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73 Fred. Olsen Europe Cruise Reviews

Its small just over 24000 tons but has 900 plus passengers, still tidy and well laid out, it was a “cut & shut” which makes it quite long (4 times around prom deck to a mile) but only 8 decks high. Our cabin on deck 3 with double ... Read More
Its small just over 24000 tons but has 900 plus passengers, still tidy and well laid out, it was a “cut & shut” which makes it quite long (4 times around prom deck to a mile) but only 8 decks high. Our cabin on deck 3 with double port holes, it was a bit smallish, especially the shower but comfortable enough,toilet paper a bit thin though, however we had tea & coffee but no biscuits! One very good point for the cabin - Interactive TV with Sky TV channels, bow camera, weather forecast, onboard a/c and a good selection of films, we watched 2 on days that were to cold for going outside. The corridors are quite narrow and Prom deck has a one way system for walking round but difficult to pass anyone at some points. Braemar was built in 1994, refurbished in 2008 and probably had a tidy up in the last year or so. But she does vibrate a fair bit especially when your in the restaurant at the back of the ship, although we couldn’t hear it in other parts of the ship. The outside areas at the back of the ship with tables and chairs are well laid out we even had lunch outside whilst sailing down the Seine, it wasn’t that warm but at least it wasn’t raining that day. Unfortunately you do get the black soot floating around same as P&O's Aurora & Oriana - ships of a certain age! We didn’t sit on the sun deck for obvious reasons but there looked to be plenty of space, loungers and a reasonable pool. The observatory at the from of deck 8 is a smaller version of the P&O's crows nest but quite comfortable, but it gets full of people of a certain age! All the officers were Croatian apart from the doctor who was a Rumanian & the head chef who was a Brit. In fact a lot of the crew were eastern european I was expecting to see Slaven Bilic at any time( West ham joke if you don’t follow football). The Captain gave a regular lunchtime update although with long pauses but had a good sense of humour. Entertainment There wasn’t any shuffleboard or deckquoits but there was Hop-la & Dolphin Racing (a excuse to bet on a roll of the dice)maybe put on as this cruise was still in the children holidays and there were 24 kids onboard but they were well behaved. We did quite a few quizzes, not that hard but most teams had 6 and we were "billy no mates", came close to winning the Name that tune a few times. The Braemar orchestra held a resemblance to P&O's Caravan especially the brass section, the show singers 2 guys & 2 girls all had good voices and did 4 shows plus 2 appearances at welcome and farewell parties as well as helping out with distribution of tickets, holding some quizzes etc. There were 4 girl dancers that made up the troop with the singers. They did shows in either the Neptune lounge ( with the band backing) or in the Coral club bar and lounge. Two guest entertainers, Taffy Spencer magician & Stevie Jo Salter a comedian from Bethnal Green he was OK, but he did a great talk on his time working in the Met murder squad. The port lecturer was fairly poor just read from a laptop to slides but some useful information, the guest speaker was Robert Ash a gourmet chef who did 2 talks one on Monet and one on Chefs famous dishes - actually both good. Food Everyone says the food is good on Fred Olsens and we agree. There is more choice than on P&O especially in the self service Palm Cafe where we eat both breakfast and lunch. One plus point is that you are not let in to the PalmCafe unless a table is free, so its not such a bun fight as P&O, and we did try the cava at breakfast a couple of mornings! The thistle restaurant in the evening has 2 sittings (no freedom dining) we had 2nd sitting which wasn’t full our table of 6 only had 4 on it including us. The menu has a choice of 2 starters, 3 soups, 2 salads, 3 main course and 3 sweets plus cheese and the normal chicken, fish & pasta on all the time, not large portions but if you’ve had breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea you don’t want a big dinner. On one day Afternoon tea was served in the Neptune lounge as a “Tea dance” we didn’t dance but we gave the cakes a good bashing chocolate fountain with fruit, amaretto cake & Lemon meringue tart to name 3( carol had 2 tarts so it shows how good they were) but we left the doughnuts and cream cakes alone. We did have a giggle because there were 2 Dance Hosts, elderly gentlemen to dance with the ladies, we don’t think they provided any other services & you certainly wouldn’t call them Gigolos. Parties there was welcome aboard and a farewell party, you had to go in the lounge and sit down before they would serve you a drink, choice of red/white wine, sherry , G&T and Cava. We managed 2 drinks first time and 3 second time. The captain gave a speech which was quite entertaining and then introduced the senior crew members no opportunity to talk to any of them or any any other more junior officers. Crew As stated the officers are mainly all croatian but the waiters are mainly Indian, Thai, malaysian etc. we didn’t find our lead restaurant waiter that friendly he belittled his number 2 which we didn’t like, but those we came across in the Cafe, drinks waiters & cabin stewardesses were all friendly enough. we didn’t feel the entertainments team treated you like school children at least they were Brits apart from the cruise director who surprisingly enough was a Croatian lady. Weather & Tours Obviously the weather was not great as we said we did have a good day cruising along the Seine from Rouen to Hornfleur (about 6 hours) but we got soaked in a thunderstorm on the evening in Bordeaux and the only other good day was the last afternoon sailing up the English Channel, we’ve never known it so flat and the strongest wind we had was force 4. so we can’t really say how Braemar performs in bad weather, our guess is not great. We were not impressed with the tours we did a wine tour in the evening in Bordeaux a walk from the ship to a wine cellar, expensive and not much wine. We also did a tour from Lorient because there’s nothing at Lorient apart from a exGerman submarine base which is now a museum. We went too Josselin Castle by coach, the driver got lost trying to get into the village, we toured Leclerc supermarket car park and did 4 laps of the same roundabout, when we got into the village all the roads near the castle were being relaid with block paving so we had a to walk over mudyy unmade roads to get to the castle. We told the tours lady ( who was another Croatian) that if we did a Fred's cruise again we probably wouldn’t do any tours! A couple of final plus points, the Daily News sheet with whats on, has a tear off strip with times of events, useful to tear off and put in your pocket. Disembarkation is done by deck number starting at deck 8 and working down but it was all over in less than an hour and you don’t have to put your luggage outside your cabin until after 22:00 and before 02:00 - take note P&O! In summary we enjoyed the experience, we may consider Fred again but certainly not on anything longer than 10-15 days. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
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
'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
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
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
It's always nice to do something in the rather dismal month of January. We secured an excellent deal (just £199 each) on this 3-night short-cruise to Rouen and Honfleur and were not disappointed. We had previusly spent a week on ... Read More
It's always nice to do something in the rather dismal month of January. We secured an excellent deal (just £199 each) on this 3-night short-cruise to Rouen and Honfleur and were not disappointed. We had previusly spent a week on Balmoral in 2016, but after her recent refit she was noticeably fresher in her decor. We normally go 'inside' and were pleased with our cabin (5150) with its very comfortable beds and (well done Fred Olsen!) extremely well-lit bathroom. It was also nice to see that Fred still offers Twinings teabags! We prefer second-sitting dinner and elected to pay the £2 per head per night to switch from our assigned first-sitting in the excellent Bendarroch. The food was very good throughout - as had been expected. Lunch in the smaller Spey and Avon on Deck 10 is our preference and is recommended. We enjoyed two excellent shows staged by the hard-working resident company of ten. If both are still running for a while to come, make sure that you go and see the nautically-themed 'Bon Voyage' and the raunchier 'Ministry Of Rock' (I might have got the show names slightly wrong). Whilst many fellow-passengers chose to stay on board - it was extremely wet unfortunately - we walked to and from Rouen on the Sunday afternoon and it was good to see the famous clock and the magnificent cathedral with its lovely tinkly carillons in the afternoon. The weather was better on Monday in Honfleur, which is always a delight ot visit. We will be looking out for more short cruises like this and can heartily recommend Balmoral for a pleasurable 'sensible-sized ship' experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
For a winter break but never again. Four days in I contracted noro virus. Medical centre nurse attended and told me not to consume alcohol. No time scale given. However after being released from 21 hours isolation following last symptom ... Read More
For a winter break but never again. Four days in I contracted noro virus. Medical centre nurse attended and told me not to consume alcohol. No time scale given. However after being released from 21 hours isolation following last symptom I had not recovered enough to even think about consuming alcohol. A male passenger soiled himself on deck 7 in a public area and staff rushed to clear up mess without wearing gloves. One of our dinner companions stopped them and advised them to don gloves. Two female passengers projectile vomited in public areas. Fred Olson kept these details quiet. We had £320 left in credit at end of cruise due to being unwell. One would think we would have been offered a refund. Unfortunately this was not the case. After considerable correspondence they eventually sent a cheque for £120 which I found quite insulting. On top of that the restrictions on the AIDP are ridiculous. One cannot order a bottle of wine at anytime. Choice is limited to two house wines of rose, white and red and other drinks are sadly limited. Cocktails are allowed a 50% discount. Why are they not included in the drinks package? Waiters were also topping up half empty wine glasses resulting in passengers being charged for 2.instead of 1 and a half which had been consumed. So beware. Have sailed up the Amazon, through Panama Canal and experienced a typhoon in the South China Seas but after experience on board Balmoral will not cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Chose cruise as had been on the two previous Christmas cruise. This year 2017 lacked any atmosphere. Everything had been cut back, no sailaways. No chefs parade. Felt cheated. Very poor. Awful. Seats in the Observatory lounge. Whoever ... Read More
Chose cruise as had been on the two previous Christmas cruise. This year 2017 lacked any atmosphere. Everything had been cut back, no sailaways. No chefs parade. Felt cheated. Very poor. Awful. Seats in the Observatory lounge. Whoever chose them obviously has not tried sitting in them to read. They are hard and uncomfortable. Look nice but that is all. Then the flu bug hit us it was like being in a sanitarium. Hygiene very poor from staff and passengers. Will not do this cruise again. Cabin beds uncomfotable and whole cabin needs refurbishing. Embarkation was terrible never known it so bad before. Food excellent but began to go downhill on the last week. Captain Victor Stoica was excellent and made the right choice to leave Lisbon a day early to avoid rough storms. Felt safe knowing he was at the helm. Shame didn’t feel we had had Christmae at all Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
On the first night a burst pipe on the tenth floor flooded our cabin on the ninth floor and the hallway carpets were soaked. Noisy machines to dry out carpets. Took 5 days. At breakfast we were served cold tea and breakfast. Dirty ... Read More
On the first night a burst pipe on the tenth floor flooded our cabin on the ninth floor and the hallway carpets were soaked. Noisy machines to dry out carpets. Took 5 days. At breakfast we were served cold tea and breakfast. Dirty breakfast plates. Complained to manager. Not enough seats for entertainment in the Neptune Lounge. Probably due to wet carpets husbands pneumonia kicked in. 2 hour wait for doctor £61 for 8 tablets.Need two doctors!!! The swimming pools and jacuzzis not ready after a small refit. Were being worked on 24 hours a day.( Retiled etc) Some were ready five days after cruise started. Lift doors dangerous as closed too quickly.At least 2 people injured .Left Lisbon early to miss storm. Too many days at sea.Fireworks in Funchal were lovely though.Epidemic of coughing called apparently Balmoral cough as it happens a lot. A lot of time spent in bed due to illness probably caused by damp carpets. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
to be away christmas and new year was the main reason to watch the fireworks in maderia was a memory i and my wife will remember for ever the great problems we had on the ship and on embarkation was in my opinion could and should have ... Read More
to be away christmas and new year was the main reason to watch the fireworks in maderia was a memory i and my wife will remember for ever the great problems we had on the ship and on embarkation was in my opinion could and should have been avoided 2 hours stuck in a taxi prior to embarkation is not acceptable get it right fred olsen the pool area was not completed prior to sailing we were only informed by the captain that this area would be out of bounds for the first three days it was in fact four days we were offered £75 per person i refused the offer after paying £16000 for this holiday i exspected to have all the ships facilities££ for my use and not be insulted by offering me£150 for two people the food in the main restaurant first four nights was superb but went down hill after that we had to send food back why the change i do not know the ship and crew and fellow passengers were the most friendly on any ship i have ever been on i do not exspect fred olsen to react to my review then again i might be wrong cheers brian lee Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My wife wanted to see the xmas markets in Hamburg and Bremen. the departure port of Tilbury is really only suited for containers. Containers don't mind being dumped on the dockside and they don't have to pay an extortion fee to ... Read More
My wife wanted to see the xmas markets in Hamburg and Bremen. the departure port of Tilbury is really only suited for containers. Containers don't mind being dumped on the dockside and they don't have to pay an extortion fee to stay there. The car park is 3 miles away from the port Buildings ( I am being kind at this instance) the method of transport is an ancient clapped out Double Decker bus. It is best described as a cattle truck with seats. Check in is in a dilapidated out shed of a building and then a short walk to the ship.# On board welcome was good and most of the staff on board were brilliant. The cruise dirctor was a bit of a joke and any information given during the voyage was ambiguous. Noy very professional until it came time to disembark when it appeared that they could not get you off the ship fast enough. More at this later On board service was good. Our cabin on Deck 5 had air conditioning which was so loud it was like working in a jet air-plane hangar. I still have tinnitus from it. The food sitting; there re two it is better to take the later one. the food is ok just the meat comes in two conditions, over cooked and cremated. apparently an EU directive which must only apply to cruise ships as I can order a very rare steak in a restaurant but not on board. the water on board taste like it came from a swimming pool so coffee and tea are undrinkable The on board lectures on German towns and site were factually inaccurate and the speakers could not even pronounce the names correctly ( I am fluent German speaker) The observation lounge is the best place to sit and enjoy a drink and the piano only spoiled by the constants whoops and screams of the carpet bowls players directly outside. The disembarkation is a complete farce involving seeing your luggage being thrown around by 3 yobos with a van totally unsuitable for the purposed then being crammed onto an old ex airport coach for the return trip to the car. Fred Olsen want you off the ship and then abandon you. Unlike the Magellan passenger who docked alondside at the same time. They were all dispersed and directed by Uniformed M & V staff and had gone whilst we were still stood in the piss*** down rain. At a cost of £1700 for the 2 of us plus £90 car parking plus the cost of wine at an Extortionate £20 per bottle \i can make the same trip by air and stay in a very good 4/5 star hotel for 4 days for £700 including all fees. That leaves about £1300 for some really good dinners. If you want an old folks rest home on the sea, this is the one for you Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My husband and I are in our late 50's and early 60's and had reservations about going on a Cruise that we had been informed consisted mainly of older clientele, however we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and have booked again for ... Read More
My husband and I are in our late 50's and early 60's and had reservations about going on a Cruise that we had been informed consisted mainly of older clientele, however we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and have booked again for 2018. Embarkation and luggage handling was speedy and faultless and our luggage arrived at our Cabin only minutes after we embarked. The Cabin was as described, spacious, spotless and with air conditioning and Tea and coffee facilities provided. We were pre booked onto the early Dining sitting at 6pm but could chose to go to the open Buffet restaurant if we preferred. The food was always plentiful, excellent choice and served hot, nothing was too much trouble. The evening entertainment was outstanding. We have been to many London West End Shows but the quality of the Singing and dancing whilst on board the Balmoral far surpassed some of the West End Shows we have seen. The variety of the Shows was excellent and we managed to see 3 full shows whilst on board for the 8 nights. The Shows were performed twice nightly and we enjoyed the shows so much that we watched both performances. The Show Team consisted of 10 performers, 3 main female dancers, 3 main male dancers, 2 female singers and 2 male singers. Their performances and professionalism at all times were faultless and they were all outstanding and worked so hard and well together as a team, they were a pleasure to watch. I don't think people realise how much time and energy is spent rehearsing in order produce such amazing quality shows.My only criticism would be that the 2nd Show was very late in the evening which I think restricted people coming to watch, however this did not put us off watching both shows. We thought that the entertainment during the sea days could have been a little more varied and was geared towards the older generation with Bingo and "Dolphin "racing, however the Quiz sessions were very good, but further variety would have been more interesting. The Service by everyone on board was excellent. We did not book any Tours but due to the close proximity of the places we visited, it was easy to make our own itinerary. In summary we thoroughly enjoyed our Cruise and if we had to chose one outstanding thing it would have been the excellent quality of the dancing and singing from the Balmoral team, with such amazing choreography and costume design. Finally disembarkation was also very quick and well organised. We have booked again in 2018 for another Cruise on board the Balmoral. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We did this cruise for our honeymoon - it was our first cruise and our first time in Europe, so we thought the interesting itinerary would be a good taster. We also got it for a last-minute great price. Embarkation: Southampton ... Read More
We did this cruise for our honeymoon - it was our first cruise and our first time in Europe, so we thought the interesting itinerary would be a good taster. We also got it for a last-minute great price. Embarkation: Southampton embarkation was brilliant: luggage arrived before we even got on the ship. Our cabin, as written below, was excellent, and as it was on the main deck was close to all the facilities. The ship: The ship itself is small and fairly old: some parts were a little dated but overall the condition of the ship was excellent. We liked how small the ship was as it meant that there was always plenty of room in the common areas and bars, and you never felt crowded. You could also mostly get from one end of the ship to other in about ten minutes, so none of the venues were very far away. The on-board staff were always so personable and friendly: always smiling and greeting you by name. Something to note is that the ship probably caters mainly to older clients - we were probably some of the youngest there (at ages 26 and 25). It meant the on-board activities didn't really relate to us very well, and especially the one day at sea got very boring (wifi was extortionate and I refused to pay the price!). We ended up hanging out in the Lido Lounge drinking, which was okay especially as it was never very crowded and had excellent service from the bar staff. Food and drinks: We had the 8:30pm dinner sitting in the Ballindalloch restaurant, which suited us as it meant we didn't have to rush back from the ports. The few days we did arrive back earlier we could however go to the Palms Café which had unlimited buffet-style service from 6:30pm (and breakfast, lunch, and supper club). The food overall was excellent: in the restaurant we were treated to varied five-course meals which were always interesting and presented nicely. In the Café you could choose basically whatever was on offer, which was always tasty and high quality - and unlimited too! Something to note about the restaurant: we thought we'd be fine going to the two Formal Nights with just a shirt and black trousers - not so! Dinner jackets are mandatory. So we ate in the Café on those two nights. Something to keep in mind for newbies to cruises... Room service was mostly free which was a great surprise - sandwiches, cakes, some drinks all complimentary. One thing we didn't quite understand was that large bottles of water (presented in the cabin each morning after the turn-down service, or via room service) cost £1.50 a day. Bit odd considering that fruit drinks and such could just be ordered for free. We also opted for the All Inclusive Drinks package at £240 total cost. We didn't feel this was really that worth it, as the All Inclusive Drinks menu was fairly limited. You do get half price on most other menu items though. In the end we tried to drink as much of the free cheap alcohol as possible in order to break even! Ports and shore excursions: Be aware that Rouen was quite far away from the port - a fifteen minute coach trip in traffic or an hour's walk. We were told there would be taxis so we opted for that and didn't bother buying the coach tickets; but when we got ashore there were no taxis, and we ended up waiting over an hour and a half in the cold for one! Eventually we just bought a £5 couch ticket from the ship... Rouen was lovely though overall. Amsterdam and especially Antwerp were much closer to the port, which was brilliant. We did shore excursions in both these cities: Edam and a cheese factory in Amsterdam, and Ghent and a chocolatiers in Antwerp. Both times the tour guides were funny and knowledgeable, but we felt the Edam tour was very rushed; only allowing about 45 minutes in the town (not including ten minutes walking back to the coach park each way) which didn't really give us any time to relax or explore the place. We ended up having to leave Antwerp about six hours early due to approaching storms, which was a massive shame as it meant we only got to see it in the evening (due to the excursion) and couldn't see it at all the next day as originally advertised. I know you can't help the weather, but... Overall though the experience was very positive. I'd definitely recommend The Balmoral for the fact its a cosier ship, and Fred Olsen staff were so friendly and caring throughout. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Cabin , spacious, newly refurbed and very pleasant except for when at sea . Very loud intermittent banging, rattling noise. I have cruised several times and accept that when at sea there is always a certain degree of noise from engines, ... Read More
Cabin , spacious, newly refurbed and very pleasant except for when at sea . Very loud intermittent banging, rattling noise. I have cruised several times and accept that when at sea there is always a certain degree of noise from engines, machinery, air con but this was exceptional and unacceptable. Some service especially in the dining rooms was spa radio and at times chaotic. In the Observatory on Sunday Lunchtime, there were three waiters, one setting out tables for Afternoon tea yet some people waited for service and then walked out after being ignored. You have to ask for tea and coffee instead of waiters approaching tables . A value for money cruise but it shows on the quality of food . Avoid cabin 3106 very noisy Would I use FreD Olsen again ? Only if no one else was offering the same itinerary and I would upgrade cabins , but that would negate the advantage of being value for money. A more expensive cabin still means you would still have the Medicare food and sporadic service Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
It was a cruise for my wife's senior birthday. After forgetting our passports and having to return home after a stay at the Premier Inn the boarding was over in 45 minutes and all cases were unpacked with half an hour of entering the ... Read More
It was a cruise for my wife's senior birthday. After forgetting our passports and having to return home after a stay at the Premier Inn the boarding was over in 45 minutes and all cases were unpacked with half an hour of entering the cabin. We have been on the ship a few time so we knew the layout of it. On our first night dining, I was uncertain of one of the other guest on the table. The second night after he stated that the staff of the ship had an easy life we decided that was a good reason to leave the table. This was the first time we have done it in over 20 cruises. The ship was clean and the ports visited all very nice some we have been to before but this was a chill out cruise. No tours booked. The food was of its normal high standard with plenty of choices. We did not go to any of the lectures so can't comment. What I will prise very highly is the entertainment team. The night shows in both the club and theatre were of a very high standard. The best we have ever had. All in all a great 5-star cruise well done Fred. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Rosyth and expected to see Paris. First, £95 to park on wasteland, extortionate. No complaints about the ship. Dining and service in restaurant excellent. However, refused entry to restaurant on 2 ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it sailed from Rosyth and expected to see Paris. First, £95 to park on wasteland, extortionate. No complaints about the ship. Dining and service in restaurant excellent. However, refused entry to restaurant on 2 formal evenings as not wearing jacket and tie and had to queue for 15 minutes to get a seat in the buffet. Our cruise was ruined due to the continuous loud noises of welding, grinding and hammering coming from below our cabin. Had to complain twice before we were offered a SINGLE cabin where we could go to escape the noise and read, watch tv or have a nap. Unfortunately it was next to a staff only door, with staff constantly in and out banging door. Also offered £400 compensation and asked not to tell anyone. Docked in Guernsey on a Sunday, everything closed, no chance of "stocking up on duty free or low tax goods". Bus to La Rochele, Fred Olsen £20, local bus from dock gates e1.30. Lorient, booked excursion "scenic tour of Brittainy", £48 each, 4 hour "rip off" trip, spent 2h 10ms on the bus, first stop for 20 mins to see an island which most of the elderly passengers hadn't even the time to cross the small bridge, next stop was to stand for 20 mins looking at standing stones. Last stop to quaint village with streets too steep, which meant bus late in leaving. Only chance of seeing Paris if went on £220 a head excursion. Even after we got home money taken out of bank account for Premium drinks that we did not have. Still await refund and apology. A cruise that catered more for the elderly, included Saga passengers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Never had visited areas before. History of all locations fascinated us and we wanted to see modern developments in the areas which had been rejuvenated post war. Although the ship was forced to anchor some distance from Helgoland ... Read More
Never had visited areas before. History of all locations fascinated us and we wanted to see modern developments in the areas which had been rejuvenated post war. Although the ship was forced to anchor some distance from Helgoland port the weather was kind and we managed to land by tender, in excellent conditions (which were a rarity for the island ). Walked around a fascinating laid back almost Scandanavian retreat . No cars or buses, delivery vehicles were all electric! Hamburg has a modern Hafen -City port, with centre easily reached by Ubahn.Architecture and area around Alster lake outstanding. The night time trip on the lake on a vintage steamer called the St Georg was memorable. Sailing, rowing and canoeing was still going on in the dusk.The new , very modern Philharmonie building near the cruise terminal offered free entry to viewing platform over the Elbe. The trip up the Weser from Bremerhaven showed Germany’s industrial redevelopment , container terminals, factories, ship building etc all featured. Although we berthed 7 km from the old town , buses took us into the centre in 30 minutes . The Town Square with the gabled builings, the Rathaus, St Peters Church wre very photogenic. However for us the main attraction was Stutting and the Art Deco buildings lesding down to the river. The Schnoor area had many pretty old alleys with typical Olde Worlde shops and houses.Although it was rather “touristy” with many souvenir shops. The Black Watch crise ship had been recently refurbished and our cabin was a compltete delight , decorated in turquoise and cream .Toilet and shower room had been tadtefully refitted too. Lifts and stairways were easily acessible and rarely crowded. Entertainment from the resident troupers was good. The guest violinist was outstanding too. Compliments were given personally to the head chef- his menus were varied and of high quality. To cap it all the North Sea was flat calm in both diirections and the sun shone when we were at sea. We would recommend this cruise whole heartedly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Braemar is a very happy, friendly ship. Being smaller, it's much easier and quicker getting on and off the ship - didn't have to queue once for anything during the whole cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was slick and very ... Read More
Braemar is a very happy, friendly ship. Being smaller, it's much easier and quicker getting on and off the ship - didn't have to queue once for anything during the whole cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was slick and very quick with plenty of helpful crew members around to help. Our luggage was outside our cabin when we got on board and the whole experience was trouble free and relaxing. We are seasoned cruisers but this was our first time with Fred Olsen and first time on a smaller ship. Fantastic! We wish we had discovered Fred Olsen before; there are no hidden extras and they are not trying to fleece us at every turn like some cruise lines do. The food is excellent and far better quality than most of the cruise lines sailing from UK. Everything seems to be 'upmarket' in an understated way; even the self-service 'Palms Cafe' has linen napkins and tablecloths. Drinks are reasonably priced in ALL of the bars and the tours are not as expensive as we expected. No gimmicks or 'tackyness'. Cabins are very comfortable and SPOTLESSLY clean. Entertainment was very good. Don't think we will be cruising with anyone else from now on. We chose this cruise as it was an unusual destination for a cruise ship sailing from the UK: River Seine all the way up to Rouen, which was very nice. Would recommend this itinerary for a change from the usual short hops to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam etc. We were docked close enough to Rouen to walk into town (about 35 minutes walk along the riverside walkway) but Fred Olsen put on a shuttle bus as well. The crossing from Southampton was a bit choppy but it was nice to feel you are at sea. All in all, a very pleasant experience and we would highly recommend a cruise on Braemar. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise for two main reasons. The Newcastle port of departure and the itinerary. Fred Olsen documentation appears to indicate that port facilities at Newcastle are not as good as other ports. However, we found the arrangements ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two main reasons. The Newcastle port of departure and the itinerary. Fred Olsen documentation appears to indicate that port facilities at Newcastle are not as good as other ports. However, we found the arrangements to be pleasant and relaxed with a smooth embarkation, giving no cause for concern. Disembarkation was a little slow but our luggage was available for collection in the car park, which was helpful The cruise itinerary was very interesting taking us to areas that we had not visited before, and including some river sailing, down to Hamburg and also right down to Bremen. The shore excursions are a little expensive, but did include some good choices. There were also opportunities for some free time whilst the ship was in port. All ports were directly accessible by the ship, but the first visit at Kiel was especially impressive with airport style walkways direct to the ship. We have travelled on this ship before and generally enjoyed our experience. We are not a fan of very large cruise ships. We did feel on this cruise that the standard of restaurant service, whilst very good, had reduced very slightly. The "all-inclusive" drinks option was limited to "singles" this time, where previously "doubles" had been permitted. However, this did not cause us any difficulty. The cabin was the same category as our previous cruise, and again we were very satisfied. The cleaning was also good and reliable. There is an annoying feature in the Marquee Bar on the highest deck. The doors are automatic and cause an uncomfortable gale when the entrance onto the open deck and entrance from the inside of the ship are both open. As this tends to be used as a through route, this occurs frequently. Our overall experiences to date have encouraged us to book another short cruise from Newcastle on this ship for 2018. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise as it was sailing from Newcastle. This avoided the journey from Yorkshire to a South Coast port before and return after the cruise. The ports of call and the small number of days at sea also contributed to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it was sailing from Newcastle. This avoided the journey from Yorkshire to a South Coast port before and return after the cruise. The ports of call and the small number of days at sea also contributed to the decision. We have not travelled on this ship before and enjoyed our experience. The embarkation was excellent, although disembarkation was slightly slow. . The range of dining arrangements and entertainment was generally very good, with two sittings for dinner. We did get the impression that the later sitting was becoming less popular. We have travelled with Fred Olsen before and felt that the food and service standards on this cruise were generally not quite as good as on previous occasions. There were of course some individual exceptions to this. The selection of shore excursions were good and we took advantage of these at each port. Disembarkation arrangements for these were well organised. The "future cruise" booking desk was understaffed during the cruise causing frustrating delays and queues to see the member of staff involved. A large number of passengers were elderly and we were surprised over the selfish behaviour of a small number. The number of activities available each day catered well for most tastes, without any pressure to participate if you did not wish to. It did seem strange that the cruise actually visited ports on the west coast but passed Gothenberg to travel round the Southern tip of Sweden to Stockholm, before returning to visit Gothenberg halfway up the west coast prior to returning to the UK. Nevertheless we did enjoy the cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
First we found out after boarding the ship that she was flat bottomed which of coarse meant there was much more movement in when cruising. Poor sailors beware. The cabins were very clean, the size adequate. The food varied from good ... Read More
First we found out after boarding the ship that she was flat bottomed which of coarse meant there was much more movement in when cruising. Poor sailors beware. The cabins were very clean, the size adequate. The food varied from good to excellent. The staff were brilliant, very hard working and very polite. The entertainment varied from poor to excellent depending on ones taste. We never used the Shore excursions because they seemed expensive compared with what one could organize for oneself. That applies to ALL cruise lines. There was only one thing that I would complain about and that is the WiFi. It was a complete RIP OFF. It costs £13 for 30 minutes and was SO SLOW. I only managed to view my bank account twice within the 30 minutes. Fred you should be ashamed, even Virgin Trains only charge £5 for 24 hours. I don't think I would sail with Fred again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Once upon a time I was working at a shipping agency in a South American port, when a brand-new ship come into port. It was the Crown Odyssey, which belonged to the Royal Cruise Line and we were appointed agents for four calls during ... Read More
Once upon a time I was working at a shipping agency in a South American port, when a brand-new ship come into port. It was the Crown Odyssey, which belonged to the Royal Cruise Line and we were appointed agents for four calls during February and March 1989. The ship impressed even the experienced pilots by its easy manoeuvrability. Visitors and passengers were also impressed by the then ultra-modern décor, which was a bit dark and made extensive use of mirrors and brass surfaces. I recall that the authorities were received on what was called Theo’s Bar (Theo been a well-known barman for that line) and the entrance to it had a curved space, full of mirrors and in the middle a peacock on a golden cage. The whole peacock was covered by fibre optics which made it change its colours every minute or so. Nothing new nowadays but then it was a wow factor. Fast forward 28 years and I find myself, from the Western Heights in Dover, looking at the now Balmoral. The ship has been stretched and the colours have changed as well as a spa added to what was an open deck before (and spoilt her lovely lines besides making her top heavy… Thanks NCL…). And soon I was on my way to board the ship for a cruise to Northern Spain, calling at four ports which would be new to me. Unfortunately, Dover was not giving its best impression. I arrived the day before, stayed in a lovely guesthouse, but the town looked sad, with the High-Street empty on a Saturday and many shop spaces closed for good and for some time. Quite different from the town I used to visit 15 years ago. The cruise terminal is, in a way, walkable from the main train station (Dover Priory – about 30 minutes away), but Dover has a shuttle bus which operates on days when cruise ships are in town with transit passengers, and, at 2 GBP, it made sense to take on their offer. It departs from near the Museum (which is worth visiting) and drops passengers on Terminal 2, which is close to Terminal 1. So, after checking in my luggage, went in and sat in the lounge which was not crowded. The cruise terminal is a modern building and they do offer some catering. I was soon called to check in and not long after to embark. It was a bit of an emotional moment to approach the main hall on deck 6 once again. The Balmoral was to be one of two ships built at Meyer in Papenburg (then at the beginning of their stellar success in building passenger ships) but the sister was cancelled. At that time, it was on a fleet with the Golden Odyssey which was a charming yacht-like ship. Nowadays Balmoral is in a fleet with another three ships, in which it is the ‘youngest’ and the largest. It is a nicely built and comfortable ship carrying not too many passengers, and taking to the seas well. The ship has 8 passenger decks, with classical names like Lido, Bridge, Lounge, etc. My cabin, on deck 3, described as an Ocean View, had two single beds on a L configuration, and it was mostly original (new carpets and curtains). There was a glass table and chair and the wardrobe (mirrored doors) was large enough and there were a lot of storage space and options. The beds, however, are practically fixed on their settings and there was not enough space for my larger suitcase under them but not a major problem. Bathroom was large and original with the shower behind a glass and plastic curtain mix. The stewardess was attentive, efficient and friendly but rarely to be seen, which was not a problem. On the same deck, there was also the medical center (large) and an Arts & Crafts Room (which was used mostly for games but had almost a daily programme for it). Decks 3, 4,5, 6, 8,9 and 10 are almost exclusively dedicated to cabins. On deck 6 there is an Main Lobby/Atrium, where there are also the reception, excursions desk, photo shop and a small shop selling toiletries, and also branded items. It also has access to the MDR Ballindalloch (aft), which operates two sittings for dinner and open sitting for breakfast and lunch. This restaurant, apart from chairs and carpet, is mostly original with mirrors on walls and stained glass on ceiling. Deck 7 has a lovely wraparound promenade deck with real wood flooring. It can get a bit narrow at certain points but it was a pleasant (and popular) spot for sun bathing or watch the manoeuvres, etc. This is also the Lounge Deck, with the Neptune Lounge forward (the show lounge, which also incorporates what was Theo’s Bar), the boutiques and the future cruises desk (surrounding the staircase that leads to the reception lobby, mostly original with lots of brass and glass), the card room (a popular place where bridge classes took place), a kind of gallery with some comfortable sitting which, at times, reminded me of a similar space on QE2, the Bookmark Café (another popular venue, which included the nice library where summary of the news were copied and distributed at midday), the Morning Light Pub (a nice venue but more like a lounge than a pub) and the Palms Café which is the buffet venue, operating where the Yacht Club was in the times of Crown Odyssey (the pictures of the yachts are still there). The Café had a kind of veranda lido at the back, in which the glass doors were fully opened on warm days and leading to the swimming pool and Jacuzzis aft, with plenty of open deck space around it. One deck above is where the Lido Lounge is, a venue for quizzes, music and dancing which looked a bit dark but worked well in the evenings. It occupies what used to be three venues when the ship was new: the card room, a cinema and a small lounge also called Lido. A conservatory style area, at the back of the Lido Lounge was a very popular area on sunny days, with comfortable seating and a bar nearby. On deck 10 one can find the Spa and gym forward, with some nice views but unfortunately no sauna, and two other restaurants, Speyer and Avon, with modern décor, good space, and nice looking seats (although some were a bit stained, which is a normal part of wear and tear). These restaurants occupy what was before an open deck space for the then only set of balcony cabins which were also the top suites. Nowadays the ship has a variety of balcony cabins to offer, although most of the external cabins are window only. Deck 11 houses the Observatory Lounge (a popular venue day and night, which used to be like a night club on the times of Royal Cruise Line and still retain some original features), with excellent views, forward. Aft there is a charming bar called Marquee Bar which feels just like swimming pool bars used to feel once upon a time. Here one finds another swimming pool as well and another set of Jacuzzis as well as lots of open deck space. Aft there is space for deck games. The other passengers were 95% British with some small numbers of other nationalities with very few children. The passenger profile was almost entirely elderly, experienced cruisers which enjoy some of the old-fashioned traditions that Fred Olsen still offers. They also come for the service, which is attentive, not pushy, friendly and adaptable to some pax restrictions. The food was good, some British traditional dishes as well as the occasional modern creation. It all worked well and the Gala menus were not too extensive but well done. There was an extra tariff offer (The Grill, occupying a space on the aft part of the Palms Café) but have not spoken to anyone who tried it. I had an excellent table for dinner, all solo cruisers, but varied a bit the venue for breakfast and lunch. Entertainment was good, given the limitations of the lounge which is more than 20 years old, and Fred Olsen is good in bringing varieties (lectures, comedians, musicians, dance troupe) and has an excellent orchestra. There were also daily quizzes, trivia, bridge classes, deck games, etc. The cruise itinerary was: Dover – La Coruna – Gijon – Santader – Bilbao and back to Dover From La Coruna, I took a ship excursion to visit the famous Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral, etc. A journey worth doing. Unfortunately, by the time we came back to the ship there was no time to visit La Coruna, which is a pity as it looked like a nice town. Gijon is an important port in Asturias, with a small, but interesting historical city centre, the rest of a fortress up in the hill (with great views of town and sea) as well as a nice city centre beach. It has also the remains of a Roman Bath underneath the historical centre which is one of its main attractions. Santander is the main port for Cantabria and a dynamic city, which suffered a horrendous fire in 1941 which destroyed a good deal of its historical centre. Nevertheless, it still has an impressive cathedral (with a lower church as well), some modern and nice museums (the maritime museum is definitely worth a visit and has a nice terrace overlooking the sea), as well as the Magdalena Peninsula where a palace was built for the King and Queen of Spain in 1908 (at that time Queen Victoria Eugenia, a British born princess of the Battenberg line). It is a large construction now occupied by the local university (the royal family gave the property back to the city in 1977). Near the palace one can see some amazing mansions, mostly around a century old. Getxo, a lovely and upmarket suburb of Bilbao was our last port of call in Spain. From there it is easy to reach Bilbao on the underground line and the journey is worth it. Bilbao is another dynamic city, with a lovely historical center (which suffered a disastrous flood in 1983), some imposing buildings, as well as the famous Guggenheim Museum (great building but the collection failed to impress me). It Is mostly walkable but there is a good service of trams and buses. I had pintxos (the local version of tapas) at the restored market, by the river, which is also an impressive building. The weather was sunny for most of the cruise and the ship sailed smoothly for almost all the cruise (a bit more rolling when crossing the Bay of Biscay on the way to Coruna but that was mild compared to other Biscay crossings) Service was excellent in the cabin, which was kept spotless, restaurants, a bit slow on the bars but still ok, and the usual hit and miss at the buffet and open deck areas but almost not noticeable. Staff was mostly friendly and came from a variety of countries, majority from the Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. Disembarkation was ok, on time and smooth apart from the fact that the taxi queue took a bit too long as some pax had pre-ordered taxis (and there are not that many in Dover). One could walk to the station but it was windy, relatively cold and with some drops of rain. The way to Heathrow was by train to central London and the underground. Odd to think that there is no direct link between Dover, the main channel port and Heathrow, one of the largest airports in the world but then again it was never my favourite London airport and with good reason. It has a chapel near Terminal 2, which has some touching plaques recalling past employees but also the crew of the Pan Am flight which was brought down over Lockerbie. Some nice restaurants airside on this terminal too. Fred Olsen, at times, charges well more than the mass tourism cruise companies but it also delivers more. The ships are of a good size, so the restaurant is hardly a long walk from a cabin, the entertainment is good and suitable for its passenger profile. Food is superior than the one found on the mass tourism ones and service is generally better. It makes it easier for its pax by naming the lounges with the same name on different ships (Neptune, Lido, Morning Light) and keeping the décor on similar lines. Comfortable seats everywhere and some items from the family art collection (mostly modern) gives it almost a homely feeling and I would say it works given the high number of repeat passengers. All in all a company which is going against the trend of the industry (bigger newer ships which one day risk over capacity) and succeeding by serving the market it has chosen well. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had travelled on Balmoral and thought this was a good cruise company and we needed a break. The cabin was adequate but very tired. The bathroom facilities very basic, and this was a Superior Suite, £5k plus!!.. The food on board was ... Read More
We had travelled on Balmoral and thought this was a good cruise company and we needed a break. The cabin was adequate but very tired. The bathroom facilities very basic, and this was a Superior Suite, £5k plus!!.. The food on board was adequate, buffets were varied but nothing out of the ordinary offered. Very little fresh fruit, lots of tinned, and very few vegetables with plated meals. The restaurant staff and service were good good. It was a scramble to get seats in the Neptune lounge for evening entertainment. The floors in the toilets next to the Neptune Lounge were filthy. The announcements were often inaccurate. The ports visited were, on 3 out of 4 visits, building sites which needed to be negotiated on leaving the ship. The Observatory during this trip, was used as a napping area, with no atmosphere, nowhere to sit because of the sleepers. We are regular cruisers with several companies and this was the worst...ever. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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