was Thursday before we found out that you could have sandwiches in the Lido Lounge and "short orders" in The Grill at lunchtime if you preferred. All in all a good experience and we will definitely be doing it again Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Tried a FO cruise for the first time but won't be back unless it's a very short, cheap cruise to a must see destination. Having cruised with RCI, P&O and Thomson, FO seemed sub-standard and basic. The best thing about this ... Read More
Tried a FO cruise for the first time but won't be back unless it's a very short, cheap cruise to a must see destination. Having cruised with RCI, P&O and Thomson, FO seemed sub-standard and basic. The best thing about this cruise was the suite we occupied which was very nice and the ports of call. The ship is old and past it's sell by date. The meal times were like being at school with set times with nothing open in between. For example, afternoon tea lasted for 45 minutes from 3.45 to 4.30 pm, which meant after arriving back on the ship from a day in port it had usually ended. The only option then was the limited selection off the room service menu. When on holiday one likes to eat when it suits not be driven by a timetable. Missing the afternoon tea means a long wait until second seating at 8.30 pm. The dining room staff always seemed to be in a rush and not up to the standard we have experienced with other cruise lines, they forgot orders, mixed orders up and were not very talkative. The food was ok but nothing more. Lunchtime in the Grill was not very good. They ran out of food too. The ship stopped at La Palice which is a 20 minute bus journey from La Rochelle. There was a shuttle from the ship to the port gate as it is forbidden to walk to the port gate. You can then get the number 1 bus into La Rochelle for €1.30. The bus stops in the bus station and near the harbour. The same for the return journey. However FO were charging the outrageous amount of £25.00 for this return journey, which we did for €2.60 each. Don't fall for it the bus was easy to do even though it was crowded on the outward journey with cruise passengers filling it. The bus runs about every 20 minutes. FO is clearly aimed at an older market but I think they deserve better than what is on offer currently. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
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

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