3 Fred. Olsen Boudicca Spain Cruise Reviews

We arrived at Avonmouth port in good time for our 6 night cruise to Spain and France, calling at Getxo (for Bilbao), La Pallice (for La Rochelle), and L'Orient . We normally have to travel to Southampton for our cruises, so this was ... Read More
We arrived at Avonmouth port in good time for our 6 night cruise to Spain and France, calling at Getxo (for Bilbao), La Pallice (for La Rochelle), and L'Orient . We normally have to travel to Southampton for our cruises, so this was convenient as we live in the South West, saving us an hour of travelling time. The facilities at Avonmouth are basic, but parking is just a couple of minutes walk from the port, which is a bonus. The ship underwent a refit last year, and we found it to be light, airy and spacious. The food in the restaurants is good, and the service throughout the ship is of a high standard.. We liked the new coffee bar, but didn't try the outdoor Grill restaurant. N. B.there is a supplement for eating in this restaurant, which started at £15 per person, then was reduced to £10 per person after a couple of days! Entertainment was of a high standard, with a comedian and an international flautist, Stephen Clark, as well as the ship's company. The port lectures given by Hazel Griffiths were very useful, and its possible to visit all the ports without having to take the ship's tours if you wish. There were also some interesting lectures given by Mick Dawson about his successful trip across the North Pacific in a rowing boat. This was our first cruise on the Boudicca, and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We cruised from Avonmouth to Bilbao, La Rochelle and L'Orient. This cruise was highly successful, helped by good weather. The food, cleanliness and crew of Boudicca were first class. Attention to the prevention of norovirus verged on ... Read More
We cruised from Avonmouth to Bilbao, La Rochelle and L'Orient. This cruise was highly successful, helped by good weather. The food, cleanliness and crew of Boudicca were first class. Attention to the prevention of norovirus verged on the fanatical and no-one became ill so far as I am aware. Although the ship is old, the benefit of recent refits showed through with a high standard of fixtures and fittings throughout. We had an inside cabin on deck 4. This was a good sized cabin and we found it quite adequate for our needs. A visit to the lower deck, 3, showed that engine noise could be a problem at that level so if anyone is concerned about this, deck 3 maybe best avoided. Although not one of the great cities of Spain, Bilboa is still well worth visiting as is La Rochelle. L'Orient, however, is a bland modern city having been completely rebuilt after WW2. But it does provide delightful excursion possibilities to the Bretagne coast and countryside. Drinks were at pub prices and Spitfire and Bishop's Finger available in bottles. Also Boddingtons on draught. As well as lagers and stout. A bottle of Scotch cost £20 for a litre delivered to your cabin where you could drink it during the voyage. So don't bother trying to smuggle it on-board. The entertainment was plentiful and of a high standard. The only downside was that Avonmouth is not a good cruise port (they use the banana storage shed as a terminal). Boudicca was in fact berthed at Portbury for embarkation since high winds prevented entry to Avonmouth. We were bussed from Avonmouth to Portbury. She was able to dock at Avonmouth for disembarkation. Both embarkation and disembarkation took a long time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We sailed from Avonmouth to Bilbao and returned to Avonmouth calling at La Rochelle and L'Orient. The cruise began in dreadful weather and we were bussed the short distance from Avonmouth the Royal Portbury Dock. This was achieved by ... Read More
We sailed from Avonmouth to Bilbao and returned to Avonmouth calling at La Rochelle and L'Orient. The cruise began in dreadful weather and we were bussed the short distance from Avonmouth the Royal Portbury Dock. This was achieved by the port staff with minimal fuss and the staff at Bristol Airport could learn a lesson from it! We have now done three cruises with Olsen and I would be very surprised if there was a fourth. On the plus side: A good captain who made most of the announcements rather than leaving it to the "cruise director" who, whenever he could broadcast, talked to his audience as if they were idiots. Where do they get these people from? We had a nice cabin although, perhaps, a little tired On the negatîve side: Olsen, if he could, would charge for the air his British passengers breathed. He wanted £22 for a return bus ride of about four miles from the port into La Rochelle! Because of the cabin we had we were entitled to a free shuttle. Together with another couple we shared a taxi which was 20 euros each way. In other words 40 euros as opposed to £88! I was told by reception, the night before we arrived in La Rochelle, there would be no taxis in the port. There were loads of them. Catering, generally, was not impressive in terms of food or service although better than when we went on the Braemar in 2013. Overall, my feeling is that Fred Olsen is losing its way and is not realising that it's passengers are human and will react if badly treated.   Read Less
Sail Date May 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

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