11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We booked this 6 months before departure so paid c. £3500 for 4 of us. Last minute passengers can pay much less (£500-600 each) and I imagine CMV struggle to break even. I had no problem with the price. Embarkation at Liverpool was ... Read More
We booked this 6 months before departure so paid c. £3500 for 4 of us. Last minute passengers can pay much less (£500-600 each) and I imagine CMV struggle to break even. I had no problem with the price. Embarkation at Liverpool was extremely efficient. Greenock and Lerwick were dreary places so you will need to arrange excursions. I would do this in advance or you may have to use CMV tours at a price. These small places are not equipped to cater for independent tours especially if another cruise ship arrives at the same time. We enjoyed the Faroe Islands, Kirkwall and Tobermoray was pretty but simply a small harbour. The evening meals on the ship were very good - lots of choice for everyone. Breakfasts less acceptable and a bit of a scrum. There is an a la carte option at breakfast which is less choice but more peaceful. We usually had lunch at our port destination but there was a buffet on board, pizza and a burger bar. There are hundreds of staff on board from around the world and they were all exceptionally helpful and it seemed a happy ship on the face of it. They are obviously very reliant on tips so worth remembering that. The evening entertainment was enthusiastic and had its moments - some good and also excruciating. Didn't expect too much! It was mainly fun. Contrary to popular belief cruises are not really suitable for the very elderly/ infirm unless they remain on board all day! Even then disembarking is stressful as is the emergency drill (lifts out of action both times and many stairs to climb). Also bear in mind that the boats may drop anchor outside small ports and it is then necessary to reach shore on small tender boats - very difficult for the elderly. Finally do think about disembarkation and onward travel. The final port may be miles from the rail station (eg Newcastle) and taxis can be limited Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
This is my experience. Everybody has a different experience so these are my opinions on what i found onboard this cruise. I booked 2 weeks prior to departure and booked a balcony cabin. Fred Olsen kindly gave me a free upgrade to a ... Read More
This is my experience. Everybody has a different experience so these are my opinions on what i found onboard this cruise. I booked 2 weeks prior to departure and booked a balcony cabin. Fred Olsen kindly gave me a free upgrade to a suite. Boarding at Liverpool was great, far more comfortable than Sounthampton. Very pleased with the cabin, all comforts and nice fresh flowers, sparkling wine, canapes, fluffy bath robe and free slippers. Also use of binoculars and umbrella if needed. Lovely bathroom, and great for smokers as you can smoke on the balcony. Unlike other cruise lines where you have to trek around the decks to find a smoking area. Bravo to FO for their smoking policy. The ship is looking its age. Sun deck tired and decor very low key and dull. All staff friendly and polite. Lifts very small and always a wait for one to arrive. The Glentaner dining room was one of the worst i have ever been in on a ship. A large version of a nursing home dining room. Very harsh lighting and too bright. Food was a let down. On Boudicca and Balmoral it was fine but not on this cruise. Were they on rations ? I ordered shrimps to start with which i know means prawns. I was served 3 prawns on a plate !!! gone in seconds. Then an Italian tomato salad. One tomato cut in slices drizzled with oil !!! useless. Main course was poor and also long waits in between courses. Not impressed. The garden cafe is lovely and food is far better and nicer surroundings. Mini cruises attract a totally different type of passenger than a proper cruise would so i seen a wedding party was onboard. Bad news ! By evening the females were drunk and swearing and bawling walking around the ship, drinks in hand. Horrendous language. FO need to curb this fast. Next day i heard other passengers say they were kept awake all night due to the noise in the cabins from these women. This is really bad that people like this spoil peoples cruises because of their drinking and bad behaviour. Half day trip to Dublin was enjoyable, only 27 on the trip. Rather bossy tour guide but it was a good trip. I would not travel on Black Watch again. She is near retirement now and her age shows. Entertainment was poor. Comedian who was not funny, a weak choir and the ships singers and dancers very amateur. I do wish people who want to sit and talk would not come in to see a show as they do not watch the show, just loud voices non stop. Go to one of the lounges if you want to talk. Its bad manners to the acts who are trying to entertain. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2015
We booked last October for a cruise of the fjords. At embarkation, our luggage was delivered to outside our cabin on third deck. The cabin was clean and throughout the cruise was well-serviced by Rodell. We found the entertainment very ... Read More
We booked last October for a cruise of the fjords. At embarkation, our luggage was delivered to outside our cabin on third deck. The cabin was clean and throughout the cruise was well-serviced by Rodell. We found the entertainment very good, and we saw a few great shows, and a funny comedian. As we bought the all-inclusive drinks package, we were limited to what and where we could drink, no drinks included on deck seven, and a limited number of drinks on deck six, which meant we were drinking house rum or Stella. We used the buffet for most of our meals, and the food was reasonable to good, the service was good to indifferent. The Reception staff were helpful and polite, and the staff in the Braemar Room were very cheerful and funny. The pianist Ronald is very good indeed, and we enjoyed our time in their as well as the quizzes at 10pm. Wi-Fi is available on board but is very slow,and some days doesn't work atall, It is very expensive if you only buy a few hours, so I would suggest paying £30 for a 24 hour package,not £5 for half an hour. The excursions are very expensive, so think about making your own way around when you dock. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves, but felt that we didn't get the value for money we should have got, and considering we booked so far in advance, should have been given the all-inclusive drinks package and gratuities free of charge, which were later advertised as included. Read Less

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