Fram Cabins

4.0 / 5.0
75 reviews
Editor Rating
Ginger Dingus

True to Fram's Norwegian heritage, its cabins are comfortable and offer modern furnishings without pretense or glitz.

To reduce the necessary fuel-burning that creates electricity, the ship requires passengers to insert their key cards in slots just inside their cabin doorways when entering. That means when you leave the cabin and remove the card, most electrical power in the cabin is cut off. However, lighting itself is not spared; it is exceptionally good in the bathroom and cabin, and every bed has a tiny reading light.

Many travelers are used to returning from an excursion or time ashore and immediately recharging their camera batteries or computer tablets upon their return to the cabin. On Fram, that only works if you plan on staying inside your cabin; when you head to a lecture or a meal and remove your card, the electricity is cut, and the batteries of your electronic devices stop recharging. (Note: Several passengers found that one of the two desk outlets still worked even after the power was cut. Or you can stick a business card in the slot to make it seem like your key card is still inside. It's worth experimenting.)

There are 128 cabins, divided into seven categories of suites, superiors and standards. All cabins are outfitted with flat-screen TVs, hair dryers, safes and fridges. You can ask to have your mini-bar stocked by filling out a form found in your cabin; you'll pay about 19 NOK ($3.17) for soda or water, 47 NOK ($7.83) for red or white wine, etc. Suite occupants get a bonus: their fridges are already stocked with liquor and soft drinks, and those first cans and bottles are included in the fare.

One unusual aspect of suites and superior cabins is the bedding. The bed covering is a duvet, but instead of a sheet atop the mattress there is a slightly rough, textured pad meant to bridge the gap that occurs when you push two mattresses together. It's debatable whether this improves the experience.

The tile and chrome bathrooms (with showers) are small and efficient. Bathrooms in the suites are slightly larger, have an extra floor-to-ceiling cabinet for stowing toiletries, and have showers with a nicely curved Plexiglas door. (Standard cabins have shower curtains.) Recognizing potential problems caused by sailing rough waters, that curved shower door is held open by a plastic hook on one end of a bungee cord; to secure the door once you're in the shower, you need to reach up and slide forward a small bolt at the rear of the door. Suite bathrooms are stocked with shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and soap from Bjorn Borg Spa and Aroma Therapy, as well as shower caps.

Meanwhile, bath amenities in standard and superior cabins are few -- a couple of shower caps and two wall dispensers of "hair and body gel" by Preven's of Paris (one next to the sink, one in the shower). If you want a bath mat, you need to request one from housekeeping. Passengers in standard or superior cabins can "rent" bathrobes.

The 20 suites are the most spacious cabins, measuring between 269 and 420 square feet. All have double beds. Six grand suites that fill the stern across Decks 5 and 6 have balconies, furnished with teak lounge chairs and fabulous views. Amenities in each suite include a sitting area with a glass-topped table, couch and large wing chair, electric kettle for making tea or instant coffee, bowl of fruit, welcome bottle of Champagne and terry robes. And, at meals, suite passengers can sit at reserved tables at the stern and enjoy complimentary beverages at lunch and dinner. They even have a tiny buffet with such additional items as smoked salmon -- instead of the gravlax or peppered salmon on the main buffet, perhaps a dozen steps away.

Superior cabins measure 183 to 248 square feet and have a small sitting area. Most have double beds, but in one (503) the beds can be separated into two singles.

Standard cabins (118 to 140 square feet) have two or four single beds that fold out from the walls. During the day, one bed converts to a sofa.

You'll need to pack adaptors for the round-pin 220-volt outlets. While many battery chargers and laptops can convert that voltage to 110, it's a good idea to bring a converter, too.

There are two wheelchair-accessible cabins on Deck 3, close to the two elevators.

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