16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise and it exceeded expectations. Boudicca was spick and span, cleanliness was a top priority, staff were friendly, the cabin was comfortable (but we spent little time there apart from sleeping) and the food was ... Read More
This was our first cruise and it exceeded expectations. Boudicca was spick and span, cleanliness was a top priority, staff were friendly, the cabin was comfortable (but we spent little time there apart from sleeping) and the food was excellent. We used two organised tours which were very good but the rest of the time when we docked we "did it ourselves" with the help of the local tourist information. The weather was good apart from rain on a couple of days which wasn't heavy enough to spoil the visit. Other than that we saw the splendour of the fjords with one or two extra fjords visited that were not on the original schedule. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
the title says it all, really. It was our first cruise and, within a few days we were hooked. The food was good and varied. The crew were excellent .... always smiling, always polite and attentive, quick to learn our names and tastes. ... Read More
the title says it all, really. It was our first cruise and, within a few days we were hooked. The food was good and varied. The crew were excellent .... always smiling, always polite and attentive, quick to learn our names and tastes. Hygiene was a priority. Antiseptic dispensers for your hands were situated at the gangway and at the entrance to the restaurants (with a crew member checking) as well as at other points in the ship. Handrails were regularly cleaned by the crew. Entertainment was good with a choice of several performers through the day and a show at night. Ports visited were well chosen and with a good selection of shore tours. Very comfortable bed in our pleasant cabin. Looking forward to our next cruise aboard Boudicca. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
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: January 2015
I took my wife on our first cruise to see if she could be treated like a lady. British hotels are going to the dogs, in general, as far as style and service are concerned, being run by indifferent staff to any old standard. Fred Olsen took ... Read More
I took my wife on our first cruise to see if she could be treated like a lady. British hotels are going to the dogs, in general, as far as style and service are concerned, being run by indifferent staff to any old standard. Fred Olsen took my booking knowing how important these issues were to me, and in spite of understanding how important a table for two was to me. Having paid in full for a premier suite I gathered a table for two was not only not guaranteed but unlikely. I protested but bit my lip. As it turned out we had not only a table for two but the finest professional waiter I have ever encountered bar one. The suite was astounding and the housekeeper obliging and, also, professional. The food was to the highest standard I've encountered in spite of the quantities being served. The menu was imaginative. However, if fine dining and service is your bag, think before booking with Fred Olsen. Nothing to do with Fred ! There was a lot of interpretive license taken on the definition of "smart casual" with varying degrees of conduct and manners to go with it. One could easily have a T-shirt and jeans clad dining companion with table manners and language to match. NOT IN EVERY CASE....before I get edited out. Breakfast and lunch was a total shambles. One reviewer likened it to Asda. It was plain the normally professional waiters were fed up with the mob-like behaviour of the passengers when jostling for tables. This behaviour proves the demand for tables-for-two. Many more two seater tables could be provided with simple splitting of four-seater tables. On occasions we were able to dine and breakfast on the deck, in the secret garden or with cabin service. This changed my days absolutely as breakfast and lunch times were to be "got over with" as opposed to being enjoyed with anticipation as was the evening meal. A fair percentage of the passengers matched the standards set by the Boudicca crew and a small percentage were badly behaved. The greater percentage were somewhere in between. The lounges accommodated people fly-catching,others with feet up on the furniture or tables. Scruffy track suite bottoms were in abundance. I was subject to abuse and ridicule in a lift from a party not appropriately dressed on a formal night. Remarks were passed in this vain more than once. "you make me look like a tramp" was one such comment. We were once big fans of hotels now taken over by the Britannia group and visited three of them before we realised they had set their stall out accommodating cheap coach parties, some including drinks packages. The very reason I've gone on a cruise instead. Meal times put me in mind of these establishments. Fred Olsen standards are high. However, the things that were important to me were nullified. The entertainment was o.k and the daytime activities and choice of environment was prolific. All would have found something.The preset gratuity system sat very uncomfortably with me. I saw it as some kind of manouvre to adjust the Olsen payroll. However, I reluctantly let it stand and, in fact, felt the need to tip further to our evening meal waiter and others otherwise excluded from the set system.Lastly, I got the feeling we were being dumped and got rid of on disembarking morning. The boat had to be empty by 8.00a.m, breakfast betwixt 6a.m & 8a.m with the cushion covers being removed the evening before together with cases in the corridor before 1.00a.m following a formal dress evening. The efficient helpful parking attendants/luggage handlers on arrival were notable by their absence on departure. I'll be doing a lot more research before I book my next cruise. Fred Olsen couldn't do more. (by the way, this ship is as about as stabilised as the waltzers, in case you want to know. It didn't bother us, though.) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2014
We came down a day earlier because previous week there were a lot of flooding, we found a nice B & B in Southampton called the Polygon, we gave good comments on Tripadvisor. There were 4 adults, 1 who had sailed before and she said ... Read More
We came down a day earlier because previous week there were a lot of flooding, we found a nice B & B in Southampton called the Polygon, we gave good comments on Tripadvisor. There were 4 adults, 1 who had sailed before and she said this was a nice size cruise ship to try for first timers and she was right. We got around the ship quite easy after a few wrong turns, but inside your cabin they did supply a map. A bit apprehensive booking inside cabin but when we saw the size of it we were fine, very spacious. There was plenty to do on board. We had high Tea a couple of days which was lovely. The service we got from all the staff was superb they smiled at you all the time, they were lovely. The food was superb you could more or less eat all day. Entertainment was on every night I could not find fault with this cruise at all loved it. The trips off were well organized there were shuttle buses running if needed. I have to say Embarking and Disembarking were a doddle it was so well organized. The whole experience was fantastic and are now saving for another cruise. Thank you Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2013
Just returned from my first and probably last cruise. Norway itself, the scenery, the inner passage and most of the tours were wonderful, unfortunately the cruise experience itself was not good -- particularly due to the poor condition of ... Read More
Just returned from my first and probably last cruise. Norway itself, the scenery, the inner passage and most of the tours were wonderful, unfortunately the cruise experience itself was not good -- particularly due to the poor condition of our 'superior' outside cabin and the fear of contracting norovirus (almost half of the passengers came down with it). In addition the only reason for us going on this cruise was to see the northern lights and we were disgusted that more was not done by the ship to assist us in this aim. CABIN. (Superior outside, deck 5). Reasonable size. Condition poor. It may have been 'superior' 20 years ago but is decrepit and rather dingy now. Dread to think how we would have coped if we had contracted norovirus and been banged up in it for 4 days, as some folk were (you had to stay in your cabin for the length of the illness + a further 48 hours after the last symptoms occurred). Rather like living in an old run down caravan that someone else has had the sense to scrap. NOROVIRUS. The ship blamed the passengers for bringing this on board and for spreading it. No responsibility was taken for the fact that the previous cruise had also suffered from norovirus and only a few hours were devoted to carrying out a 'deep' clean before we boarded. There was no way that sufficient time was allowed to effectively clean the ship before we boarded -- were the carpets steam cleaned and the curtains and bedspreads all washed? No. I am certain this virus was present on the ship (carried on fittings and in the ventilation system) when we boarded and this was the major cause of our outbreak. The continual spraying of passenger hands was probably ineffective as alcohol based sprays do not work against norovirus - apparently chlorine based ones are better, but we would have been able to smell this in the spray if chlorine had been used. In addition at no time did I see any of the staff spraying their hands and the bad practice of waiters handling used crockery and cutlery and then handing out food to passengers would have caused cross contamination (no plastic gloves used). So, Fred Olsen stop blaming the victims for this awful outbreak. NORTHERN LIGHTS. To see these was the sole reason for us booking this cruise, I quite accept that they are a natural phenomenon and no guarantees can be given but I did not expect the captain to put the smooth running of the evening meal above the passengers desire to see the lights. On the evening that we left Tromso there was apparently a brilliant display of the lights above the ship. Unfortunately we were on the late sitting for dinner and one of the last tables to be served, no announcement was made in the dining room so we completely missed seeing the lights that night. If we had been told as soon as desert had been served we could have skipped coffee and seen the display. We finally got a good sighting of the lights on the night before we got into Kristiansund. Unfortunately we struggled to see them as all the deck lights had been left on and the crew refused to switch them off ... as the captain was asleep and no-one else had the authority to do so! Great! Fred Olsen should think a bit more about what customers want from this cruise -- it would have been quite safe to turn off the deck lights on the upper decks only and to have left them on around the stairways and lower decks -- as was done on other nights. We also went on 2 of the 3 evening tours arranged by the cruise to search for the northern lights. I would not recommend these -- passengers were taken on approx. 4/6 overheated coaches a long distance (90 mins +) from the ship, this was not only to get away from light sources (not much of a job was made of this -- one night we were near a lot of houses and another night we were next to a busy, for Norway, road) but mainly to take us to a large field where a lot of coaches could be parked and a small amount of infrastructure such as a large tent provided and bonfires could be lit. You would be much better advised to use the local information centre and book a tour with a local guide, in a minibus. Other passengers used these and they reported a very good experience with the guide taking them to many different vantage points and really having a good knowledge of where and what to look for. They did not have to endure a long trek out of Tromso or Alta and the price was similar for the local guide as for the cruise tour. DOG SLEDDING and ICE HOTEL tours. These I cannot praise enough. Both were excellent. I would recommend booking the dog sledding privately just so that you can go for a longer period than the cruise tour allows - also try out driving the sled yourself, it's great fun. TOILET BLOCKAGES. Several passengers (including us) suffered from this at different times on the cruise (and no we did not flush anything we should not have done!). Not a good experience when you do not want to use the public loos in case of contracting norovirus and no one contacts you to say the problem has been fixed (the engineers work on it outside of your room); you have to ring Reception back to ask. Some passengers also suffered from very poor water pressure. One night we had no water at all for a while, we were told this had affected several other cabins. All problems you don't need when norovirus is present and you are trying to be hygienic. So now you can see why this is likely to be my last cruise! Certainly my last one with Fred Olsen. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
A superb cruise itinerary 13 to 27 March with most time spent up at Troms and Alta. Lots of superb snow and with good weather Captain Stein Bjrheim guided the ship along a spectacular scenic route in the inner fjords. The weather was ... Read More
A superb cruise itinerary 13 to 27 March with most time spent up at Troms and Alta. Lots of superb snow and with good weather Captain Stein Bjrheim guided the ship along a spectacular scenic route in the inner fjords. The weather was kind with clear sky and we were treated to a most spectacular northern lights display viewable from the deck on departure from Tromso on 20 March. Ship entertainment was really good. My wife & I much enjoyed the performances of the Boudicca Show Company. All Staff worked very hard and were cheerful except for one day when the seriousness of a norovirus epidemic was apparent. The final total over the whole fortnight was 300+ of the 900 passengers infected with this rather nasty gastric virus. I spent two days in my cabin quarantined after a particularly uncomfortable night. In some ways I did not notice this lost time because the illness left me feeling so tired I slept much. Fred Olsen appear to have addressed the situation robustly. From first boarding we were all subject to a hand disinfection routine whenever moving between public areas -- like the dining room or lounges etc. The importance of hand washing was reinforced by daily announcements. Also they delayed the next sailing from Portsmouth by a day to enable the whole ship to be cleaned and fumigated but will this be enough? I am now interested to hear from anyone on the current cruise to Lisbon and the Iberian Peninsula. Has the cleanup worked? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2012
We booked on-line after seeing an offer. We were attracted by the price. We booked a superior outside cabin and were allocated cabin number 5045 on the 'main deck' (deck 5) We travelled from 5th-19th January 2012. The ... Read More
We booked on-line after seeing an offer. We were attracted by the price. We booked a superior outside cabin and were allocated cabin number 5045 on the 'main deck' (deck 5) We travelled from 5th-19th January 2012. The catalogue price was in excess of £1500 per person. We paid £899. I like to think we got a bargain, but I couldn't bring myself to ask other passengers what they had paid. The destinations included Madeira, La Gomera, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Agadir, and Lisbon. Most of which we had visited previously. This was mostly a trip to find out whether we liked cruising. The first 4 nights and 3 days were spent travelling to Madeira, across the bay of Biscay. We thought the crossing was quite rough, with the ship bobbing around so much that it was almost impossible to walk with holding on tightly to what was fixed down. I don't know what we would have done without travel sickness pills. The rest of the cruise went fairly smoothly. The good points were numerous. Boarding and eventual disembarkation went very smoothly. The staff were all friendly, smiling, and helpful. Making us feel very welcome. The food was varied and of excellent quality. The evening entertainment, though of quite good quality, was definitely aimed at the older age groups. My wife and I are in our 60's and were amongst the youngest passengers. A few days in there was a minor outbreak of some sort of stomach upset, with some passengers being confined to cabin for several days. They crew appeared to cope very well with this and the only way in which passengers were affected was by the suspension of all self service breakfast and lunchtime buffet meals. We had to wait to be served by staff members wearing blue plastic gloves. Despite the extra work load, the staff continued to serve us with a smile. Nothing was too much trouble. A few of the passengers complained about the restrictions (perhaps they would have preferred to catch the bug?) Most of us appreciated the efforts of the staff and just took it it our stride. We had one problem with our cabin, 5045, the shower temperature was 'erratic'. One could be having a lovely warm shower when, suddenly, the water flow dropped, and so did the water temperature. We became friends with the couple in 5043 and found that they were having the same problem. The only way to avoid this was to shower 'off peak'. Did we enjoy the experience? YES. Would we cruise again? Definitely YES. Would we go to Morocco? NO. I've not reviewed the ports of call because I don't know what say say about them. We've been previously several times to each of the Canary Islands, and to Madeira. They are quite convenient for a short winter break from the UK weather. We didn't like Agadir. It has no character. Outside of the tourist area we were Harassed by people wanting us to give them money in exchange taking a picture of their camel. In the Souk every time we stopped moving the sellers would be waving their goods at us, trying to harass us into buying something. Had they left us alone to browse, we would almost certainly have bought some souvenirs. As it was we left with nothing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2011
First timer's so should we stay close to home or go for it. We looked at booking the Hebridean Princess but for the same money we could visit places we had never seen; so we went for it. North Wales to North Shields went better ... Read More
First timer's so should we stay close to home or go for it. We looked at booking the Hebridean Princess but for the same money we could visit places we had never seen; so we went for it. North Wales to North Shields went better than we thought by car, well until we got to North Shields, then spent an hour or so going round in circles. Luckily we decided to stay the night so not a great problem and we were right beside the Port. After a walk around North Shields in the morning we set off to the Port. Parking was easy as was dropping off the bags but the terminal ... what a dump and the sinks were not working in the gents. The wait wasn't to long and after the Gold Members boarded so did the rest of us. Up the plank and aboard we were, we did have to ask where to go but we were told. Pleased to see that everything worked well and all the bags we in the cabin. The cabin was a good size and we had a great view of the Life Boat although we were warned, but we had a balcony which was great. Not so great was finding the last guests half drunk fizz and nibbled snacks in the fridge, but it was cleared away. We had two large wardrobes lots of cupboards and mirrors and a bottle of fizz (unopened). The bathroom had a bath with shower cupboard space and all was nice and clean and a pair of bathrobes with slippers and toiletries. We opted for 2nd seating for dining and we shared a table with some lovely people and the quality of food was always very good and more than enough although breakfast was a bit of a muddle which I put down to fitting 2 sittings into a single space. There was the option of eating at the Secret Garden Restaurant but it always looked mobbed to me but we tried it once and the quality was the same. The entertainment covered a large range from deck games quiz's and bingo during the day to cabaret and dancing in the evenings. Dancing was everything from formal to disco. Personally I think they should keep this but also look to introduce say a bit of Tamla/Northern Soul or maybe Jazz to reflect that young folk like are getting older and starting to go on cruises. TV Radio was rubbish. Organised trips reflected was there was to see. St Petersburg was fantastic because it is. Turku had a fire way back and that is what you are going see and hear about. There are talks about where to visit on board but its a bit late if the tours are full. Didn't get to Sweden as it was blowing a gale. But all in all very good. Dressing up for formal nights and the themed nights we great fun and kept my wife shopping for weeks before we went. Staff are very good and very attentive. Small point. They started referbing on the 9th floor above my head it sounded like. Called reception who said it would stop, it did not. Next day it started again, I went to see the Guest Relation person who genuinely appeared surprised and came to look, she was shocked and said that it would stop. It did and she called the next day to make sure. It started again after her call but softly. Back to Blighty and we packed our bags the night before and they had been collected. We were asked to vacate our cabins and wait in the public rooms to disembark, which we did. It was a shame that a lot of the tables and chairs were stacked up as the carpet was being replaced. But we were called to disembark after a very short wait and coached to the terminal (what is the point of the coaches)where the bags were placed in rows between the seats making it very difficult to get to. Out to the car and then home. All in all CAN NOT WAIT TO GO AGAIN and yes with Fred Olsen Read Less
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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