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3 Fred. Olsen Caribbean Cruise Reviews

We have always wanted to spend Christmas cruising the Caribbean and decided to go with Fred Olsen on the Braemar on the 20th December 2018. This was the biggest mistake we have ever made. The cruise started badly due to the drone fiasco at ... Read More
We have always wanted to spend Christmas cruising the Caribbean and decided to go with Fred Olsen on the Braemar on the 20th December 2018. This was the biggest mistake we have ever made. The cruise started badly due to the drone fiasco at Gatwick. It took two days to get to Barbados where we were due to board the ship. We were all day at Gatwick and then was forced to travel to Manchester by coach, which took five hours, where we were supposed to catch a plane to Barbados. When we arrived at Manchester there was no pilot to fly the plane which was loaded with our luggage. We were force to retrieve our luggage because we would not be flying that evening. We underwent the worst treatment imaginable from the security staff at Manchester airport who showed no empathy and treated us like criminals. We had to pass through security a total of three times being searched every time. We were given a cheap hotel to spend the night and no food was provided. We did not arrive on the Braemar until the evening of the following day. Thereby we lost two days of our cruise. Most of this was not Fred Olsen’s fault but it laid the foundation of what I can only describe as a nightmare beginning. The ventilation in the cabins was appalling. You were either too hot or too cold. A cheap duvet to cover you. The food started out good and then deteriorated rapidly. It was either too salty or overcooked. There was an outbreak of the coughing virus and they tried to cover it up. I was ill for the last week of the cruise. Wherever you sat someone was either coughing, sneezing or spluttering. The entertainment was recycled. They had three main artist, a comedian, a singer and a violinist. They used the three of them regularly throughout the cruise. We were supposed to go to The Grand Turk but the captain claimed that due to poor weather it was not safe to go there. He then announced that we would be going to Santo Domingo the capital of Dominica Republic instead. At the same time it was rumoured that one of the senior manager’s wife had recently given birth to a baby and lives with her other children in Santo Domingo. It was rumoured that he had not seen his new baby. When we arrived at Santo Domingo the wife and their new baby plus their other children came aboard and the children were seen playing in the ship’s swimming pool. Make of this what you will. Many guests commented on this and like me felt we had been deceived. We were so looking forward to snorkeling in the Grand Turk and a three hour tour of Santo Domingo which in my opinion is a hovel, was a poor substitute. I did not spend a fortune to eat poor food, pay a fortune for intermittent WiFi at a cost of £26 an hour, use a small swimming pool filled with sea water, have elderly people who are obviously unable to care for themselves being let lose on excursions which were totally unsuitable for them ( Hato Caves ) just to get their money and to go down with a severe viral cough. When I got home I saw a medic and the viral cough had developed into a chest infection. I am now very poorly and on antibiotics. This is the first time I have been on a Fred Olsen cruise and it will be my last. If you have high standards steer clear of this second rate cruise company whose apparent aim is to save money wherever they can by cutting standards. Never again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
This was without doubt the worst "Holiday" I have ever had - sadly it was my first cruise. We were kept hanging about at Southampton until 4pm (no reason of the delay given). Straight to Cabin and to use the Loo - NOT ... Read More
This was without doubt the worst "Holiday" I have ever had - sadly it was my first cruise. We were kept hanging about at Southampton until 4pm (no reason of the delay given). Straight to Cabin and to use the Loo - NOT WORKING! This was just the very start of all the problems this "CRUISE SHIP" was having... Lifts were out of order or being used by workmen and all their Clobber. Walk and Gangways blocked again by workmen ,ladders, paint, tools ,cables and the most disgusting smell of CELLULOSE THINNERS everywhere, inside outside where ever you went. Awful smells of Diesel on some decks and toilet smells on others. Complaints made to onboard customer services were met with "WE will inform maintenance". Wifi and some television packages not working. Deck 8 out of action as it was filled with Boxes and Packaging plus NO POOL FACILITIES. Tried to get to the Observatory but NO - workmen were taking Sun beds from the deck and stacking them in the numerous empty cabins on Deck 8 - they were blocking/cluttering the walk ways and exits (fire Hazard) We are given a £75 on board credit re loss of pool on a use it or lose it basic - this i feel was totally immoral we paid cash for our holidays and therefore it should have been re credited to our accounts. These points were put to Fred Olsen's On Board Customer Complaints - she assured all would be well when we got to Madeira....Well absolutely nothing changed - even the Comedians were making jokes about the toilets smells etc etc . We now have one pool in action - Great but who wants to sunbath/swim with all these workmen plodding about with Tiles, Cement, noise of tile cutters cables cellulose thinners paint - How in heavens name can you relax with all that going on around you??? By the end of this "Cruise "many people were ill with sore throats, chesty coughs etc. - I wonder why??? Final day whilst waiting to be transported to the airport we were on Deck 8 with people who were continuing the Cruise Sunbathing and swimming- STILL many workmen there including one using an OXY ACETYLENE TORCH -THIS SURELY HAD TO BE A BREACH OF HEALTH AND SAFETY??? This ship should never have left Dry Dock. We the passengers ( or perhaps we were just Cargo??) should have been refunded our money or the cruise re scheduled - the £75 was an INSULT FOR WHAT WE HAD TO PUT UP WITH ON THIS MOCKERY OF A CRUISE!! Yes I and many others have complained to Fred Olsen. But I have been told Good Luck - they are really not interested in complaints - they are a law unto themselves!! The flight back to Gatwick was like a sick bay with a great quantity of people coughing sneezing and snivelling after their so called "Healthy Holiday" Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I had the misfortune to sail to the Caribbean on Braemar just before Christmas. The ship had been in dry dock and was clearly not fit for guests. There were constant problems with the water and sanitary systems, both swimming pools and ... Read More
I had the misfortune to sail to the Caribbean on Braemar just before Christmas. The ship had been in dry dock and was clearly not fit for guests. There were constant problems with the water and sanitary systems, both swimming pools and the jacuzzis weren't working, the TV system was out of order etc. Workmen were on deck every day painting, tiling and using strong smelling solvents so when we were at sea for 10 of the 16 day's it was hardly relaxing. Decks were dirty and often roped off. Like other commentators, there has been little sympathy shown by Fred Olsen staff and poor recompense for a holiday spoiled. All they are offering is a voucher against a future cruise, so if you don't want to use them again tough luck! Many people were ill on the ship, including myself. Not a good experience and one I don't want to repeat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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