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68 Fred. Olsen Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

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
We choose this cruise for the destination and size of ship, it was a very special occasion for our friends, their golden wedding anniversary we are all fast approaching 70, young at heart and outgoing but this was like a care home for the ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the destination and size of ship, it was a very special occasion for our friends, their golden wedding anniversary we are all fast approaching 70, young at heart and outgoing but this was like a care home for the eighties, and we were all treated likewise, in fact we felt like cargo. The ammount of maintenance work going on was unbelievable the continuous smell of paint was awful, we were woken before 8.00 one-morning to the sound of a drill above our cabins. The keys to our cabin door did not work and we had to change this 3 times, but couldn’t get anyone to come and look at the lock. Towards the end of holiday we were due to cruise through the Fjords but due to windy weather the previous day and not being able to get out of port we had to come straight back to Southampton, we didn’t get to see the scenery we really went for We would all agree that the food was very good, as were the staff in dinning room. We have been on many other cruise ships before and have never had to complain, this is the worst ever. We would not recommend Fred Olsen cruises to anyone unless of course you need a care home.. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords and only a small (ish) ship can get to all the best ones. We loved the size of this ship as you were no overwhelmed by the size and if you met someone you liked to talk to you would be sure to see them ... Read More
We wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords and only a small (ish) ship can get to all the best ones. We loved the size of this ship as you were no overwhelmed by the size and if you met someone you liked to talk to you would be sure to see them again, a real plus point. The only moan we had was the size of the cabin, we did have a balcony but the room was very narrow to what we are used to, but if you pick a small ship then you should expect that unless you upgrade. The service was brilliant, no faults there but we do wish the Fred would do away with service charges as we always tip well for good service, we removed the SC at the start of the trip. I hope that Fred follows P&O and pay their staff better and remove the SC. The pool was warm and underused which was great. The entertainment was first class, as good as any ship we have been on. Also and its only our view you cannot 'graze' all the time, which is a good thing. No eating between meals. Lats of all the drinks are very reasonable. Well done Fred Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Always wanted to see the Fjords and this ship seemed like a good size to experience this .We has a good midship cabin near to lifts etc . the dining onboard we could not fault exceptional . The shows were all very good the service of bar ... Read More
Always wanted to see the Fjords and this ship seemed like a good size to experience this .We has a good midship cabin near to lifts etc . the dining onboard we could not fault exceptional . The shows were all very good the service of bar staff and restaurant staff again excellent . The only complaint we had that our drinks package which we paid for did not include Sherry yet its cheaper to buy than Whisky Gin etc which was included . Maybe this could be reviewed before we book another cruise with this line . We were very happy with our ports and shore excursions all picture postcard and beautiful and the courier information very educational . There were lectures given in the Theatre also about the ports which helped people decide which they wanted to do . We will travel again .Hope she can get her Sherry . Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose the Fred Olsen Cruise Line and especially the Balmoral because it could cruise right up into the fiords that we wanted to see. Some of the larger cruise lines cannot do this. Excellent food and service in the Ballindalloch ... Read More
We chose the Fred Olsen Cruise Line and especially the Balmoral because it could cruise right up into the fiords that we wanted to see. Some of the larger cruise lines cannot do this. Excellent food and service in the Ballindalloch restaurant. Especially from our waiters Pat & Anthony. Excellent service in the Observation Lounge where we spent evenings drinking a cocktail before dinner especially our waiter Charpet. Captain Rommel Pineda always stopped for a friendly word & the same with Simon the entertainment officer. That also goes for any other staff that we met on our daily walk around the Balmoral. They always had a smile on their face & said hello or good morning or good evening. We will definitely be happy to cruise with Fred Olsen on the Balmoral again. And we would certainly recommend the Fred Olsen Cruise line to any of our friends who are thinking of booking a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had always wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords and had never cruised before, so took the plunge and booked the 6 night cruise from Newcastle. We were lucky enough to get the all inclusive deal at the time we booked. The trip was ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords and had never cruised before, so took the plunge and booked the 6 night cruise from Newcastle. We were lucky enough to get the all inclusive deal at the time we booked. The trip was amazing. The ship is lovely, not a glistening modern one but really classy - a wide variety of nice bars, lounges, snugs, library - plenty places to sit quietly. The food was truly amazing - buffet breakfasts and lunches were really good - and the five course meal at night in our restaurant (The Avon) was exceptional, very good quality food and variety. The service was really good - all waiter service for drinks. The crew are mainly Asian, and their standards of service are so professional, and, very friendly. Our cabin had everything we could have wanted in it - we had a superior inside cabin on the Lido Deck 8. The Fjords are a sight to be seen, and the commentary and opportunities to see things as we sailed was perfect. The ship is probably geared more towards the older client, although there were a range of ages on board. We didn't see much entertainment but the singer/guitarist in the Morning Light bar was very, very good and played a range of music to appeal to most age groups. I honestly cannot recommend this cruise highly enough - for the money that we paid, it was truly amazing value, far above what we had expected - a 5 star experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our very first Cruise I have to say from start to finish it was excellent, We arrived at the port where our bags were taken from us and never saw them till we got to our cabin. we checked in and with in 10 mins we were through ... Read More
This was our very first Cruise I have to say from start to finish it was excellent, We arrived at the port where our bags were taken from us and never saw them till we got to our cabin. we checked in and with in 10 mins we were through security and on the ship.we were on deck 8 Superior inside cabin and we were very happy with it. The food at all meal times were excellent, we chose to have our evening meals in the Avon Restaurant and the staff were first class. There is plenty to do on board if you don't want to get off at any of the ports. We mainly had our drinks in the Marquee Bar on the top deck very friendly and customer focused. Entertainment was also good, a great holiday which I would recommend to anyone the scenery was amazing weather was mixed apart from one day when it never stopped raining. We did the Funicular ourselves it cost £5 each to go up as we walked back down which I would recommend if your able. We then went to find the Ice Bar which cost us £19 each it was good fun and worth going in. We bought the tickets for the Flam Railway off Fred Olsen and I would advise to do this as your seats are reserved for you and well worth doing. All of the Ports that we stopped at were expensive to buy anything but really worth looking round the shops, you can do your own thing plenty to see and do. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
First, I must mention a similar cruise reviewed by Alfie111 in May 2018. It appears Alfie111 was surprised that two whole days of the tour were spent at sea transiting to and from Norway. The itinerary in the Fred Olsen brochure clearly ... Read More
First, I must mention a similar cruise reviewed by Alfie111 in May 2018. It appears Alfie111 was surprised that two whole days of the tour were spent at sea transiting to and from Norway. The itinerary in the Fred Olsen brochure clearly shows arrival and departure times at each port - depart Rosyth evening and arrive Norway following evening. Our cruise on the ms. ‘Balmoral’ was 7 nights from Newcastle to the Fjords departing on 22nd July 2018 and our first experience of cruising. First thing to mention is the ms. ‘Balmoral’ is a 30 year old ship, so if your preference is for a megaship carrying thousands of passengers then the ms. ‘Balmoral’ is not for you. We specifically chose Fred Olsen because their ships are small and have that classical ocean liner look. We were not disappointed even though the ms. ‘Balmoral’ is the largest ship in their fleet. The ship has style and ambiance to match. Indeed, when I saw the public rooms I immediately thought how nice they looked with superb furnishings and pictures of sailing ships. The food served was excellent quality. Our evening meals were booked in the Avon restaurant where service was a bit slow but generally, it did not matter. If the ship was sailing past beautiful scenery then we could skip the Avon restaurant and have a meal in the excellent Palms restaurant which served a buffet with good choices of food. Breakfast and lunch could be taken in any one of the restaurants. For the accommodation, we selected a balcony room on deck 8 (Lido deck). We had plenty of space for the two of us so a good choice. The only slight snag was that the hot water pressure was rather low. The air conditioning worked very well. The ship’s crew were always polite and very happy to chat and generally welcoming. We did not attend any of the shows so cannot comment on the entertainment. Shore excursions if one wished to participate, were well organised. For some reason the ships design meant that the fitness centre had the best forward facing view being directly above the bridge. Above the fitness centre was the Observatory lounge which was very pleasant but being set well aft, the forward view was marred by the top of the fitness centre. It would have been better had the ships designers swapped the two around and left a promenade area above the bridge so one could stand outside and better take in the forward view. As it is, the only open area looking forward is a walkway on deck 7. All-in-all, we thoroughly enjoyed being on the ms. ‘Balmoral’ for the food, service and experience of a classical cruise vessel. Should we decide upon another cruise then Fred Olsen would definitely be our choice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Recently did the Norwegian Fjords out of Rosyth. Enjoyed it from start to finish. Check in and settling in went very quickly and extremely well organised. Cabin was a superior cabin with a walk in shower. Much bigger than I ... Read More
Recently did the Norwegian Fjords out of Rosyth. Enjoyed it from start to finish. Check in and settling in went very quickly and extremely well organised. Cabin was a superior cabin with a walk in shower. Much bigger than I expected with plenty of wardrobe space. Beds and pillows extremely comfortable. Ship was spotless and a bit confusing to begin with. Plenty of lifts an£ signage. Food excellent and plentiful. Staff were excellent especially our dining waiters. They made it enjoyable. We had 4 ports in the week and as a person who uses 2 sticks for anything of any distance it worked well. Hop on hop off buses available at all ports. Bergen, Flam, Olden and Alesund. Let you see the surroundin* area and just enough time to do it. We had a ride on th3 Flam Scenic railway, it was 1 of the prebookable trips but we just bought a ticket there and did the trip. Very friendly ship and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Evening shows were enjoyable with different show each night. Disembarking was made easy by the well used routine. We were off the ship by 9am and on our way home. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife had longed to see the fiords. Consequently, we booked the FO five-nights trip to Norway. We did not realise that for two whole days of this trip we would be traversing the North Sea! This is not made clear in the advertising ... Read More
My wife had longed to see the fiords. Consequently, we booked the FO five-nights trip to Norway. We did not realise that for two whole days of this trip we would be traversing the North Sea! This is not made clear in the advertising material. The destinations (three) were dramatic but it took an inordinate amount of time to get to Norway from Rosyth and the same on the return journey. As a result, we spent two days of the trip staring out at the North Sea. The staff and food on the boat are very good with plenty of choice and excellent quality. The on-board entertainment is mediocre. We would not advise anyone to rely on the advertised wi-fi package. Reception is weak and in our case we could not get a broadband connection after 24 hours of leaving port. We had paid £50 (for one device). After we complained and the boat’s IT man also failed to get any reception, our money was refunded. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose this cruise because I wanted to see Norwegian Fiords. Everything about the cruise was first class from embarkation to disembarkation. The Fred Olsen tours were extremely good and well organised, the crew were so helpful and the food ... Read More
Chose this cruise because I wanted to see Norwegian Fiords. Everything about the cruise was first class from embarkation to disembarkation. The Fred Olsen tours were extremely good and well organised, the crew were so helpful and the food amazing. I only have one complaint about the whole cruise, the coffee everywhere on board was awful, quite tasteless, apart from that the whole cruise was faultless and I shall go on another Fred Olsen cruise. We were very lucky to have very good weather and were able to use the pool and whirlpools which were very clean and well maintained. It was lovely to sit on the sun deck and no shortage of crew to bring drinks. The crew were a,ways smiling and nothing was too much trouble. The dining room was well organised and service was promt, the formal evenings were especially good, who doesn’t enjoy getting dressed up. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this ship due to its size, having never cruised before we did not want to be on a ship with thousands of people. Apart from the fact that the boat is now very old and it did show in places, it was immaculately clean and the ... Read More
We chose this ship due to its size, having never cruised before we did not want to be on a ship with thousands of people. Apart from the fact that the boat is now very old and it did show in places, it was immaculately clean and the facilities were very good. The pools are showing their age and did not look too appealing although if the weather had been better we probably would have had a different outlook. We did try the jacuzzis which were good. The marquee deck had new very comfortable tables and chairs etc which were very nice and were not very crowded on our trip, probably again due to the climate. Our balcony room was very nice and again immaculately clean, towels refreshed twice a day and the fresh fruit and canapés each day were very nice. The food was very good, the staff in the restaurants were exceptional and the evening entertainment was also first class. The sights on this trip were amazing and cruising in the Fjords was just breathtaking. We enjoyed the ports of call and would recommend this trip highly. The one thing I did like on the Black Watch was that there was no hard sell in respect of additional dining, shore tours and future cruises etc. We were all inclusive and if on the occasion we did want premium brand drinks they were always consulting us to see if we wanted to pay the upgrade and did not try to sell us these at all. The wifi was very expensive at £63 for 7 days and I felt this was a bit steep. The embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient although getting back off at 8.00 a.m in Liverpool was something of a shock. Before we went on this trip people said ooh Fred Olsen, full of old people. As a young just 60 yr old I would say the average age on board was 70 but there were also lots of younger people and it did not by any means feel like an old peoples home as others had led us to believe. It has now given us an insight into cruising and for our first experience it was very good, most people were very friendly and we would probably book again, but maybe somewhere warmer next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Five nights Norwegian fjords, our first cruise. What a revelation! Self catering holidays are now well and truly in the shade. Impressive organisation from start to finish, friendly efficient service, good food and entertainment, high ... Read More
Five nights Norwegian fjords, our first cruise. What a revelation! Self catering holidays are now well and truly in the shade. Impressive organisation from start to finish, friendly efficient service, good food and entertainment, high standard of cleanliness. Super spacious suite. In short everything ship shape. Couldn't fault any of it. Dined in Spey restaurant at table for 2 by a beautiful circular window. We want one of those at home now complete with waterfall. Lovely waiter and room stewardess looked after us very well. I wasn't expecting to enjoy entertainment and activities but the jolly atmosphere was infectious and ship's company great. Despite the ship being fully booked we never felt crowded. We had booked this cruise to celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary and it was a memorable and romantic way to mark the milestone. It was also my husband's birthday so the waiters ended up singing to us twice and presenting 2 celebration cakes. A delightful time was had and we are now converted. Next year's Fred Olsen brochure is open on the coffee table... Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We enjoyed a cruise on Fred Olsen last year and like the smaller ships. The staff and the ship are good BUT the food was so disappointing. Very small amounts in the evening in the dining room and nothing special at all.We had a meal ... Read More
We enjoyed a cruise on Fred Olsen last year and like the smaller ships. The staff and the ship are good BUT the food was so disappointing. Very small amounts in the evening in the dining room and nothing special at all.We had a meal one evening which was not unlike a frozen Findus dinner from years ago. A dry piece of pork covered in very burnt breadcrumbs and a few frozen diced carrots and peas and again frozen chips.Yuk, even the Head Waiter agreed it was rubbish. There was no sign of steak or lobster and having sailed with several other lines, these items usually make an appearance especially on a Gala night. The buffet between 11pm and midnight seemed to have more interesting and hot dishes and we went down there regularly for cheese and biscuits as we were hungry, (a first for us on any previous cruise) All in all not good value as we had paid over £4000 for 7 days!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We have travelled with Fred Olsen before, often to Norway, and have always enjoyed our holidays. We chose this trip to accompany some friends who were new to Fred and Norway and we always enjoy a visit to the fjords so this was perfect. ... Read More
We have travelled with Fred Olsen before, often to Norway, and have always enjoyed our holidays. We chose this trip to accompany some friends who were new to Fred and Norway and we always enjoy a visit to the fjords so this was perfect. Embarkation from Newcastle was easy with lots of pleasant, helpful staff. There seemed to be lots of first timers on this trip, first cruise, first with Fred and first time to Norway and, perhaps because it was school holidays, there seemed to be a lower than normal (for Fred) age range, with families (some three generations) and younger couples amongst the 'oldies'. There was an excellent friendly atmosphere on board and I can honestly say that I heard barely a complaint at all. As we have always found, the staff on Fred were fantastic, they really cannot do enough for you and the show company were excellent, one of the best we have seen. Our cabin girl (Natt) was a delight and looked after us so well - everywhere throughout the ship was spotless and I heard of no instances of illness. For the first time we were in a porthole cabin on deck 4 (this was an extra cruise for us this year so we were watching the budget!) and we found this to be okay - you don't get so much light into the cabin with portholes but as we spent little time in the cabin in any case it was fine. Bed was comfortable and no noise from adjacent cabins and shower always had lots of hot water. We thoroughly enjoyed the food and had no complaints - our waiter Ruben and his colleague were friendly and professional. We enjoy second sitting as it seems to give a longer evening and you don't have to rush back onboard for a 6.30pm sitting if you are ashore. We found the drinks package good value and also enjoyed many half price cocktails. The itinerary of this cruise was perfect for anyone new to the fjords. After a day at sea we had an evening of scenic cruising and it was great to see the stunning Pulpit Rock followed by a dry day in Bergen (!). I have to say that Bergen was exceptionally busy - there were four cruise ships in port - and I would probably avoid in July/August in future (other times of the year have been fine) as for instance, it was impossible to get on the funicular without an hour+ queue. There followed lots of scenic cruising to the following ports. Olden is a small port with a few shops a short walk away from the quayside. I can definitely recommend a trip on the new skylight from Loen to Mount Hoven (excursion from ship or tickets and shuttle bus available on quayside). This was one of the highlights of our trip - the steep cable car ride only takes 5, very smooth, minutes to the top of the mountain where there are absolutely stunning views into the fjords and to the glacier. There are lots of accessible walks at the top and and a lovely restaurant beautifully designed to take in the views and with lovely textiles and finishes - and delicious hot chocolate! Flam too was very busy as a large MSC ship also in port. My husband did a nice walk in the valley to a waterfall and I went on the wonderful Flam railway which really is impressive (you need to book tickets in advance at busy times of year either by a ship excursion or online before your visit). I did a ship excursion which took us to Myrdal at the top of the railway and then back down to Berkevam where we cycled back to Flam 11km downhill all the way. This was brilliant and I really enjoyed it - made me want to go back to do a longer cycling trip. There is a nice wool/gift/ice cream shop a short walk up the valley towards the church if you want to get away from the very busy shops at the quayside. Eidfjord is a pretty little town at the head of a fjord. There are some nice walks here if you don't want to don't want to do an organised excursion. In the past we have enjoyed trips to the Sima power station (we are a bit geeky!) and also to the Voringfoss waterfall where I understand there are new view points. The Xtreme Norseman Triathlon was taking place here the next day so it was interesting to see all the organisation for this and people swimming in the fjord. Evening entertainment onboard was good with something for everyone - the quiz was fun and the shows were excellent. Late night entertainment in the Lido Lounge and Morning Light pub was really good with lots of dancing and everyone enjoying themselves. Rosario classical trio were good around the ship and very good pianist in the Observatory Lounge early evening. Bar staff were cheerful and friendly as always - especially lovely Sunny in the Lido Lounge - she must have the brightest smile at sea. All in all, we, and our friends and the people we met, thoroughly enjoyed our holiday with Fred and, personally, I can't wait to sail out of Newcastle on Balmoral again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Embarkation We sailed from Newcastle and came down few days before. We were giving a check in time of 1-4 pm but our paperwork stated physical embarkation would not begin to around 2pm and we actually arrived at the port a little bit ... Read More
Embarkation We sailed from Newcastle and came down few days before. We were giving a check in time of 1-4 pm but our paperwork stated physical embarkation would not begin to around 2pm and we actually arrived at the port a little bit earlier than this at around 12.30. We were checked in straightaway. We then went for bite eat at the café at the port. After this we waited in the departure lounge until we were called. This happened earlier than stated and we were on board by just after 2. We headed to our cabin and our luggage was already there so we started to unpack. Dinning The main dining rooms are open seating for breakfast and lunch but having two seatings for dinner at 6.15 and 8.30. There were usually a good choice of food here and everything we had we really enjoyed. Although we found the meals on the very last night to be limited so ate in the buffet instead. Buffet was open seating and served breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night buffet. Morning coffee and afternoon tea was also served here. Some of the fillings they served on the sandwiches where a bit odd if I am honest. Otherwise the food was all good. There was even a kids corner at dinner time for the younger cruisers. There was a Asian buffet one evening we enjoyed this and it was well attended. There was no Buffet Magnificient that we have experienced on other Fred olsen cruises. Entertainment evening - We loved all the shows from the Balmoral show company to the comedians and magician guest acts. They were also well attended. The best show was Daytime entertainment on some days was limited as this was a port intensive cruise. However on sea days there was lots going on around the ship from quizzes to dolphin racing. To deck quoits and wii bowling. Around the ship - Balmoral is a beautiful ship with many beautiful public lounges and good facilities for her size. The only real criticism I have is the seats in the show lounge which are quite uncomfortable an laid out a bit silly as if you sitting on the sofas at the table and someone sits in front of you, you cannot see as the sofa seats are lower. There are two swimming pools, four whirlpools, a gym and large spa also. The staff on board the Balmoral are amazing every last one of them all very friendly and helpful. Ports of call where all great the Fjords are a beautiful area to visit. We had some good weather as well. We did two organised trips with the cruiseline. Well did the Flam railway through them only because they had booked out all the seats on the train. This is one of the best rail journeys you will probably ever do and is well worth the price. We also did Kayaking this was a truly amazing experience and would highly recommend this. We had a brilliant time and would not hesitate to sail on Balmoral again. She doesn't have all the glitz and glammer of the new super ships so if this is what your looking for then she is probably not for you. If however if you want a real ship, with great food, great entertainment and great staff then this could be your ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My daughter chose this cruise for me because I have wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords for many, many years and thought I had 'missed the boat' so to speak. I have just returned home having spent the last seven days in heaven! ... Read More
My daughter chose this cruise for me because I have wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords for many, many years and thought I had 'missed the boat' so to speak. I have just returned home having spent the last seven days in heaven! Everything surpassed my expectations. I embarked at Dover which is only an hour's drive from my home and everything went really smoothly. It was the same with disembarkation. I loved Black Watch as it wasn't too vast. We were thrilled with our cabin which was decorated in soft colours. There was plenty of room for the mountain of clothes we had brought with us and we didn't have to fight over wardrobe space! The dining room was spacious, the food delicious and the staff all extremely efficient and friendly. The Maitre d' was second to none - a lovely personality and very hard-working, but showed an obvious love of his job. There were so many things to do that we found it impossible to cover everything. Well done Fred. Olsen, it means we will have to return for another cruise. There was plenty of entertainment on board to suit all tastes and we covered most things. The highlight for me was Dennis who played and sang beautifully. The service could not be faulted in any way. The young lady who looked after our cabin did so beautifully and was always smiling (Jamison). The service from the bar staff and dining room staff was also excellent. We took an excursion to Flam and did the railway journey which was spectacular - wouldn't have missed it for anything. We also took an excursion to Greig's home in Bergen. Just wish we had been able to spend a bit more time there. This was my first ever cruise and I would love to think that I could repeat the experience. I shall have to start saving up! I was particularly impressed by the fact that people with disabilities were able to enjoy this marvellous mode of travel. Thank you so much for everything. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Having sailed with Fred before we decided to do the Norway ,Arrived Dover parked the old bus up, Check in seemed to take for ever with those above our deck taking preference on boarding, lots of old people over 60 if you catch my drift . ... Read More
Having sailed with Fred before we decided to do the Norway ,Arrived Dover parked the old bus up, Check in seemed to take for ever with those above our deck taking preference on boarding, lots of old people over 60 if you catch my drift . One thing about Fred Olsen if it sank there are enough sticks on board you could build a raft and it is like a mortuary after 23.59 . Well her who is to be obeyed and myself found our cabin, Deck 4 not bad but this ship is beginning to look dated could do with replacement. Surprise our 3 cases were awaiting us in our cabin , Well done Dover baggage handlers !.. Don't think that we are tight wades, but we believe in the old Victorian way of showing gratuities. But first thing off to the pursers office to cancel all tips that would be taken and added to our on board account . You see T I P means to insure proficiency if some person of the crew goes way beyond there call of duty he or she will be given a brown envelope at journeys end THATS WHAT ITS ALL ABOUT .Not the American way to subsidise the rest of the crew with a large bill at journeys end. I will not go waffling on but this was a well thought out cruise plenty to see and do, But Norway is a very clean and courteous country Expensive but if you want a beer or coffee prepare for a heart attack £ 11 or there about, A gift take for instance one tea towel £11 there are plenty of bicker back gift stores at very high prices complete toot ! rubbish!. The on-board Duty free shop had a sale that was a joke, A book on Norway marked £15. 00 ,we peeled a sticker back to reveal R R P £15.00 WHAT A CON !!! pointed it out to the assistant she did not want to know. Only thing good two bottles of booze 2 litres of scotch and Brandy £ 20. TO sum up Food A1 ,Fully inclusive AAA1 recommended at all cost, Trips very expensive do your home work DK guides recommended before booking. Work your trips out so you can get back to you ship for meals and tiffin ! its cheaper .We must say that the Entertainment was first class this year well done guys and gals Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Most pleasant cruise to date. My husband and I have just returned from a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords with Fred Olsen. In a nutshell, it was a joy from start to finish. The organisation getting everyone on the Balmoral was fantastic, ... Read More
Most pleasant cruise to date. My husband and I have just returned from a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords with Fred Olsen. In a nutshell, it was a joy from start to finish. The organisation getting everyone on the Balmoral was fantastic, and getting off was so simple. Many people have a fear of larger ships. The Balmoral accommodates 1400 passengers. But at no time did we feel crowded. There was always somewhere to sit and enjoy the spectacular views. We had a simple inside cabin on Deck five and were most impressed with the L shaped layout.On other ships there isn't room to move. This cabin was spacious, with plenty of cupboards and draws to unpack all our clothes. We are travelling for more than seven weeks so had a full case. They fitted under the beds so we're out of the way. We had to lift the bed slightly and then slid them under. The ports of call were very different to our previous cruises as we visited stunning Norwegian towns rather than huge cities. When we got off the boat in Stavanger we were treated to spectacular parades throughout the day as it was Norway's National day on 15 May. The parades started at ten with thousands of children dressed in national costume and feeling so very proud. Later there was a youth parade, and at the end of the day, a people's parade with dancers and acrobats along with marching bands parading through the streets. Walking through the streets after each parade, the locals happily posed for photographs. Such a pleasant city filled with happiness on their special day. Ulvrok was a picturesque spot where we needed to catch a tender to the port. But once again, the process was so much better than we had experienced with other cruise lines. It was a quiet very small village but we enjoyed it after the busy day before. The day was wet, but we simply went for a long walk around part of the lake. Flam turned on fabulous sunshine once more and once again we pulled right alongside this very picturesque village. We bought a ticket for the Flam railway - make sure you sit on the right side if you go as the views on that side are beautiful. However, it really is just a two hour up and down trip. The highlight was stopping half way at a magnificent waterfall. Make sure you have your cameras ready when the music starts and Ulder, the lady of the Mountain appears in a flowing red dress. Very impressive. The cruise out of Flam down the Fjords made the view from the train pale to insignificance. We felt we had wasted our money so would do something else if we travel on this cruise again. Absolutely spectacular views for hours. Olden was another chocolate box town. We walked to both churches, around the river and back in glorious sunshine. Once again, a quiet location with magnificent scenery all round. Geiranger greeted us with rain, but it didn't dampen our spirits at all. We chose to walk up the road to the church, then follow this round to the top of the waterfall. There are 100s of steps, but it was worth it. For those unable to walk uphill, a simple flat walk round the water was lovely too. Bergen was the last stop and busiest port by far but no where near as busy as the ports on the Med we have visited. Some interesting architecture on the left as you leave the ship. We walked 20000 steps around the town that day. Be careful not to get lost! So all in all, this was a fantastic cruise. The accommodation and food were excellent. The nightly shows were terrific. I have never witnessed a more energetic and passionate cruise company as these fine young dancers and singers. Brilliant! We came on this cruise to spend time with friends. We were apprehensive, thinking it might be boring. How wrong we were. We'd go again and will now always look at Fred Olsen as our preferred cruise line. Thanks so much for an amazing trip Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
While on our first short cruise to the Norwegian fjords on Fred.Olsen's Balmoral in May 2016 we booked this year's longer cruise to the fjords north of Bergen and Bergen itself. As the cruise started in Belfast this saved ... Read More
While on our first short cruise to the Norwegian fjords on Fred.Olsen's Balmoral in May 2016 we booked this year's longer cruise to the fjords north of Bergen and Bergen itself. As the cruise started in Belfast this saved connecting flights and the itinerary included a short visit to Kirkwall on the Orkney Island. The coach connection provided (at a cost) by a local travel agent and embarkation went to plan but there was then a long wait till departure. The following days were enjoyable, blessed with wonderful weather, good food, excellent entertainment and plenty of companionship among our fellow travellers. We enjoyed the extra perks of a balcony suite, though 8010 on the port side seemed to miss out on a lot of the sunshine! Towards the end of the 8-night cruise we learnt that some of our fellow passengers had been laid low with what may have been an upper respiratory infection and that some of the crew were also unwell, but still working. Unfortunately, soon after our return we both succumbed to a particularly debilitating virus and almost 2 weeks' later we are still "under the weather". This has not just been the usual headcold but a full-on viral infection with fever, coughing and overall malaise. Could it be that we picked up a foreign strain which has knocked us both out and curtailed our normal very active lives? The promised feedback form has not yet been received from Fred.Olsen despite having received emails from them prior to our departure. Our subsequent illness has left a rather negative feeling about cruising overall and perhaps the Fred.Olsen line, with whom I first travelled in 1962! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
On Saturday 30th April my partner and I travelled with Fred Olsen on Balmoral to Norway. My partner and I are in our early 20's, so much younger than most travellers. We found that the design of Balmoral was quite dated and feel that ... Read More
On Saturday 30th April my partner and I travelled with Fred Olsen on Balmoral to Norway. My partner and I are in our early 20's, so much younger than most travellers. We found that the design of Balmoral was quite dated and feel that it could do with a make-over, new carpets, chairs etc. but no problems with the facilities so we couldn't complain. We arrived at Dover at 12pm (the times given were between 12pm and 2pm) and check in was smooth and fast. We did have to wait until 2pm before they started embarkation which was a bit of a pain as we expected to get straight on as I did in my previous cruise with Cruise and Maritime Voyages. Once we were invited to the ship we were directed straight to our room where our luggage was waiting for us outside - very fast service. We asked for a table of 2 in the restaurant as we were hoping for a romantic holiday together as it was our first, and we were given this! We were in the main (Ballindalloch) restaurant which was very spacious and waiters were great. With dinner you are given a choice of wine, beer or water, but no choice for soft drinks. As we had paid for the all inclusive package and expected to have soft drinks available to us with our dinner, as advertised, but when we asked we were informed that we would have to pay for our soft drinks. Aside from this there was a lot of variety of food available and waiters were very fast in taking orders, and serving food. Very nice people. The drinks... As mentioned above we had paid for all inclusive when we booked with Fred Olsen. With the all inclusive you are offered a variety of house wines and spirits, and selected beers and ciders. Cocktails are NOT included in the AI which I feel should have been. The cocktail selection was not great either. Having the AI package you receive a 50% discount on cocktails and branded drinks, which is better than nothing and understandable with branded alcohol. Tea and coffee are only available from the restaurants and if you wish to have them from the bar you are asked to pay which is not acceptable. There were no self service machines either so you couldn't go and help yourself when you want one. The waiters serve you tea and coffee after your meals but there is no selection of tea or coffee, you just get what you are given. The entertainment and Activities provided on board was phenomenal. Fantastic staff and incredible shows every night to end the day on a good note. The Balmoral Show Company, who were new to the cruise were amazing and had incredible voices, Barnaby (the ship comedian) was very funny and Matt Cairnes (another vocalist) was fab too. 4th Dimension, who played in the Lido Lounge every night, were great and always got the crowd up dancing of an evening. The waiter service in the bars was good, fast service and always quick to take orders. We waited a max of 20 minutes but was understandable as the Lounge was very busy during the show. The Excursions provided at the Port of Calls were great. In Bergen we went to the Fløibanen funicular which was a great day out, in Olden we visited the Briksdal Glacier on Nordfjord which was beautiful and in Flam we travelled on the Flam Railway which was a little bit disappointing at this time of year. Overall, we had a fantastic cruise with Fred Olsen and would recommend travelling on Balmoral. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My partner saw the cruise advertised as a last minute deal via Iglu so it was booked on the Monday and we sailed the following Sunday. I have to say that both Iglu and Fred Olsen were brilliant. My other half had a 'significant' ... Read More
My partner saw the cruise advertised as a last minute deal via Iglu so it was booked on the Monday and we sailed the following Sunday. I have to say that both Iglu and Fred Olsen were brilliant. My other half had a 'significant' birthday on the Wednesday of the cruise and I told Fred. I thought I could maybe sort out a cake but I discussed it with the company and a very helpful young lady called me back about 10 minutes later to say that we would have breakfast in our cabin with a bottle of cava and then in the evening, at dinner, there would be a cake and the crew singing 'Happy Birthday'. How much? With the compliments of Fred Olsen - I was super impressed!! I bought a bottle of champagne to go with dinner but my other half was very, very impressed with what Fred Olsen had done. We sailed from Dover so that was a 4 hour drive and I arranged parking at the terminal so, with an excellent run down, we arrived in good time on the day of departure. The parking and booking in could not have been easier and my other half is now a confirmed sailer out of a UK port - she hates the fuss of airports. I had checked the deck plan so I knew where our cabin was - 4011 - starboard side, two single beds, one with bunk over for a stow-away and two portholes. Very adequate and loads of wardrobe space as it was no doubt designed to cater for the third body. The entertainment on board was fine. I've known better but it was basically okay. Very funny comedian - Barnaby - who tapped me and my other half - why does she insist on sitting on the front row? Food was very adequate and the waiters - Ekchai (Chai) and Albert - were superb - say no more. We had the all inclusive package. At the time we booked it was only £10 per person per night so we were laughing - literally! The 2 of the 3 shore excursions were excellent - to Bergen and Olden - but the Flam Railway experience was poor. Why? Well it cost £60 each. We were led to believe that we could get off for a short time at the destination before returning to Flam to stretch our legs and to take photos. Not so, the conductor said we had to stay on the train, in fact one lady tried to get off for some fresh air and the conductor told her to open the window!! They put a rope barrier along the carriage to basically corale us into our area for the duration. The train stopped at the waterfall half way along and we were all allowed out for that. Bear in mind that, if we had bought tickets at Flam station (around £40), as others on the cruise did, then there were no restrictions. I advised the excursions staff when we got back on board that we were less than impressed but the suggestion was that this was down to the railway operators - but they would feed the matter back up the line. So, if you feel inclined to take excursion TRNX then check on the ship if you are allowed of the train at the end of the line before you book! Overall though, the experience was excellent and I would have no hesitation about sailing with Fred Olsen again - they have a reputation which is richly deserved. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the convenience of a Newcastle departure,we live in the north of England and wanted to avoid flying. Check in was easy and boarding was well organised. We had a cabin in the forward section on the 4th ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the convenience of a Newcastle departure,we live in the north of England and wanted to avoid flying. Check in was easy and boarding was well organised. We had a cabin in the forward section on the 4th deck,lots of storage and kept nice and clean by housekeeping. When we sailed away the sun was shining and temperatures made us feel as if in the med ,not Tyneside! The ship was a good size,and although full we always found little quiet spots. I made use of the pool and Jacuzzis as the sun shone throughout. We ate dinner in the Ballindalloc restaurant most evenings though enjoyed a delicious Asian buffet in the Palm cafe on last night. We loved the group 4th dimension in Lido lounge which got going after the show in the theatre. We had a drinks package that we took full advantage of! It was great to be able to explore Bergen independently,very easy as we docked in the centre. Likewise with Eidefjord,where we took a scenic walk along the river up to some Viking graves,with good views on the way back. The ship then sailed along the beautiful scenery. We felt sad to be leaving. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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