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
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
10 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
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
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
About us. We are a mid aged couple and quite new to cruising this being our third cruise. We always read the reviews so it's important to write our own, sorry if it's long but I like to try and include as much info as I can ... Read More
About us. We are a mid aged couple and quite new to cruising this being our third cruise. We always read the reviews so it's important to write our own, sorry if it's long but I like to try and include as much info as I can and include details I have not seen on other reviews. I am experienced at writing reviews and it's what I do when I go away and I use another site for hotels rather than this cruise site. THE SHIP It was built in 1985 but it has been updated. OUR ROOM We we in room 6197 so please don't think all rooms are like this. If you look at the ships plan it's the biggest room on the ship but it's a inside cabin. I think it's intended for family's as it's a suite. Who needs a widow when you have two rooms and wardrobe's. The room was just as expected, it was a little dark for me and I would of preferred brighter lights. I take a torch on all holidays and this was needed for me to arrange my hair. RESTAURANT We were booked into the Waldorf and the early sitting which suited us. We had dinner then watched the entertainment. The dinner menu was five courses if you wanted them all. We could not fault the restaurant the staff and food were great. One tip is to ask not to sit in the booth type seating this was far too tight for us to fit between the table and chair. The round tables are much better, we chose to seat with other guests. Seating as a couple is an option but we loved chatting to other guests. BARS All are great, we had the all inclusive drinks package which cost £17 and for us this was great value. I do not drink that much but for me the non alcoholic beer was just tight. SWIMMING POOL On the cruise we were on we were told the pools were out of use as we had no cruise days. I hope I can add the photo to show how poor the pool was when we go on the ship. It was cleaned the next day but this was poor of them to leave the pool in such a poor state. The two jacuzzi's were bubbling away but not heated. Such a shame we would of used the pools and jacuzzi's. STAFF Friendly enough but the poor English was an issue, many things were lost in transaction. ENTERTAINMENT Some of the entertainment is dia but mostly we thought it was ok. You have to take in account its not a big ship so has not the budget of a big ship. Often the entertainment in the tavern was fun. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
This is the fourth cruise we have been on, with various lines and destinations. Departed Liverpool, seemlessly, and cruised to Dublin, then on to the Shetlands and then to the Norwegian Fjords. It does amaze me how nit-picking some ... Read More
This is the fourth cruise we have been on, with various lines and destinations. Departed Liverpool, seemlessly, and cruised to Dublin, then on to the Shetlands and then to the Norwegian Fjords. It does amaze me how nit-picking some people are. This was a great value cruise - we weren't paying Cunard prices, and we were taking our two kids. The Magellan was very well run and extremely friendly. Nothing was too much trouble for the staff, and the food in the buffet was very good with plenty of variety (our children loved it) and the restaurants were excellent. Ivan and Oleksandr, our waiters each night were outstanding, and the food was beautifully presented, very slickly served, and the restaturant itself spacious and comfortable. Indeed the whole ship was very spacious, and at no point did we ever feel remotely crowded. Although the clientele were mostly aged 70+, there were enough families on board to make sure it didn't feel like a floating care home. The crew had put on some super activities for families and children, and really went the extra mile. Our cabin was clean, comfortable, and our steward excellent. We purchased four excursions, and while they weren't cheap, they were very well run and we thoroughly enjoyed them all. The Norwegian Fjords are breathtaking, and make sure you visit the Oil Museum in Stavangar - absolutely brilliant and you will love it. Ignore the whingers, some people are never happy. This was a great cruise, on a nice ship, with an really hardworking and conscientious crew. Well done C&MV. We'll not hesitate to travel with you again. AP Read Less

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