1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
  4. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines Cruise Reviews

43 Fred. Olsen Liverpool Cruise Reviews

Was hoping to see the Northern Lights and we weren't disappointed. The embarkation at Liverpool was seamless. Our cabin was ready for us and within 30 minutes of arriving at the terminal to check in we were outside on the deck with a ... Read More
Was hoping to see the Northern Lights and we weren't disappointed. The embarkation at Liverpool was seamless. Our cabin was ready for us and within 30 minutes of arriving at the terminal to check in we were outside on the deck with a gin and tonic in hand. The trips through the Scottish islands were a real bonus both ways - plenty to look at as we cruised. The northern Norwegian islands were really stunning. We benefited from unusually calm seas (apart from one force 10 which saw us the last couple standing (apart from the crew) in the Observatory lounge). Some of the sunsets were almost unbelievable due to the arctic light and crossing the arctic circle whilst swimming in the well-heated pool was a particular highlight. We mostly travelled independently in the ports and it was easy to do so. The highlight was our 'Chasing the Northern Lights' tour. It was a 90 minute drive to get to our 'favoured' viewing point but once we were there, the lights put on a fantastic display. They were right overhead, there had been a solar burst and the night was clear. These conditions gave what our guide said was one of the top five northern light experiences he had ever seen. Truly awesome and something I will never forget. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The main reason was sailing from Liverpool and a return visit to the Fjords. From our arrival at Pier Head all went smoothly. Our Balcony Suite was perfect, spacious, clean plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, met our needs and I ... Read More
The main reason was sailing from Liverpool and a return visit to the Fjords. From our arrival at Pier Head all went smoothly. Our Balcony Suite was perfect, spacious, clean plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, met our needs and I don't travel light. My husband had also requested a table for two and this was met. The Glentanar was a lovely, light, spacious Dining room, the breakfast and lunch buffets were excellent as was the waiter service dinner with excellent menu. We had lovely waiters but there were one or two who were not the friendliest. For our Anniversary Dinner we dined in the Black Watch Restaurant which again of high standard, my husband declared his steak one of the best ever. The ship was spotlessly clean in all areas, the Neptune Lounge especially pleasing.The Captain and Crew helped to make this a very special time for us. Flower Arrangement, bottle of Cava when we arrived and on the Day a lovely card, gift and Cava in Ice Bucket delivered to our suite along with our card from the Queen. In the evening we were presented with a lovely Happy Anniversary cake. These were all done in a very tasteful, no fuss way which we appreciated very much. My husband did have to visit the Cruise Doctor, again efficient attention.All in all this was a most memorable holiday, with wonderful scenery, off shore excursions and very relaxing on board atmosphere. Our first Fred Olsen Cruise but hopefully not our last.Thank you to everyone who helped in making this a very happy memorable occasion. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Fabulous to sail away from Liverpool. Very smooth and quick to embark and disembark. Our terrace balcony cabin 7024 was really lovely with a large lounge area and separate bedroom. Our steward kept the room spotless. Food was absolutely ... Read More
Fabulous to sail away from Liverpool. Very smooth and quick to embark and disembark. Our terrace balcony cabin 7024 was really lovely with a large lounge area and separate bedroom. Our steward kept the room spotless. Food was absolutely fantastic quality with plenty of choice. The dining staff were also so attentive, friendly and professional. We requested a table for two for our evening meal and at breakfast we generally sat at a table for 2 or 4. At lunch time we sometimes were seated at a larger table and always enjoyed the company. We didn’t get involved in too many onboard activities but there are certainly plenty to choose from. I did a yoga class at the well equipped gym and had 2 treatments in the spa which were very relaxing. We attended the show each evening in the Neptune lounge and some were really good, 1 or 2 were a bit outdated. The destination lectures are well worth attending or watching on your cabin tv if you miss out. To break up the relaxing cruise we booked all active shore tours from Fred Olsen and can recommend them to anyone looking for a more active way to spend time ashore. Flåm railway with hiking was great. In Olden we took a lake cruise then got a bus to the sky lift. At the sky lift you have refreshments and free time to walk or admire the view before returning by bus to the port. We then had 2 hours left to wander around the most beautiful local area. I also paddled in the Fjord as the weather was hot. In Bergen we took a cycle tour in the morning which then allowed us the whole afternoon to visit the places we wanted to explore further. ( we walked up higher in the city and went running then visited the UNESCO area) in Lerwick we took a sea kayaking trip. We were picked up and driven to the bay and kitted out. A dad and daughter duo then helped us get comfortable with all the basics of kayaking before guiding us around the most breathtaking coastal wildlife areas for 3 hours. We were surrounded by seals, some moved away and other followed us around. Above us flew guillemots and gannets and some of us were very lucky to see a sea otter. There would just have been enough time to head to the town but we chose to go back aboard for the afternoon tea that day.. It’s worth mentioning that the scenery is fantastic along the way in Norway and with sunsets after 11pm in July there is plenty of time to enjoy and take photos. It would be very hard to fault anything on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
As first time cruisers we wanted a short trip on a smaller ship as we were travelling with young children, ages 7 and 11, and were not sure how they would be. They totally loved it and have already asked when we can go back. We had a ... Read More
As first time cruisers we wanted a short trip on a smaller ship as we were travelling with young children, ages 7 and 11, and were not sure how they would be. They totally loved it and have already asked when we can go back. We had a great experience departing from Liverpool. Easy to get to, drop the luggage, park the car and get on board. We arrived 1 hour before we were due on board but this was no problem and we got straight onto the ship. The ship is lovely and to a good standard. Small and very welcoming. We have a porthole cabin on deck 4 with 4 bunks and was fine for us. Very clean and the house keeper was amazing. She even knitted my daughter an outfit for her bear. Staff at the restaurants were all really good and made us feel really welcome. They got to know us so well that they always had 2 glasses of apple juice ready for our daughter and new to bring her loads of ketchup for her dinner! All the staff in general were great and very friendly. Entertainment was good and we went to the show after dinner every night and during the day there was a full itinerary of what was on offer. We stopped at Flåm, Olden and Bergen in Norway and Lerwick in Scotland. We had great weather at all the stops so we were lucky. Our favourite was olden as it’s such a lovely place. At Flåm you would really need to do an excursion as there is not a great deal to do there. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary . The fact that it sailed from Liverpool was an added bonus as we have always wanted to visit the city. We were not disappointed with our three night stay before boarding. Embarkation at the ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the itinerary . The fact that it sailed from Liverpool was an added bonus as we have always wanted to visit the city. We were not disappointed with our three night stay before boarding. Embarkation at the cruise terminal was efficient and speedy. The car parking arrangements worked well. We had a balcony suite cabin and were very pleased with its size and the facilities. This cruise sailed within sight of land most of the time and the fact that we were in the land of the midnight sun meant we could enjoy many hours of sightseeing from the comfort of our balcony. The ship itself is small by today’s standards but we don’t need shopping malls or climbing walls. There were lots of shore days so there were plenty of opportunities to get off the ship and walk in the lovely Norwegian countryside. We were very impressed by the standard of food offered at all meals. The menus were varied and the food tasty and hot. The service was impeccable. The wines on offer were very well chosen and priced competitively. The entertainment was standard fare for cruise ships. The young entertainment team provided some jolly themed Beatles and Brit pop shows. My husband particularly enjoyed the ukulele lessons with Ivy on sea days. We have sailed with several of the leading cruise companies and we felt that our experience on Black Watch surpassed them in the quality of the food and fairness of price for wine and gratuities. We shared a table for 6 and our dining companions were great fun. All the staff we came in contact with spoke excellent English and indeed could share a joke with the passengers. We did not go on any of the ships tours preferring to use local buses and do our own thing for the most part. Very easy to do as Norwegians speak excellent English and were very helpful. We did use a local tour group called Blue Puffin to visit the North Cape and they were excellent. We enjoyed all the ports of call. Trondheim has an interesting folk museum just a short bus ride out of town. We enjoyed the cable car ride in Tromsø with spectacular views from the top. Leknes was pleasant but very small however the Viking museum at Borg was a taxi ride from the port and well worth a visit - with a lovely walk down to see the Viking long ship. The North Cape visitor centre was well done. The Alta museum with its World Heritage rock art centre has spectacular view from well laid out paths. Go early and catch the local bus which runs regularly and miss the crowds. Kristiansund was a bit disappointing . Very picturesque but not much of interest locally. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Chose this cruise because the itinery seemed to meet our rquirements. Unfortunately the captain took the decision not to go to Shetland due to bad weather. While we accept his decision we felt more could be done to make up for this. All ... Read More
Chose this cruise because the itinery seemed to meet our rquirements. Unfortunately the captain took the decision not to go to Shetland due to bad weather. While we accept his decision we felt more could be done to make up for this. All the people we spoke to said this was the port of call they were looking forward to the most. Instead we had 2 nights rather than one at Invergordon (NOT a holiday desination) Two buses were laid on at nearly £30 a time to go into Inverness (perhaps to offer this free would have been a nice gesture?) We took the local bus for about £11. Any other attraction was a long trip and expensive. Other things we were not happy with - Firstly , the car park in Liverpool was hard to find. Inadequate map and sat nav took you to a building site (not Fred Olson rsponsibility) - cabin noise (see below) Buffet area quite small, not always able to get a table at busy times - While the ship was well maintained there was no main staircase or reception area and the entertainment was mediocre . - many of the staff had a poor grasp of English which could be a problem, particularly at guest services - WiFi expensive - Timing given in port were misleading for example 'late p.m actually meant about 3.30 in the afternoon. - Tours were very expensive, there were 4 of us so it made more sense to book a private taxi to take us to the places we wanted to see, which worked out fine. - Passengers were mostly quite elderly and infirm so activities were geared up for this. I did sometimes feel I was sitting in the common room of an old peoples home rather than a cruise ship! - Finally the disembarkation process was not a happy experience, but mostly this was due to the facilites at Liverpool cruise terminal Good points, main dining room was nice and our waiters were freindly and helpful and there was a very good wine list at reasonable prices plus the food was excellent. Would not go with Fred Olson again Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
A first experience: both of Fred Olsen and departing from Liverpool. Overall a good experience. Everything very efficiently dealt with and we were put at ease by the professionalism of the staff. The food was very good and plentiful. Our ... Read More
A first experience: both of Fred Olsen and departing from Liverpool. Overall a good experience. Everything very efficiently dealt with and we were put at ease by the professionalism of the staff. The food was very good and plentiful. Our selected dining option was much appreciated. The bar staff were helpful and efficient. The entertainment was different each evening and very professional. The excursions we went on (Tobermory and Kirkwall) were very good - with knowledgeable guides. A comfortable cabin: not large but sufficient for our needs. We had a problem with a very noisy ventilation in our bathroom, which took two complaints (to the cabin staff and then the guest office) to get an engineer tp sort it out. The ship is also quite old and creaks a lot. Our cabin had a perpetual squeak from the door hinges when we were at sea. We also had an initial difficulty with the bar staff at sail-away time. They failed to deliver a drinks order, which necessitated three visits to the bar to chase it up: then when it arrived it was the wrong drinks. Then at our first breakfast, we made an order off the menu (rather than choosing the buffet) and it failed to materialise. After 30 minutes, one order arrived, then after I had finished, the other order appeared. We did complain and after that, we had no further problems. They blamed a "busy kitchen" - but others around us received their orders and had left before our food arrived. But overall the food and the service we received in all the eateries was first class. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Just back from 28 day cruise on Olsen’s Black Watch. We are in our early 60 s and very active, most on the cruise are in their eighties plus, low mobility and not active. Great for them to get a cruise holiday but frustrating if you want ... Read More
Just back from 28 day cruise on Olsen’s Black Watch. We are in our early 60 s and very active, most on the cruise are in their eighties plus, low mobility and not active. Great for them to get a cruise holiday but frustrating if you want plenty of activity. Golf putting, carpet bowls in the corridor, whist, bingo, British singalong dress nights did not appeal. Ship was being constantly worked on so noise all over including windows being replaced on upper decks, toilets not working, information about destinations not great or non existent. The entertainment ranges from amateurish to good, the crew provide a lot of input. It is an old creaky ship which during storms bounced around. Disembarkation was appalling with low mobility people having and causing problems. A double decker bus shuttled people to trains with lower deck for suitcases including zimmer framed etc. and upper deck for passengers. The late arrival and departure of these ‘coaches’ caused many of us to miss our connections. Food is okay, staff ok, gym a bit limited, all areas busy and yapping all the time. All in all a great cruise for those who have low mobility but a snooze fest for others Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Local departure Liverpool Ships staff very friendly and well trained in serving guests. Some of the ship has been refurbished in a very modern and pleasing way other parts are rather lacking in style and colour and need bringing up to ... Read More
Local departure Liverpool Ships staff very friendly and well trained in serving guests. Some of the ship has been refurbished in a very modern and pleasing way other parts are rather lacking in style and colour and need bringing up to date. I had cabin 7041 which was quite spacious with a terrace balcony, the bathroom was dated although well maintained and clean bed quite comfy and linen of good quality pillows not the my liking next time I will take my own. The ports of call were all very interesting many of attraction were within walking distance of the ship. The food on board was excellent the executive chief was very visible and asking her guest how they enjoyed the food. Enjoyed most of the entertainment by the show group. There is a cinema room onboard and as we had a number of rather rough days at sea it would have been nice to watch a film in the afternoon but they were only screen in the evening overall I like the ship and the staff are very pleasant and professional Fred just needs to up his game a bit by bring his ships up to date. Still I've booked another cruise for next year on the same ship from same departure point in the same cabin so I must like it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Local port , easy transport, weather very rough on sea days, food & staff excellent, apart from the restaurant Maitre D , who was most unhelpful, we asked to change our dining time as my husband is diabetic, we were told we would have ... Read More
Local port , easy transport, weather very rough on sea days, food & staff excellent, apart from the restaurant Maitre D , who was most unhelpful, we asked to change our dining time as my husband is diabetic, we were told we would have to pay extra. Fred Olsen want extra money all the time, 10 pounds each for shuttle bus in Lanzarote, 16 pounds for 5 cappuccinos. My husband had a fall & was helped by a member of the bar staff, an officer walked by & ignored us. Same happened to a very frail lady, the Hotel manager just walked past her. We had been to all the ports before so didn't take any trips, which like all cruises are hugely overpriced. cabin was very comfy, we paid extra for a window, & we were well looked after by our lovely stewardess. The sea water swimming pool was lovely, nice & warm, a bit deep at 7 ft 1 end & nearly 6 at shallow end. Arriving back in Liverpool, was great, we were home within 45 minutes, a big bonus. Overall a good cruise, the weather could have been better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool. Fed up of travelling from the north to Southampton. Food was generally good and as a vegetarian I had a good choice. Cabins were fresh and clean. beds and bedding were very ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool. Fed up of travelling from the north to Southampton. Food was generally good and as a vegetarian I had a good choice. Cabins were fresh and clean. beds and bedding were very good. Entertainment was mediocre and so we didn’t go to the Neptune each night. Some of the entertainers had been on previous cruises. Ports of call In Canada were interesting but tours expensive. One walking tour cost £80. We had to be in The Neptune st 11.15 so we missed lunch. We were told we would be given a snack. This turned out to be a cereal bar and a bottle of water. There was nowhere on the walk to buy a sandwich. We returned to the ship around 5.30. Most people on the 11km walk were not pleased. After so many complaints we were given a 50% refund. Well done Fred. Unfortunately half way round our trip (26 days) we had a serious outbreak of Noro virus. This lasted until our return to Liverpool. We couldn’t use the pools, jacuzzis. Launderette etc. Salt and pepper was taken off the tables and food in the buffet had to be served by staff. We were constantly having our hands sanitized. The black watch is an old ship and there is constant noise of chip chip, grind grind, bang bang, drill drill. This reverberates into the cabin and is very annoying. Major rewiring was taking place during our cruise so ceiling panels were removed. The cabins are very creaky and I would advise taking ear plugs if you want a good nights sleep. Staff were very pleasant and friendly but I wouldn’t go on this ship again due to its age and the need for constant serious maintenance. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Location - we wanted to travel to Greenland and this cruise left from Liverpool which was reasonably convenient. The itinerary (Iceland and Greenland with a short stop at Belfast at the end) was the decider. Plus points - ... Read More
Location - we wanted to travel to Greenland and this cruise left from Liverpool which was reasonably convenient. The itinerary (Iceland and Greenland with a short stop at Belfast at the end) was the decider. Plus points - Pleasant cabin Very efficient cabin steward Good food suitable for older conservative eaters (eating their body weight in smoked salmon) Observatory lounge very comfortable Excursions were interesting although they were keen to make sure that their elderly and very frail passengers didn’t struggle with the trips. Chris Bielby’s talks on the natural history of our itinerary were an absolute highlight. He was available to help with whale and bird watching and never endingly patient. Minus points Entertainment was embarrassingly old fashioned. The “black & white minstrel show” version of the Jackson Five was toe curling. The cinema was freezing cold and they had the nerve to show Mrs Doubtfire (made in 1993). The entertainment was overall more like a trip back into a Sunday evening television programme from the early 1960s. I wouldn’t travel on Black Watch or any other Fred Olsen ship unless it was for the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool. We were asked to arrive at 2pm we were swiftly checked in and were on board by 2.25pm Same can be said for disembarkation which was just as quick and efficient with porters to help ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it sailed from Liverpool. We were asked to arrive at 2pm we were swiftly checked in and were on board by 2.25pm Same can be said for disembarkation which was just as quick and efficient with porters to help getting luggage to taxi. We had a balcony suite which was a good size and kept to a high standard of cleanliness. Tintagel restaurant was chosen because we had that restaurant when we sailed before in 2010 and we had a table for two by the window. The food was excellent with good choice and restaurant staff brilliant. Entertainment staff worked hard and guest speakers were quite good to listen to. Staff from all aspects of the ship were polite and pleasant and nothing was a bother. We didn't use shore excursions as most ports of call were a fifteen minute walk away and we were happy to stroll around. However, we saw lots of passengers taking the tours. The Boudicca is an elderly ship like most of our fellow passengers were. We thoroughly enjoyed Christmas and the happy atmosphere on board. Must give the firework display on New Years eve in Madeira a mention it was amazing..... Will definitely be booking with Fred again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
In early October I received an email offer from Fred Olsen for a November 20th sailing on the Boudicca for a 21-day cruise to the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. The price was quite good at less than 100 GBP per day although it was for ... Read More
In early October I received an email offer from Fred Olsen for a November 20th sailing on the Boudicca for a 21-day cruise to the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. The price was quite good at less than 100 GBP per day although it was for what Fred Olsen terms an Anchor Fare (i.e. a guaranteed cabin with no choice in assigned dining time). When I went to book I discovered that Fred Olsen now uses a different American booking agent and the change is not a good one. They used to use Borton Overseas Travel based in Minneapolis which is a very good company, but now they are using something called World View Travel based in New York and they are terrible. They rarely answered emails or the phone and knew almost nothing about the cruise line; my cruise documents barely arrived in time and then only after I left phone messages asking where they were. It’s a pity that Americans cannot book directly with Fred Olsen as it would be so much easier. However, this itinerary was so interesting and the Liverpool departure location meant the opportunity to visit relatives in the area so I could not pass up the chance. And I was fortunate to snag some last minute frequent flyer tickets to the U.K. so I was off! I expected travel to the embarkation port in Liverpool to be a breeze from Altrincham where I was staying, but I did not take into account last minute rail works, which altered my itinerary, nor the surprise that some 30,000 crazed rugby fans would also be making their way to Liverpool that same morning for a world’s final match between Australia and New Zealand! Nothing says “adventure” like fighting your way onto a two-carriage Northern train at Manchester Piccadilly with hundreds of others while carrying two large suitcases and then standing the whole way to Liverpool holding onto your cases one stacked upon the other. Once at Liverpool Lime Street the station taxi cue barely moved as fans ran out to the street and snagged many of the available taxis there. Those of us left in the cue started finding fellow Boudicca passengers and joined up to share whatever taxis we could find. Once at the port, though, things went very smoothly. Luggage disappeared out of the taxi before I even alighted and was already waiting in my cabin when I boarded about an hour later. Check-in was already in progress when I arrived at 1:30 pm and at 2 pm embarkation began by group starting with the upper class cabins and those with elite status. The Liverpool terminal is fairly basic, but had plenty of seating for all of us. Toilets were in a separate trailer-like building just outside. The walk to the ship was a bit long and covered at least most of the way; however, it would not have been a pleasant walk, though, had it been raining. I believe assistance was provided to those passengers who needed help getting to the ship. My second unwelcome surprise that day came when I arrived at my cabin. When sailing on the Black Watch this past summer I had been told by the Future Cruise Consultant that the Boudicca was a sister ship, meaning they had the same layout. Since I booked exactly the same cabin category (category N, inside solo cabin) and even was assigned the same cabin number (4107) on this voyage I expected the same cabin facilities. However, instead of the nice wide bed I had on the Black Watch, I had a bed that was all of 30 inches wide—something I would provide for a child, not a full grown adult. And in place of a desk with drawers, there was a small triangular shelf that held a phone, small lamp and barely room for anything else. Even the closet was smaller with only about 16 inches of hanging space. The Black Watch bathroom had nice counter space and a real medicine cabinet, whereas this Boudicca bathroom had a pedestal sink with just a single shelf along the bottom of the mirror. Even the door hit the toilet which meant you had to sit sideways unless the door was fully closed. I went to the service desk immediately to ask about changing cabins, but was told I would need to speak to someone else who was not readily available. The staff person did, however, get on the phone, and within 20 minutes a crew member turned up with a nice small three-drawer cabinet to add to my cabin which provided me with enough additional storage to unpack. I think that had I booked a Freedom Fare (regular cruise fare) I might have had a chance to change cabins to something larger as the ship was not sailing full. On the plus side I love this location on the ship as it’s very quiet and convenient to both the mid-ship stairs/elevators leading to the dining and public areas as well as the aft stairs/elevator that lead to the pool area and laundry room. Fred Olsen ships are older ships without the glamour of the newer behemoths that many cruise lines have launched, but the ship is very comfortable and just the right size at 800 passengers for me. All the necessities are provided (pools, gym, both formal and informal dining spaces, bars, a library, etc.) as well as lots of places to sit both inside and out, with the exception of the promenade deck which could use a few more chairs. Smoking is contained to two outside aft locations and to private balconies. There is a full wrap-around promenade deck as well as additional walking space on the top deck. Indeed, walking seems to be one of the most popular activities on Fred Olsen ships. One of my favorite locations is the Bookmark Café where you can order up hot drinks as well as select from a variety of chocolates while browsing the library collection of books and then sitting in a comfortable armchair with a nice sea view. Those folks who are sun worshippers could choose from quite a number of lounge chairs on several decks. The major public space on the ship is the Neptune Lounge where lectures, entertainment and some activities such as dance classes were scheduled. The layout here is not ideal as it’s all mostly on one level with just one step up to a second level around the sides and back of the space. They do provide some video monitors on this upper level to assist those in back to see the screen or stage area. Some of us early on figured out the best place to sit and would just arrive extra early to grab our favorite seat for any even we wanted to attend. The dining experience on Fred Olsen is decidedly British with a significant emphasis on seafood and geared towards night folk rather than morning people like myself. Breakfast began at 7:30 or 8:00 am, depending on dining venue, except on some port days when one of the venues would open at 7:00 am. Prior to that, the coffee/tea area would be set up at 6:30 am. This was another change from the Black Watch which had a 24-hour coffee/tea area. Lunch began at noon and tea with snacks was served at 3:45 pm. The dining room had two fixed-seating services, one at 6:15 pm and the other at 8:15 pm. For the main dining room there were some designated formal nights, although I noticed that many passengers dressed up a bit for diner here even on regular nights as well. The informal Secret Garden café provided buffet style dinner at 6:30 pm. At 11:30 pm each evening an additional supper would be served, usually with a theme meal. As a morning person and one, whom for medical reasons cannot eat much of anything after 6 pm, this schedule provided quite a problem. To compensate I would try to find something to eat at tea time or put together a sandwich from items on the breakfast buffet to save for later. The ship does provide room service from 11 am to 10 pm, but it is a very limited menu of soup, a few salads and cold sandwiches only. I called and tried to just get a bowl of ice cream one evening and was told that was not possible. I ended up just ordering a glass of milk each night. Except for that standard breakfast every morning the menus varied daily and did provide some gluten-free and sugar-free options for those that needed them. I found the overall quality of the food on this sailing not quite as good as on the Black Watch this past summer. I’m not sure why this was the case. The activities on board are geared toward the general age group that Fred Olsen attracts which is the over 60s. There was a small gym on the top deck, but I found some of the equipment rather old and was quite turned off by the horrible metallic rock music played by the gym attendant. Why he possible thought our older generation wanted to listen to that music was beyond my understanding. He also offered some deck games during the day on the promenade deck. There were two saltwater pools, an exercise pool, and some hot tubs—all wonderfully heated to just the right temperature. As I mentioned before, though, walking the deck seemed to be the most popular physical activity on this sailing. The ship also offered trivia games, dance lessons, a passenger choral group, and painting and craft classes. My preferred activities were the lectures. We had a port lecturer who was quite good, but they limited him to only 45 minutes per port—not enough time really. We also had three other very good lecturers, but I was surprised on their topic choices (Hollywood stars, 18th Georgian England, and assorted political/historical topics). Aside from a lecture on Columbus none of these lectures had any connection to our itinerary, unlike our summer Arctic cruise where we had nature and maritime history lectures that fit the bill. The entertainment on board such a small ship is limited because of facilities. We had a few musicians who played at tea time and there were two scheduled shows in the evening, none of which I attended as they were so late. The cabins had small televisions with terrible speakers; it was so difficult to hear without turning up the sound but then you worried about disturbing your neighbors. Channels included BBC News, Sky News and an ITV station with an occasional show from some other mystery station. There were also two movie channels but the Daily Times often had errors in the schedule so I often found I missed a movie I wanted to see. And I really question the movie selection on this sailing as there were a large number of very old movies while the newer movies tended to be about aliens and/or Marvel comic heroes—not really of interest to the older passengers. Again this differed from the Black Watch cruise on which we had some really good recent movie selections. Service is one area in which Fred Olsen really stands out from many other cruise lines. The majority of their staff has been with the company for many years and has the most amazing ability to remember passengers’ names and preferences-even passengers who have sailed with them before. My cabin attendant was a very sweet and quiet young woman who kept my cabin spotlessly clean and had no difficulty with my requests upon arrival to remove several items from the cabin to reduce clutter/improve storage space. When I mentioned to one of the ship’s photographers that Cape Verde would be my 100th foreign country visited, he made a special effort to follow me around that day to get pictures of me with the little sign I made for the occasion. And I cannot say enough good things about Hannah in the Shore Tours office. She was just great and the best provider of any information I needed while on board. Fred Olsen offers a good range of shore tours in ports and they are, in general, more reasonably priced compared to many other cruise lines. I booked tours in the all the ports and was only really disappointed in two of them--Mindelo (too many people booked for the accommodations) and Santa Cruz de Tenerife (poorly run tour). The one major negative aspect and one very frustrating for me is Fred Olsen’s refusal to provide specific port times in advance for any of its cruises. They provide only vague information such as “Early AM arrival” which can mean anything from 5 am to 9 am. Even if you ask for port times once on board, they refuse to provide them until they appear in the Daily Times the night before saying “things can change”. What good is that? It’s too late to make any adjustments to shore tour bookings or make any independent arrangements. And in the case of this cruise, twice the “Early AM” information was not correct. Our “Early AM” arrival in Lisbon turned out to be planned for 12 noon. I’ve sailed with nine other cruise lines, both British and American, and they have all provided ports times at the time of booking. Cruise companies have to pre-book specific times with the port authorities and with their on-shore tour companies so they do know the times in advance. And, sure, anyone who has sailed before knows that occasionally sea conditions, port staffing issues, or medical emergencies, etc. can cause a change in port times, but at least you do get to plan your port time in advance. I will say the frustration with this lack of information was the one reason that kept me from booking a future cruise deposit with them while on board. Disembarkation at Liverpool went very quickly and smoothly. Breakfast was served starting at 6:30 am and we were told to be out of our cabins by 8 am. We docked at 7 am and disembarkation began about 7:45 am once luggage had been off-loaded. As usual those guests in the upper deck suites and balcony cabins were called first followed by the other decks downward. This is another advantage of sailing on a smaller ship as the luggage was easy to find in the terminal and the cue for taxis outside was almost non-existent. I was off the ship, in a taxi, and at my hotel by 8:45 am. Although I’ve pointed out a number of negatives on this Canary Island/Cape Verde cruise on the Boudicca, in particular in comparison to the wonderful Arctic cruise on the Black Watch this past summer, I still believe that the Fred Olsen cruise line is a good company to sail with. Their smaller ships and level of personal service really make them stand out from the crowd. And what, to me, is the truly outstanding feature is the people—you really feel you have become a resident in a wonderfully charming English village with all the marvelous characters one might encounter there. Passengers are very friendly and really care for one another. Even though I’m an American, my mother was English so I feel a part of that heritage. I never had a chance to meet my English grandparents but talking to one retired Cumbrian railroader at early morning coffee with his crazy stories made me feel as if I’ve “found” my grandfather, whom I was told was himself a great story teller. Helping my elderly neighbor up a steep ramp or the memory-challenged gentleman across the hall locate his cabin upon occasion or getting an invitation to stay at their home from the charming couple I met at breakfast—these were all wonderful connections, the type of connections I’ve rarely found on any other cruise ship except perhaps on Swan Hellenic, another small ship British company. So, yes, I expect to be back again on Fred Olsen; I just beg their home office to reconsider providing passengers with port times in advance and please let Americans book directly with your office. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our first and last time with Fred Olsen, which went to the Lochs of Scotland (plus Mull, Skye and Orkney). The selling points for us was that it went to Mull and offered an excursion to Iona, Portree in Skye (where we have ... Read More
This was our first and last time with Fred Olsen, which went to the Lochs of Scotland (plus Mull, Skye and Orkney). The selling points for us was that it went to Mull and offered an excursion to Iona, Portree in Skye (where we have family) Orkney and from Holy Loch offered a trip to the Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow as well as offering free time in Glasgow City. Embarkation from Liverpool convenient and went smoothly. Table size request not honoured. Ate in casual diner instead which was surprisingly good. Didn't manage to get to Iona. Skye cancelled. No free time in Glasgow. Ship rolled at slightest sea conditions and generally very noisy. Many passengers with mobility problems. Would be surprised if no one injured. Tender intensive cruise. Ship moored further out than expected for a small ship. Very scary experience on one occasion. Junior crew excellent. Enjoyed the entertainment. Very much enjoyed the Scottish scenery and warm welcome we received from the Scots. We did enjoy our time on Orkney, Kelvingrove Museum and Dunrobin Castle. Generally felt excursions overpriced compared to other companies. Sorry but Fred isn't for us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Mixed review. With the exception of the performance outlined below the experience was very good. The service staff in particular were excellent.The cabin facilities were of a high standard as indeed was the food. The overall cleanliness ... Read More
Mixed review. With the exception of the performance outlined below the experience was very good. The service staff in particular were excellent.The cabin facilities were of a high standard as indeed was the food. The overall cleanliness of the ship deserves positive mention. The places visited proved very impressive with the added bonus of observing the Northern Lights and various types of whales. The drawbacks were as follows ; 1. British Night. Apart from questioning why it was held in the first place as we were visiting Greenland,Iceland and the Faroe Islands it was sad that in contrast to the final international night with its sense of togetherness the British Night was conducted in an altogether different manner . More specifically many of us in attendance were confronted with a cringe worthy triumphalist recollection of a period long gone when Britain played a not insignificant role in world affairs. The main examples were the choice of the racist tinged Jerusalem and the breast beating Land of Hope and Glory. [ I will leave alone the separate matter that both songs relate to England rather than Britain !!!]. Add to this it seems the planners rather than being sensitive to Britain`s current poor profile in the eyes of the wider world post Brexit which alone should have rendered the performance as unwise they instead were eager to tap into many of the guests wishes to return to times past. Factor in alcohol and it was no surprise to overhear hostile comments being made towards not only other cultures elsewhere in the world but also other countries in the UK. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
After seeing the fjords of Norway on a previous cruise, we wanted to go further afield and see the fjords of Greenland too! We had a suite on Deck 9. Departure from Liverpool a bit odd -- the building is temporary and I think they are ... Read More
After seeing the fjords of Norway on a previous cruise, we wanted to go further afield and see the fjords of Greenland too! We had a suite on Deck 9. Departure from Liverpool a bit odd -- the building is temporary and I think they are building a proper one soon. A bit delayed, but Fred not to blame for the triathalon and road closures. Gorgeous weather as we left. We would have really appreciated it if they had opened the pool and jacuzzis given that it was glorious weather, and seemed a shame not to watch Liverpool receding from the jacuzzi. Weather stayed glorious the whole trip. The Faroes was interesting, with lovely scenery as we left and a well-planned route so we could appreciate it. We had a nice coach trip, saw some typical villages, beaches, a wide selection of scenery from sounds and fjords to the tops of hills and wonderful panoramas. Reykjavik, Iceland we went on another coach trip, got to see lava fields and boiling mud, plus a viking museum. Very good coach tours at both ports, a nice wide range of scenery and good guides. There is a limit to how much you can see in just a day or an afternoon, but I felt they were well thought-out, and the guides were enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Greenland and Prince Christian Sound were absolutely amazing! The scenery at points was so stunning you felt you couldn't take anymore, and needed to go inside for a little lie down with the curtains closed! Good narration and lectures on the ship. Overall, absolutely stunning, things I will remember for many years. And on top of all that, we had a stunning display of northern lights one night (unusual for summer). We were very, very lucky with the weather, both terrestrial and solar! Port visits in Greenland were very good too, although facilities very limited since it is Greenland, we got to see real working ports and met some real people! Cabin was very nice. We went for formal dining and the food was really excellent. But best of all were the staff (waiters, cabin stewardess etc) who did a really marvelous job. A few niggles as regards opening the pools and keeping them open until the scheduled time, and lack of waiting staff near the pools (I don't think they thought so many people would be in the pool whilst we sailed around Greenland!). A fabulous cruise route, amazing scenery and if you are very lucky with the weather................... Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We joined the ship in Liverpool which is very convenient for us as we live locally, so as we only needed luggage for one week, we were able to get the bus into Liverpool. Apart from the proximity of the port we always like to sail from ... Read More
We joined the ship in Liverpool which is very convenient for us as we live locally, so as we only needed luggage for one week, we were able to get the bus into Liverpool. Apart from the proximity of the port we always like to sail from Liverpool as the terminal is in the city centre so there is no need to sit and wait for embarkation. As usual we went over fairly early in the afternoon, dropped off our cases and checked in and asked about what time we would be able to board the ship. Then we went off into the town to buy some bottled water for the cruise and have a stroll around. On our return we were able to go straight on board and our cases were ready waiting for us. This cruise was around Ireland and had four ports, with two days in Dublin, so there was just one sea day, which was good from our perspective. We had an outside cabin on deck four which I will review below, though I must say here that we had a lot of problems with the air conditioning which was not able to make the temperature any lower than 23C at a minimum and was frequently higher than that even when turned down to the lowest temperature setting. It was also very noisy. We complained, but they could not improve the situation, so we decided to cope with it as the ship was fairly full and there were no other problems with the cabin and it was well placed. We have found that there have been problems with inefficient air conditioning on our last three Fred cruises. Our cabin stewardess was excellent (cabin 4044) The ship was in fairly decent condition for it’s age, but we do not like some aspects of the design, particularly the position of the pool deck, as it was necessary to go through the Neptune lounge to get there and If something was happening in the Neptune the only access to the rest of the ship was via the deck above or below. There was also no outside bar on pool deck, so bar service could be slow. Also the Secret Garden self service restaurant is not big enough for the number of passengers. This is important as the only alternative for dinner was a set early or late sitting and also they closed the main restaurants for breakfast at 9.30am some days, leaving a queue outside The Secret Garden, even coming up to its closing time of 10.00am. The service from the staff was excellent as usual, both in the restaurants and the bars. We do not often go to the shows or use the daytime activities, but enjoy the lounge musicians. On this cruise there was a very good Rosario trio in the Secret Garden Lounge and a good pianist in the observation lounge. On the first night we stayed up for what was billed as the late night disco, starting at 11pm in the Lido lounge and a good atmosphere was obtained there, though at one stage it did look as though the ballroom dancers were going to take over. That did seem very unfair as they had had the chance to dance during much of the earlier night in the Neptune lounge and The Lido had featured 50’s music prior to 11.00pm. Various requests, put what was billed as a disco back on track. For the rest of the cruise the late entertainment in the Lido was often things like Karaoke or game show type entertainments, so there was no further opportunity for disco dancing unfortunately. The musicians in the Lido, where the Mardi Gras Duo, who were not very good and Colin James, who was good, but who tended to do nothing more modern that rock and roll. We do find Fred’s entertainments very disappointing in that respect, especially when you consider that people who were in their teens in the fifties are now well in their mid seventies. I am not suggesting that they should not cater for ballroom dancing and rock and roll, but do not see why that should be to the exclusion of anything more modern. Fred’s passengers are older than average compared to other cruises, but many are below seventy five! The cold food buffets for breakfast and lunch were quite good, but the dinner’s (particularly the hot food) was quite poor at times. The soups were largely tasteless and, for instance, carrot and coriander showed no sign of either carrot or coriander. A chicken curry turned out to be a piece of hard, previously cooked chicken with a curry sauce spooned on top and a salmon pasta was pasta with a sauce and an extremely hard, dry almost crispy, overcooked piece of salmon just put on top. Some other things were OK, but I would not have called anything I had particularly good, which is a great shame as one thing Fred could always be relied upon for was good food. Overall, I would say we enjoyed the cruise, but largely because of the ports, rather than the cruise experience. At least Fred still go to less visited ports which we appreciate. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Rugged & Rural Canada: May 14th to 30th 2016 This was our second cruise with Fred Olsen, having previously sailed on the 'Black Watch' some years ago. We were attracted to this cruise by our recollection of the wonderful ... Read More
Rugged & Rural Canada: May 14th to 30th 2016 This was our second cruise with Fred Olsen, having previously sailed on the 'Black Watch' some years ago. We were attracted to this cruise by our recollection of the wonderful crew on the 'Black Watch'; the opportunity to visit parts of Newfoundland and Labrador; and an offer to book three cruises for the price of two. In general, we were not disappointed with the service provided by the crew, or with their attitude to their tasks and to the passengers. However, there were two negative incidents. Firstly, at breakfast on May 23rd a waiter treated my wife's request for soya very rudely. He brought a carton of soya to our table, and on being asked for the soya to be placed in a glass, his facial expression displayed his displeasure. On bringing the glass of soya to the table he told my wife quite rudely that she should get the soya herself from the buffet in future. We immediately complained to the Assistant Maitre d' who handled the situation admirably, and this was a satisfactory end of the matter. However, there was no satisfactory end to the second incident which occurred on May 25th when four of us were playing cards in the Card Room. During our game, we were brusquely told by the Bridge Instructor that we were making too much noise. I do not believe that we were making too much noise, and I am certain that it is not in the remit of the Bridge Instructor to tell us how we may enjoy a game of cards with friends, which is one of the simple pleasures that should be enjoyed on a cruise. We were interested to hear from two other passengers playing dominoes at the next table, that they had previously been 'told off' for making a noise when clicking their dominoes! Subsequently, two Scrabble players confirmed that this was not an isolated incidence of rudeness. I was informed that I could not register a formal complaint on the day of the incident, and was required to include it in my end-of-cruise comments - it would have been more satisfactory if there was a proper system on-board to enable a complaint such as this to be dealt with immediately. Regrettably, the Boudicca did not visit two of its scheduled ports. This was particularly disappointing to us as these two ports would have been the highlights of the cruise. Combined with the fact that of the six days that were actually spent in ports, five were on a weekend or Bank Holiday when the majority of tourist attractions were not available, exacerbated the disappointment. Although I do not hold the view that seemed to be held by the majority of passengers that there was a hidden agenda relating to economics that resulted in us not visiting Corner Brook and Red Bay, it is noteworthy that the Captain's letter to passengers provided us with pointless information regarding the speed of the ship under various scenarios. After spending the first night of the cruise in Suite 5001, we were moved to Suite 7016, due to an urgent requirement to fix a problem with a safety hatch nearby, that would be a noisy operation. This move was described as an 'upgrade' but, in fact, 7016 had few advantages (and some disadvantages) compared with 5001, except for the provision of a terrace. The move was made efficiently, but we would have expected some acknowledgement for the inconvenience caused, eg a 'Welcome Bottle of Sparking Wine' that was not provided in Suite 5001. Our waiter (Freddie) and our stewardess (Loubelle) gave us excellent service, and we would also like to praise Melvin, whose cheerful and extremely efficient service in the Neptune Lounge was much appreciated. Compared with more modern cruise ships, the 'Boudicca' is now somewhat dated in its appearance and facilities. The lack of theatre style seating in the Neptune Lounge made it difficult to appreciate some of the shows, which were otherwise extremely enjoyable. Suite 7016 lacked the charm and design of more modern ships. To counterbalance these factors, I feel it is important that the ship's crew provide a friendly and efficient service at all times, without the type of incidents detailed above, and that proper recognisance is taken of any changes made to customers' expectations, whether it is regarding changed accommodation, changed itinerary, or other disappointments. After two disappointingly bland dinner menus on the first two nights, the food throughout the rest of the cruise was of a high standard, both in terms of choice and the quality of the food, except for the British Night where the food was poor - Potted Shrimp with too much butter and few shrimps; Yorkshire Pudding that was inedible; and Treacle Sponge that was not served hot. It was disappointing that coffee is no longer served with chocolates, and it is a pity that other minor cost-cutting measures have been introduced given my comments above regarding the somewhat dated aspects of the ship. The Port Talks were good, even though we didn't get to two of the ports! We enjoyed the Lectures by Peter Varley, but those by Louise Le Marquand were generally lightweight, yet managed to miss out some basic information. We particularly enjoyed the 10pm quizzes, and all the 8:45pm shows, despite two minor irritations: the poor presentation skills of the Cruise Director and the infuriatingly repetition of the 'no recordings' message prior to the start of the shows. Of course, minor irritations are inevitable in the provision of such a complex operation as catering for some 750 customers on a cruise ship, and these would generally be accepted when the promised itinerary is delivered. However, when two ports are omitted under dubious circumstances, minor irritations grow out of proportion and the following may be added to those detailed above: - the cabin keycard failed on two occasions; - the amount of our On Board Credit being initially incorrect (£25 short); - tender boat not working in St Pierre; - creaking noises in cabin at night; - glasses rattling on glass tabletops in the Neptune Lounge; - varying and unpredictable temperature of water in the shower; - bags not fitting beneath beds. Perhaps realising that the Captain’s letter circulated on board regarding the omission of Corner Brook and Red Bay from the itinerary was inadequate, we received a letter from Fred Olsen dated June 20th. This stated that “Our itineraries are planned at least two years in advance and analysed by our panel of Captains. This itinerary was passed without any weather or navigational concerns and similarly no concerns were raised by the local Port Authorities when booking the berths. Additionally, one month prior to sailing the itinerary was further reviewed by our senior Captain and again based on the latest ice flow charts available no concerns were raised. Indeed post cruise our port agent has stated that ‘whereas there is usually ice at this time of year, most certainly not to the degree experienced on this cruise. The high winds and high tides drastically changed the situation.’ Shortly prior to our call in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the wind speed had been forecast at between 10-15 knots which would not necessitate tug assistance, subsequently none was booked. However, once on the berth the winds rose to 30 knots and without tug assistance available within a 24 hour period, owing to the requirement to pre-book, the Captain had no option on safety grounds but to extend our stay in Sydney.” As with any ‘Health & Safety’ issue, it is impossible to disagree with the decisions made. However, passengers will still be disappointed, and this disappointment will only assuaged by a sensible offer of compensation. Inevitably, Fred Olsen’s offer is a 25% discount on a future cruise, excluding existing bookings and other restrictions. This type of offer only made me more disappointed with Fred Olsen’s attitude towards its customers, and makes me think that the company has lost the plot. In summary, an enjoyable cruise on which we were disappointed not to get to two ports, and that disappointment was exacerbated by the ‘compensation’ offered. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Leaving Nottingham in good time for our 3.30pm slot to arrive, we were horrified to find the M6 completely closed between junctions 18 and 19.It took over an hour queuing to get off at junction 18, and then following an abnormal load for ... Read More
Leaving Nottingham in good time for our 3.30pm slot to arrive, we were horrified to find the M6 completely closed between junctions 18 and 19.It took over an hour queuing to get off at junction 18, and then following an abnormal load for several miles after that, we eventually rejoined the M6 at junction 20 only to exit as planned at 21A heading for Liverpool.Time was marching on, and our instructions said that boarding was closing at 5.30pm .We eventually arrived at 4.55pm! The car-parking was prebooked and simple, as was check-in. We had booked a Junior Suite with a double bed, but on arrival in our cabin the beds were made up as singles. Complaining to the assistant housekeeper, she explained that converting the beds to a double would compromise the space in the bedroom and the only way to get into bed was by climbing over it- totally unsatisfactory! Reluctantly we asked for the beds to remain as singles. Cruising with Fred Olsen for the fourth time we knew what to expect in all other aspects and were not disappointed. Norway's scenery is amazing! My wife has dietary problems including being alcohol and dairy free, and on some of the nights, in spite of being given the menu on the previous evening for adaptations choice was very limited. In spite of the irksome niggles overall we enjoyed the cruise, and will return in due course. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise for three reasons. Firstly we wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Secondly e liked the idea that it sailed from a UK port and finally it was organised by SAGA and we trust their services. We were picked up by car ... Read More
We chose this cruise for three reasons. Firstly we wanted to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Secondly e liked the idea that it sailed from a UK port and finally it was organised by SAGA and we trust their services. We were picked up by car and dropped at Liverpool Cruise terminal and the return was just the reverse of that. It was extremely smooth with luggage being well and speedily handled on embarkation and disembarkation. The ship was comfortable and suited us but may not suit younger people as the entertainment was not particularly geared to a young audience.There were places to sit and read or just talk so we were not confined to our cabin as has happened on larger ships. The cabin was not large but sufficed for our needs but we also had a balcony so it didn't feel too cramped. The crew were very helpful and pleasant throughout. The food was good with plenty of choice. Drinks service in the various lounges was efficient. The ships entertainment team were better than any I have experienced on other cruise lines. They actually had singers who could sing - a rarity in my experience. They had good additional entertainers including a good comedian, a good singer a flamenco guitarist and a multi-instrumentalist (clarinet, saxophone and flute) We booked four excursions but one was cancelled due to lack of take-up, The other three were better than most I have experienced before and although not cheap were reasonable value for money. Beware of the price a drinks ashore in Norway. A 500 ml bottle of beer cost the equivalent of £11.50 Overall this was a superb cruise. I have cruised about 12 times altogether with five different cruise lines and this was the best so far. Far better than P&O and a little better than Thomson. An enjoyable experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
The cruise was some what spoilt by the need to up date the cabins we could see that the chairs could do with a good cleaning or throwing out. The chairs in the library are very hard to get out of for older people. The pillows in cabins and ... Read More
The cruise was some what spoilt by the need to up date the cabins we could see that the chairs could do with a good cleaning or throwing out. The chairs in the library are very hard to get out of for older people. The pillows in cabins and quilts could also do with throwing out and start again Getting on and of ship was no problem for fit people but for people with disabilities it was harder for them but staff did do there best with a smile on there faces. Entertainment is very mixed the show company could do with a big shake up very very boring it just the same all the time. The comedian we had on was so out dated it was bad. The rest of the entertainers were very good Olger the lady who played the piano and Kim who sang in the afternoon where great. Really enjoyed taking part in the Christmas pantomime that we did and the guess the killer. The ships crew night was great entertament Dining . I'm afraid not as good as other times. Some days it was great then the next it seemed to be cut back day but overall it was ok. Staff. The staff are always smiling and look happy and always happy to give a willing hand where ever they can All in all it was a very good Christmas cruise Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are all retired young at heart couples travelling for a birthday celebration with my husbands brother and his wife. We travelled on the door to door service organised by Saga which was very good. Embarkation was very good. We ... Read More
We are all retired young at heart couples travelling for a birthday celebration with my husbands brother and his wife. We travelled on the door to door service organised by Saga which was very good. Embarkation was very good. We were so looking forward to our cruise booked for my brother in laws 70th birthday year. The Cabins which were supposed to be superior outside, were awful. We have been cruising for nearly 20 years and superior these cabins were not. Once we set sail things went from bad to worse. The vibration from the engines and creaking and rattling of the ship prevented any of us from a decent nights sleep the whole holiday. We resorted to earplugs but these did not help with the vibration. When we put our heads on the pillows it was rattling our heads. I would advise avoidance of cabin nos. 5059 or 5061 arghhh! Needless to say we all complained but the situation went unresolved. The daily information on the ship was excellent. The food was very good and our waiters Chai and Arnold really looked after us and we had them the whole holiday which was great. The staff in the dining area and bars worked extremely hard and nothing was too much trouble for them. There were activities onboard such as Quizes and quoits but unfortunately a couple of these flew overboard Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Firstly I have to say that our cruise itenary to Ireland and Canada was excellant. However having traveled with Fred Olsen on many occasions and had no serious problems, it was very disappointing to find that once we set sail there was ... Read More
Firstly I have to say that our cruise itenary to Ireland and Canada was excellant. However having traveled with Fred Olsen on many occasions and had no serious problems, it was very disappointing to find that once we set sail there was a very noticeable vibration in our cabin, 4078, which made sleep very difficult. Reception admitted that there was a problem and eventually moved us to a forward cabin where we could sleep. However the vibration continued and was noticable throughout areas of the ship for the duration of the cruise. Also over the last couple of years the food quality and variety on Fred Olsen ships does seem to have declined from what used to have been some of the best at sea, especially the fish. As usual the crew were excellent and the entertainment and lecturers were of a good standard. We would cruise on Fred Olsen again but probably not on Black Watch. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I having celebrated two special birthdays this year decided to culminate the year with a cruise. Unfortunately we chose not to go on one of our tried and trusted cruise lines. We chose to go with Fred Olsen for 14 days on ... Read More
My wife and I having celebrated two special birthdays this year decided to culminate the year with a cruise. Unfortunately we chose not to go on one of our tried and trusted cruise lines. We chose to go with Fred Olsen for 14 days on board Black Watch. What a disaster We were not aware that a feature of their cruises is extensive maintenance program . Virtually on a daily basis one or more public areas were closed off for repair or decoration Outer decks were on occasion strewn with hoses electric cables and machinery, on three days we had to suffer paint varnish and staining odours. W were advised on a daily basis by the Captain always to use the handrails when moving around - what does one do when the rails were being stained. Thinking it was a one off matter we wrote to customer services only to be told that all Fred Olsen ships cruised throughout the whole year which means that all maintenance has to be carried out during cruises. One last thing if you are blind or partially sighted (like me) F O is not for as you are not welcome. All in all we wasted £4000 Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click