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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Out of Southampton near me. However on 12 day cruise there were only 4 port visits. The visit to Lisbon being only half day. The last 3 days at sea were purgatory. Although the weather was beyond Freds control entertaining their guests ... Read More
Out of Southampton near me. However on 12 day cruise there were only 4 port visits. The visit to Lisbon being only half day. The last 3 days at sea were purgatory. Although the weather was beyond Freds control entertaining their guests was not. All outside decks were locked. There were four entertainment staff apart from Braemar singers and dancers. They could and should have made more effort. A film could have been shown, indoor games organised. Additional karioke or mr mrs type games the list is endless yet we were left to the library or bars. Presumably Fred is cutting back, service very poor lack of waiters very apparent. Also lack of port calls. We were at times almost at standstill waiting for time slot to dock. Have done similar cruise on CMV where staff always going extra mile. Finally the quality of food in Thistle. Very poor, with evidence of lunch menu items appearing in the evening menu. No disguising the representation of dishes in different guise. I went with Fred on Boudicca last Xmas and loved everything. Unfortunately had already Booked Braemar for this Christmas before going on this one. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship had been in dry dock prior to the cruise. The work had not been completed on time and the swimming pools were out of operation for most of the cruise. Lifts were not working for a large part of the cruise and areas were cordoned ... Read More
The ship had been in dry dock prior to the cruise. The work had not been completed on time and the swimming pools were out of operation for most of the cruise. Lifts were not working for a large part of the cruise and areas were cordoned off for maintenance and painting works. The cruise should have been cancelled and money returned. £75 compensation was a derisory amount. The food at evening meals was hit and miss. Some excellent meals and some very poor quality ones as well. Coral club staff were very poor and inattentive. The only saving grace of the cruise was the entertainment in the Neptune lounge. Having travelled with fred olsen many times this will be my last cruise with them. Toilet broke 18 times during the cruise another example of the ship being ill prepared for this cruise. I have been on many cruises and this was my worst experience Read Less
17 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
Having cruised on P & O and enjoyed the experience, we thought that Fred Olsen with its smaller ships stopping at ports unavailable to larger ships would be better. There are many positive things to say about this cruise including the ... Read More
Having cruised on P & O and enjoyed the experience, we thought that Fred Olsen with its smaller ships stopping at ports unavailable to larger ships would be better. There are many positive things to say about this cruise including the very friendly atmosphere. The accommodation was fine, the staff were fantastic, with nothing being too much trouble. The entertainment was exceptionally good throughout the cruise. The shore excursions were somewhat hit and miss, but overall fine. The great let down was the food. The restaurant food was passable, however the buffet options were the worst that I have ever experienced. The menus suggest that for health reasons, passengers should make sure that the food was thoroughly cooked so as not to risk individuals health. Unfortunately I was unable to find a single egg which you would consider safe to eat or even hot. For those who ate in the buffet areas when they opened, the majority of the food was cold. A breakfast of partially cooked fried egg, cold beans and cold sausage and bacon is not ideal. One fantastic plus for this cruise were the Phillapean staff who were amazing. Despite a very busy working schedule - they smile Day and night. Their attention to detail and warm personalities provide the kind of atmosphere that can only be admired. We did enjoy the cruise - shame about the food. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I believe FO first time on this itinerary to India and initial visa problems should iron out as its definitely a wonderful country to visit. The ship IS getting old and the first two nights it was like sleeping on a Power plate the ... Read More
I believe FO first time on this itinerary to India and initial visa problems should iron out as its definitely a wonderful country to visit. The ship IS getting old and the first two nights it was like sleeping on a Power plate the vibration was so bad (although after the safety officer dined with us and we complained - it stopped!). Problems with toilet drainage (my cabin in particular wasn’t totally solved) was evident. LOTS of black soot from funnel made me towns and cossies dirty - be warned. The show company were absolutely superb - top class entertainment, well choreographed and super singers (who also ran the singing for fun which was great!) - the little blonde Niamh disappeared the last few nights but hope she’s okay. Guest entertainers, Simon the comedian, Jo the saxophonist and singer along with Aiden the magician were very good also and the last show they did where they worked together was hilarious - nice to see how well they got on Big shout out to the destination desk, the lovely ladies Alex and Jen were SO helpful in altering plans and changing shore tours without flapping at all. Customer services - its probably a cultural thing but the young ladies there were coolly professional but totally without empathy; so when you’re cabin card didn’t work 3 times in succession a bland ‘I’ll print you another’ truly isn’t sufficient when you’d actually like an “Oh I’m so sorry about that” - this aspect was commented on by several guests and I believe needs addressing by FO on the staff training side Cabin, you get what you pay for and my balcony suite was good (apart from loo problems!) and kept spotless by Miac. The food was lovely throughout and despite the rather unfriendly waiting staff in the poolside restaurant, I often used it for breakfast as the eggs benedict and fruit plate were superb. The ship was only half full so our table at dinner only had 4 out of 6 people but we all got on well and the waiting staff were very nice and efficient. (We ate in four seasons) The excursions with one exception (Zeebop by the sea) were excellent and I’d recommend them esp the Tuk tuk rides!! I did enjoy the cruise, loved the ports we called at (will def visit Sri Lanka for a full visit) and this boat comes 3rd out of 4 of the Freds for me. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I had only been on one cruise previously. It was on Braemar and I enjoyed it so much that I decided I would go on Braemar again in December. The destination wasn't important. It was the Carribean and it was a wonderful experience. ... Read More
I had only been on one cruise previously. It was on Braemar and I enjoyed it so much that I decided I would go on Braemar again in December. The destination wasn't important. It was the Carribean and it was a wonderful experience. The most important thing in my opinion was the wonderful staff and the great food on the Braemar. Entertainment was good - but wouldn't be really important to me. The lovely staff and the great people I met on Braemar was amazing. One thing which really impressed me about Fred Olsen was the way they dealt with the problem of Gatwick airport being closed. I took the Farewell Barbados tour on the last day of my holiday, December 20. It left us off at the airport. When it was discovered that Gatwick was closed we were transferred back to the ship, given our original cabins, dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day before being returned to the airport. They could easily have left us at the airport the previous evening. Needless to say we were all so very grateful. So thanks Fred Olsen! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Booked mainly as it left from Dover, It could not have been easier to embark, cabin all ready and staff lovely. Nothing was too much trouble from any member of staff, and although our itinerary was unavoidably changed everything was done ... Read More
Booked mainly as it left from Dover, It could not have been easier to embark, cabin all ready and staff lovely. Nothing was too much trouble from any member of staff, and although our itinerary was unavoidably changed everything was done to make our cruise memorable. Shore tours were, in the main, excellent and just around the right length and certainly just as described. Dining was a pleasure with tables not too close, staff attentive and the evening menu varied. The Breakfast & Lunch buffet was very good plus there was an a la carte choice as well. Only downfall [for me] was the evening entertainment, it lacked a lot, but the evening of entertainment from the crew - excellent. Throughout the cruise we were always kept well informed of the days itinerary and shore visits very well organised. Have already booked two more cruises - from Dover of course with very helpful booking from the staff at Fred Olsen offices. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Small ship. Less 1000 passengers. Very well recommended. Cabin 7016 excellent, comfortable spotlessly clean. Lovely stewerdess. Dining, first class service, food hot, good selection, staff and service excellent. Entertainment brilliant and ... Read More
Small ship. Less 1000 passengers. Very well recommended. Cabin 7016 excellent, comfortable spotlessly clean. Lovely stewerdess. Dining, first class service, food hot, good selection, staff and service excellent. Entertainment brilliant and very professional. Bars, lounge's, library again very efficient excellent service. Ship generally is very comfortable softly furnished with very little glitz. We never queued once either embarkation, disembarkation, dinning rooms etc.in all Fred Olsen Bramar is an excellent comfortable cruise ship. A real pleasure to sail on her and will Do again along with the other three ships. One comment is the cruise is really for 50 plus as the amenities are not so extensive as on the large glitzy ships. Well done Fred Olsen staff and crews.The smaller ships allow access to ports and places that the larger ships cannot access. We would recommend cruising on this comfortable ship and hope when we cruise on the other three it will be equally enjoyable Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Plenty to do on the Black Watch, throughout the day and plenty excursions to enjoy when in port whether you choose to do it yourself or through one of the organised activities. The ship was very clean considering her age and constant ... Read More
Plenty to do on the Black Watch, throughout the day and plenty excursions to enjoy when in port whether you choose to do it yourself or through one of the organised activities. The ship was very clean considering her age and constant maintenance takes place to ensure this. Our cabin 8005 with balcony was adequate for our week's holiday and it was cleaned and maintained daily by our wonderful young lady who looked after us for that week. Dining was excellent, we requested first sitting and had a table for two, although we were in close proximity of 4 other people whom we struck up good conversation with. The waiters could not do enough to please you, along with bar staff in all the bars. Evening show was well presented and varied with some talented artists. Although there were a high percentage of elderly people on board that did not make the experience less enjoyable, in fact it was nice to see older people enjoying themselves. Trip was so good, we booked for another one next year to the fjords and the port being 5 minutes from our door. Couldn't ask for more. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
One of our bucket list items was a cruise to the Fjords of Norway. Our first ever cruise was booked in December 2016 via Thomson and we booked on the Braemar - Fred Olsen. This was definitely the right choice. The ship was exactly right ... Read More
One of our bucket list items was a cruise to the Fjords of Norway. Our first ever cruise was booked in December 2016 via Thomson and we booked on the Braemar - Fred Olsen. This was definitely the right choice. The ship was exactly right for us. Everything was so well organised from arriving at the terminal in Southampton to getting off again. The ship itself was spotlessly clean. The cabin, an inside one on deck 6, was sufficient for our needs. Cleaned every morning and the beds turned down every night with chocolates on the pillows. The staff were all so friendly and helpful. The waiter and waitresses in the observatory lounge made sitting in there a pleasure. Our two waiters in the Thistle Lounge, Jonathan and Larry became like friends and I was very sad to leave. The size of ship was perfect for us and was very homely. Very comfortable. Entertainment was excellent. Although we had never cruised before and had nothing to compare this to, it was one of the best experiences we have had and I really want to go on another one. I would most certainly stick with Fred Olsen and I can't thank the Captain and crew enough for a most wonderful 30th Wedding anniversary holiday. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Iceland and the Faroe Islands Cruise this year on Black Watch was an experience of a lifetime. Having read some previous reviews was not sure about Black Watch. BUT nothing wrong, the ship is being refitted in November which will update a ... Read More
Iceland and the Faroe Islands Cruise this year on Black Watch was an experience of a lifetime. Having read some previous reviews was not sure about Black Watch. BUT nothing wrong, the ship is being refitted in November which will update a lot but I found it to be clean, comfortable and the food is still great, what more could I ask for. Iceland is beautiful and the Faroes unexpectedly a great place....all in all I was very pleased with this cruise. All transport on trips were well arranged and the guides marvellous, embarkation, disembarkation very smooth, no worries. Yes I will sail again with FRED on any ship......sometimes I wonder exactly what the people who criticise are talking about, or is it just that they are unhappy people ? cheer up and go on a cruise with Fred Olsen and enjoy life. I will add that I am a single traveller and now feel part of the FRED FAMILY, which gives me confidence to travel anywhere in the world, and I will continue to do so. Thanks..... Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
I had never cruised on my own before, though I had cruised with my husband before he passed away. This was my first experience with Fred Olsen. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute. From being greeted at Greenock, to leaving the ... Read More
I had never cruised on my own before, though I had cruised with my husband before he passed away. This was my first experience with Fred Olsen. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute. From being greeted at Greenock, to leaving the ship after 8 days, I felt safe and well cared for. The crew were friendly without being familiar, The ship was immaculate, and the food was delicious at every level, from formal dining to casual coffee breaks. The activities and entertainment .... super! The tours were well arranged, and the guides knew their stuff. I enjoy my own company at times, and there were ample places to sit and read if I felt like it. Perhaps i should add that I met a new friend on the cruise, and we will keep in touch. I was apprehensive about going solo, but am so glad I took the plunge! I shall be cruising with "Fred" again! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
Only ever cruised with Fred. over many years. Black Watch is still to me the best. Excellent food all crew member were excellent Entertainment excellent ( I especially liked the choir performed by some passengers. Some crew ... Read More
Only ever cruised with Fred. over many years. Black Watch is still to me the best. Excellent food all crew member were excellent Entertainment excellent ( I especially liked the choir performed by some passengers. Some crew say when they see me ' Welcome home'. Even remember my name and what I drink. I think of some of crew as friends, however the do not forget all passengers and are always professional. The ship is always spotless and all crew work hard to keep it so. I used to travel with my partner, who was confined in a wheel chair. The seating arrangements at meal times for her was excellent. we always had a table to suit her needs. and spoilt her of many years. Pushing her in her wheelchair we managed to complete many miles around the desk. I now travel alone and now go on most of the trips on port days. I especially liked the cycle trip of about 8 miles (although it was electric cycle full instruction was given to all. Have booked for Iceland for next year, together with two other cruises with Fred. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
A great cruise - Ship gets you right into the ports, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rouen. So if you are used to doing your own thing, you are right in the thick of it, or if a first timer, or prefer the security of doing things with Fred Olsens ... Read More
A great cruise - Ship gets you right into the ports, Antwerp, Amsterdam and Rouen. So if you are used to doing your own thing, you are right in the thick of it, or if a first timer, or prefer the security of doing things with Fred Olsens shore tours, you can do either. Love how on smaller ships you get to know everyone and there is never too much of a wait to get on or off. Braemar is a perfect size to make friends, but big enough to avoid the odd passenger you don't hit it off with. We had some really rough weather, which luckily, does not bother me in the slightest, but unfortunately put some first timers on the boat off sailing again. This is my second cruise with Fred Olsens and I can never praise the staff highly enough - their friendliness is outstanding. I have one comment to make about embarkation, which has happened on every cruise I have been on so far, When boarding everyone is asked to fill out a health questionaire to prevent Noro virus on board (why does everything have to have a label nowadays - what is wrong with good old sickness and diarrhoea) we then all use the pen provided thus passing germs to every single other person who will be on the ship?   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
Had the trip of a lifetime on Blackwatch to St. Petersburg, fantastic holiday. I am a great believer in a holiday is what you make of it and I am staggered to see some of the reviews which are so negative. Especially a reviewer who ... Read More
Had the trip of a lifetime on Blackwatch to St. Petersburg, fantastic holiday. I am a great believer in a holiday is what you make of it and I am staggered to see some of the reviews which are so negative. Especially a reviewer who mentions the price paid for their cruise, which is barely more than it would cost to feed yourself at home for 12 days, but they seemed to expect The Ritz Hotel, obviously looking to reclaim every penny of the fare by wishing to eat 24 hours a day. Embarkation at Dover - smooth, did not wait long at all. I found the ship to be spotlessly clean and the Blackwatch exactly the way I wanted it to be. It looked like a ship rather than a floating slice of Las Vegas. Lovely wood panelling and portholes -cant wait to book again for next year. Only minus point in the whole trip was I found the library roasting hot, despite wearing only a thin blouse. I found the food very good and the staff endlessly cheerful and good fun. My cabin was unobtrusively looked after and the information in the Daily Newspaper concise with the Captains Reports keeping us up to date with everything sea-wise. Found the guest speakers interesting, especially one gentleman who gave us a great talk on forensics. Cabaret is not really my thing, so I only went to one show. This was the one the crew gave and it was brilliant - all the better knowing this is not their day job so to speak. Fellow passengers - I am no spring chicken myself (51) and yes a lot of the passengers were elderly. However, I found them excellent company, most extensively travelled and very well educated, good fun and generally first off the boat when in port with a great spirit of adventure putting me to shame when it came to energy levels. Copenhagen was good and very pretty at this time of year - Estonia wonderful, St. Petersburg, staggeringly beautiful and empty as it was winter - a real plus point. Berlin was a slight disappointment but I think that was only because St. Petersburg knocked my socks off. Disembarkation - great once your floor called, off the ship in minutes with luggage all safely waiting. Because we had some rough weather Helsinki was missed, but it was Nov/Dec in the Baltics and we could hardly expect 80 degrees and smooth sailing. The weather delayed us considerably and I had to travel to the far north of Scotland, but I went on the internet in Hamburg and got the sleeper bus for £40.00 practically to my doorstep. Having the extra day and a half on the boat was great, I did not want this holiday to end. Superb!   Read Less
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