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23 Dover to Norwegian Fjords Cruise Reviews

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
Having been all over the world with Saga on land based holidays , when we looked for a Cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday we automatically looked to Saga having been entirely satisfied with our previous holidays with them. Well that ... Read More
Having been all over the world with Saga on land based holidays , when we looked for a Cruise to celebrate my wife’s birthday we automatically looked to Saga having been entirely satisfied with our previous holidays with them. Well that was the right decision, we fancied a winter Norwegian Cruise, and one which specifically aimed at experiencing the Northern Lights seemed an exciting prospect As ever every detail was taken care of, from being picked up at your front door with your luggage through a seemless boarding process at Dover all promised a wonderful holiday experience,which is exactly what we got An upgrade to deck 10 was an unexpected bonus,but all passengers got the same attentive service wherever their cabin was. The whole cruise was ammended to all inclusive which was another nice touch,and we opted for fixed dining which was a delight. The food on this ship is awesome, and the after dinner cheeseboard is the best we have ever experienced anywhere Evening shows were professional and Ancora joining the cruise for week two ensured some never to be forgotten performances, the whole entertainment package was outstanding for a relatively small ship Lectures from accomplished speakers about destinations and other related subjects were interesting and thought provoking, and the library would meet anyone’s taste, complete with librarian. This is proper cruising, no razzmatazz or gimmicks, just traditional formal nights, sumptuous food and well chosen wines and a feeling everyone simply wanted you to enjoy yourselves Saga Sapphire is an old ship, but she is immaculately kept and polished to within a inch of her life morning, noon and night. At every port a free shuttle bus service to the town is available unless the berth is literally in the town centre We were incredibly lucky to see the Northern Lights on three separate nights due to high levels of sunspot activity and on our official included trip to “hunt” the Lights in a dark sky area we were treated to an hour long display of the Northern Lights which were absolutely breathtaking Overall we had a wonderful cruise, seeing the Lights was the proverbial icing on the cake Let’s be clear, Saga isn’t the cheapest cruise provider, but the quality of their cruise experience is truly 5star and on an all inclusive cruise like this you genuinely don’t need to spend any money for the whole cruise unless of course you choose to go on optional excursions The real test is would we Cruise with Saga again; in our case the answer is definitely yes. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This ship leeft Dover for Norway and Iceland. We've never been to Iceland and this ship sailed around the entire island. We stopped four times, on the East Coast, on the North Coast, on the Northwest and in Reykjavik. The first ... Read More
This ship leeft Dover for Norway and Iceland. We've never been to Iceland and this ship sailed around the entire island. We stopped four times, on the East Coast, on the North Coast, on the Northwest and in Reykjavik. The first three stops were very small towns, fewer than 10,000 people, with limited scenic spots and opportunities. They were interesting, but limited. Reykjavik is the capital, with over half the population. and museums, shops and activities to match. We chose the tour to the Blue Lagoon, and didn't get to do anything else, since we had limited time. A major disappointment. Norway was beautiful, and the cruising into and out of the fjords justified the balcony even in chilly weather. There was no enrichment program on the history or geology of these two interesting countries, just Princess's excursions. Service in the Main Dining Room was flawless, with fixed seating. There were three formal nites, largely ignored by most passengers. I wore a sports coat. Food ranged from ordinary to very good - never great. Buffet was less elegant, but also had good service. Entertainment was limited, and largely mediocre. Too chilly to swim or sunbathe most of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Did a lot of research before hand, as we new nothing about cruising, and chose Saga because, to win all the awards they have, they must be doing it right. We were not disappointed. From pick up from our door to return to home, our whole ... Read More
Did a lot of research before hand, as we new nothing about cruising, and chose Saga because, to win all the awards they have, they must be doing it right. We were not disappointed. From pick up from our door to return to home, our whole experience was way above our expectations.Embarkation was quick and easy, cabin very clean and bigger than expected with more than enough storage space. The food was of a very good standard, with plenty of choice. Entertainment overall was good.The service throughout was excellent,with all the crew being very polite and helpful. although the sapphire is classed as a small ship, it certainly didn't feel like it to us . Disembarkation was very slick and smooth, yes, there is a waiting time, but you know in advance your app. time to go. all in all a very enjoyable holiday, and yes we will go with saga again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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
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
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
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
We wanted to visit the fjords and see the Midnight Sun and wanted to cruise on Sapphire again, so of course opted for this cruise. It was excellent from start to finish. Booking was easy over the phone. The door to door transport was ... Read More
We wanted to visit the fjords and see the Midnight Sun and wanted to cruise on Sapphire again, so of course opted for this cruise. It was excellent from start to finish. Booking was easy over the phone. The door to door transport was really good and embarkation simple and quick. In no time at all we were on board and shown to our cabin which was as expected. We felt at home straightaway and headed on up to our favourite bar where we were greeted by the same smiling bar staff from our previous cruise. It was the same for the rest of the cruise. We chose to eat mainly in the waited-on restaurant, Pole to Pole, and as we prefer to eat alone in the evening were given a fixed table for two. However the table was not to our liking, but, no problem, the Maitre d' Kirsten changed it for us to one we were completely happy with. We had lovely food, not a bad meal all the way through, ,and a good choice of courses. The waiting staff were excellent, nothing was too much trouble, and we were greeted by the same friendly faces as last year. Show entertainment is not our thing so we preferred to go up to the drawing room after dinner for quiet drinks, laid back music and quizzing! Service all through the ship was excellent, we wanted for nothing, from the early tea-tray brought by the steward to the turned down bed at night with the chocolate on our pillows. The ports we visited were interesting, although we feel some of the excursions were too expensive for what they were. It was good to have the free shuttle bus service at the ports where we had not booked a trip. Unlike a previous reviewer we felt we had enough information about the itinerary and we did get to see the fjords and the Midnight Sun. In fact it seemed as though the previous reviewers had been on a different cruise to us! We have already put our names down for another cruise on Sapphire in 2018 and eagerly await the new brochure. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have cruised with Saga several times before, enjoying their small ship atmosphere, and were keen to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Saga Sapphire is a spacious ship and the cabins (we were in an outside cabin on level 5) are a generous ... Read More
We have cruised with Saga several times before, enjoying their small ship atmosphere, and were keen to visit the Norwegian Fjords. Saga Sapphire is a spacious ship and the cabins (we were in an outside cabin on level 5) are a generous size. Our first shock was, when booking, to find that two days after receiving the brochure we found that prices has been increased by 10% - all cabins as offered were already sold. We almost cancelled, but decided we liked the itinerary so confirmed the booking. Not a good start,however, and not handled very diplomatically by Saga staff. The staff on board were from many countries - the captain and the "cruise director" were British; deck and engineering officers of various European nationalities; catering and "hotel" staff mostly Filipino; entertainment by performers from several European countries. Some aspects of the cruise were as we had expected from previous experiences with Saga. Filipino staff all friendly and diligent - no reason to fault them. Food generally good, but let down by some very poor meals - consistency not as good a we had been used to. Bars and (free) wine with meals - no problems. Entertainment was mixed, however. Some good performers were overwhelmed by the resident backing "orchestra" - pianist and guitar drowning out the voices, violin soloists etc. No attempt to mix sound properly. And there didn't appear to be anyone taking an interest in resolving the problem - the "Cruise Director" was busy telling us all how wonderful it was, with no time it seemed, to check it was as good as he believed.. (We have over fifty years of experience in musical shows so know good from bad..) Then we were very disappointed to be given some basic info about towns we were to visit, but barely anything about the fjords - which was the basic reason for coming on the cruise. In the event we saw no fjords in normal daytime hours except on excursions. When we were due to see fjords at night (in daylight still, of course) there was inadequate (or no) guidance on when to be on deck so we missed them. We also found that, particularly in Bergen, the ship was allocate a berth four miles form the town centre. Saga does not rate highly with the port, it seems. Finally, it took us four hours from berthing at Dover before we left the port. We saw no evidence of any supervision of the multitude of staff rushing around; embarking crew were mixed up with disembarking passengers; our taxi driver had himself been waiting over four hours. Chaos reigned. We gained the impression that Saga is now a very small outfit trying to punch above its weight in a very competitive market. In the past they appeared to keep going. On this performance they failed to provide the vision, the management or the supervision that are needed to survive in the same league. We will not be cruising with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This cruise had an array of experiences we had read about and wanted to see first hand. From the Svalbard Archipelago with the chance of seeing polar bears, to days and nights when the sun never set, to the stunningly beautiful fjords and ... Read More
This cruise had an array of experiences we had read about and wanted to see first hand. From the Svalbard Archipelago with the chance of seeing polar bears, to days and nights when the sun never set, to the stunningly beautiful fjords and ancient stave churches nestled among the mountains, this cruise delivered it all. The Pacific Princess is our all-time favorite ship. She may be one of the oldest in the line but is lovely and gracious. The entire crew was happy and relaxed which made each passenger feel special and welcomed. We choose our cruises for the itinerary but we would definitely look to see where the Pacific Princess is going and try to book her again. While many cruise lines are minimizing their ships' libraries, it is such a pleasure to have a well-stocked library for those long sea days. The only downside on this cruise was the description of one of the shore excursions.The hike to hunt for fossils was listed as moderate and should have been called strenuous. We had sturdy hiking boots but many people were trying to hike on loose rocks across streams and patches of snow in street shoes and it could have resulted in some serious falls. The entertainment was top notch, the food was wonderful and the service was some of the best we've experienced. In short, we loved this cruise. Read Less
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
Sail Date June 2016
Although the ship was old and visibly in need of urgent repairs (some of these repairs were even carried out during the cruise and caused a kind of petrol smell in our room) and according to the Captain did not meet present environmental ... Read More
Although the ship was old and visibly in need of urgent repairs (some of these repairs were even carried out during the cruise and caused a kind of petrol smell in our room) and according to the Captain did not meet present environmental standards, we very much enjoyed the beautiful nature of Norway and were impressed by the good service. We felt less impressed by the fact that the shipping line extorted from us an amount of fifty pounds for an unavoidable name change (my original guest not being able to join) and the negative reaction I received from the unsmiling staff at the guest services desk, when I requested a refund of these fifty pounds. The lady at this desk even told me that she did not believe that Royal Caribbean never charges me for name changes!!! This in combination with the fact that I was charged an amount of £ 1,32 for being served a glass of port wine rather than a glass of red wine was a real shock. The port wine costs per glass £1,10 less than the house wine, so one would expect a refund rather than an additional charge. The lady at the guest services desk was unrelenting in her successful efforts to maintain this charge on the bill, so that the final result was that in addition to the £ 9000 charged for the cruise, an additional amount of £ 51,32 pounds was lost, of which £ 50 even before the cruise started! The episode with the £50 was so unpleasant because of the utter greed it reflected. How can a name change cost the shipping line more than 50 pence and how is it possible that such a trivial work cannot be financed out if the sum of £9000 paid for the cruise? On ground of this episode I decided that this would be my first and my last cruise with Fred Olsen. On the subject if the wine I would like to elaborate a bit more. The only red wine included in our drinking package was a wine of a poor quality. I feel sure Fred Olsen himself has not tasted this wine: he would have replaced it immediately by another wine. Guests can easily get confused by the complicated rules of your “ included drinks” package. After I was presented with the extra charge of £1,32 I devoted 15 minutes of study to the fine print of your package which brought me into a state of confusion. My proposal to Fred Olsen is to replace these rules by a more simple concept, including cheaper but better drinks for the package which will make it more acceptable to the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to go to the Fjords and with this being a special "Frozen"-themed cruise to Norway, we couldn't resist! The challenge in researching the cruise was that there was very little ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we have always wanted to go to the Fjords and with this being a special "Frozen"-themed cruise to Norway, we couldn't resist! The challenge in researching the cruise was that there was very little information about it out in the web and so mostly we went on faith and Disney's reputation. We have sailed with Disney once prior to this sailing in the Caribbean on the Dream, the larger ship. The Magic has had a major overhaul within the past 3 years... but I will discuss that later. Onto the experience itself... The ship was mostly Brits and Americans... there were more Americans than I had anticipated and many of us had pulled our kids out of school early for the opportunity to take this cruise. We flew in a few days prior and stayed with family in the area. I highly recommend traveling in early to get rid of the jet lag. It takes us about 3 days to get our bodies in a 5 hour time change difference, so I was glad we did. On the return we took the Disney transportation back to London Heathrow airport (LHR) and it was very smooth - especially for a Sunday morning. Check-in went smooth and we had taken advantage of pre-booking everything online, so we needed to handle little paperwork prior to boarding. The check-in area was very similar to Florida, and the procedure was the same. We were given credentials with badges and lanyards as a Silver Castaway Club member. That was a nice surprise as it was our second cruise. We boarded the ship with no issues and just needed to wait about 20 minutes before we could access our cabin. We had two adjoining cabins, starboard, with balconies on Deck 7. The connecting door was easy to unlatch and we had access between both cabins for the duration of the cruise without having to go into the hallway. On both beds were Castaway Club backpacks... a welcome surprise! We left port late as I believe they held the ship for late arrivals and last minute cargo loading. We missed the spillway party as my daughter is 5-1/2 and we just needed to slow everything down a bit as she was bouncing off the walls in excitement. We also didn't have our baggage. For arriving at 1PM, right on time, we didn't get a single piece of luggage until almost 6PM. As we were assigned the early dinner seating, we had to just go "as is". We were very disappointed it arrived so late. The English Channel is usually pretty rough coming out of port, but the only time I really felt it was standing up after dinner. With rotational dining, we ate in Caricoas and then moved onto Animators Palate and then Luminere's for the duration of the cruise. We also switched after the first night to the second seating as frankly, the smaller children are at that service time and it was filled with small children. We are used to a pretty quiet dining environment, so we opted to ask for our own table at the 8:30pm seating. It was the best decision for our family and we ended up with fantastic service team including Plamen from Bulgaria (our main waiter), Vincent (our assistant waiter) and Cindy (our head waiter)... they were all fantastic and went out of their way to provide us with consistent, personalized service. They as a team exceeded our expectations. A shout out to Silvio, from Italy, our Sous Chef.... can't say enough about the special cannoli's that he made us. The cruise itself went from Dover to Stavanger to Alesund to Geiranger to Bergen and back to Dover. We were on sea days from Dover to Stavanger and Bergen to Dover. The seas were unusually calm and I was very thankful that except for the wait time sailing into the Geiranger Fjord (we couldn't access the Fjord until past 3AM due to traffic), the weather and the sailing was very smooth. We truly lucked out with the seas and weather. I have been in the Med during rough seas, and it is not fun.... I was truly thankful and it just heightened the enjoyment of the experience. The Oceaneers Club and Lab were both great options for my daughter. The kids crew did a great job of keeping the kids entertained and having a good time. The cruise ended with a performance with the kids on the Walt Disney Stage with Mickey and Minnie singing and dancing along. My daughter received a moment t-shirt and loved the experience. The Oceaneers Club and Lab is one of the main reasons we choose Disney - it is time for my daughter to have with other kids and also for my husband and I to have some time alone together. We appreciate what a good job they do. We took a number of excursions off of the ship and two of the three were specifically designed for the kids. In Stavanger we took the Maritime Museum tour... the main reason was that our daughter would learn about the Viking experience, but also got to build and decorate her own boat that she got to bring home. The Alesund excursion was a "once in a lifetime" as we went to Sunnmore Village (outdoor Norwegian historical site that showcases their way of life) which included a meet and greet with Anna, Elsa and Kristoff from FROZEN. It was a bit of a mad crush, but the Disney folks did an excellent job of managing to keep themselves engaged from the first person in line all the way to the last person over an hour an a half. It had rained in the morning, but managed to stop within an hour and we had a really enjoyable time learning about the historical Norwegian way of life. My daughter was interested in the obvious... a very special meet and greet with the FROZEN characters. As we departed we were all given a special Norwegian cookie/cake and also a Disney pin in the shape of a Norwegian flag. Very special.... The Geiranger excursion was equally special, but in a very different way. We took a motor coach into the mountains and had excellent views of the major sites including the seven sisters waterfalls from a high vista lookout. From there we went deeper into the area and ended at a local farm, The Gjaera Farm, run by Martin and his wife. Disney Youth Counselors accompanied us as well and the children went off and learned about stamping with antique wooden stamps from Norway and other countries. The children each made their own pillowcase souvenir with their own stamps. The adults, on the other hand, hung out with Martin and enjoyed is fabulous hand-crafted beer, cheese and other dried meats. We had an incredible view of the fjord below... a slice of Heaven, truly. It was a great couple of hours to watch his sheep and other farm animals graze in the area and then the children came back out and showed us their crafts. They then got to feed the animals... what a perfect morning/early afternoon excursion to have taken. In Bergen and the rest of the cities that we visited, there was always time to do a little shopping. We docked very close to the city center, if not right in the middle of it! At most, there was a 10 minute walk into Bergen, the docking was ideal. As for the shopping, there is the usual tourist souvenirs, but if you look hard enough, you were able to find some really special artisan shops with local flair. I found that Stavanger had the best clothing and Bergen the best artisans in the historic wharf area. Many of the shop owners participated in the tax refund program, so I was able to get my VAT tax (approx. 20 percent on base price) equivalent refunded to me at the airport when I departed. It is worth taking the time and the hassle at the airport to do the paperwork. As for the Disney shows, they were pretty spectacular... even on a moving ship. We saw a new production of Tangled... about an hour and a half production on the stage. The performers were fantastic and the staging for a cruise ship was incredibly well done. This was the best one that we saw... but I know that they are all good and well worth planning to see whether before or after your dinner time. The character meet and greets were not well run. Many of them bumped up on either side of dinner seating times and we had to leave the line after 40 minutes to go to dinner and miss one of the few Minnie/Mickey dual meet and greets, for example. We said something to the crew member running the meet and greet and was met with canned explanations that we did not receive well. We gave up after that. Room service was run well and was efficient. I wish there were more selections including breakfast (having the option to select in the morning and not just the night before). We did get to Palo one evening. The surcharge is $30 per person, and the experience was excellent... especially sailing out of the Geiranger Fjord. Most of all, it was a very quiet dining experience, which my husband and I appreciated. My daughter happily enjoyed dinner in the kids club. Is it worth $30 per person? I am not so sure, from a food quality standpoint... but you are also paying for the location/view and the exclusivity. The culinary teams in the rotational dining rooms do an amazing job of preparing the food and adjusting to your personal dietary needs as much as possible. For a 7 day cruise, there were a few bumps in the road, but nothing major for me to speak of beyond what I have mentioned. I will say that the only negative was the condition of the staterooms. They have had a refurbishment, but the deck chairs were old, had tape on the tops and bottom of the feet, rust was exposed in many areas and the shower was not the greatest. Our beds in both cabins were lumpy and not comfortable... both need new mattresses. The towels and linens were fresh and clean... the towels were cleaned every day, but the bedding could have been changed out, but wasn't when we had a spill by my daughter. But that was it for the most part. All in all, the Disney consistency shown through... we had a wonderful time in a magical place and look forward to another European adventure again soon! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was the second cruise on Braemar following 4 on the Black Watch. As on all 6 cruises, from embarkation, 5 from Dover and 1 from Southampton, everything was straightforward and very efficient. The same remark applies to disembarkation. ... Read More
This was the second cruise on Braemar following 4 on the Black Watch. As on all 6 cruises, from embarkation, 5 from Dover and 1 from Southampton, everything was straightforward and very efficient. The same remark applies to disembarkation. I make particular reference to the friendliness of the crew on both ships who could not be more helpful. The quality of the food was of a very high order as was the evening entertainment at all of the various venues throughout the ships. The cabins booked, 1 with balcony and 5 superior outside, were comfortable, clean and perfectly adequate. Over the 6 cruises we went on a number of excursions in Norway, Iceland and the Baltic. All well organised and we have been left with numerous happy memories of visits to interesting and beautiful locations, particularly in Norway. I am booked again on Braemar next year visiting Germany in April. I hope to continue my association with Fred Olsen for some years to come who, in my opinion, cannot be equaled in the service the company provides. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was my first cruise on a Fred Olsen vessel. I usually cruise with Royal Caribbean and P&O. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, as have previously read negative reviews about this ship. I can only compare with my previous ... Read More
This was my first cruise on a Fred Olsen vessel. I usually cruise with Royal Caribbean and P&O. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, as have previously read negative reviews about this ship. I can only compare with my previous experiences, but although small, this ship exceeded my expectations. The food is excellent and the best I have had on a cruise. The staff are welcoming and so friendly and give 5 star service 24/7. Great onboard activities and entertainers, especially the Braemar Show Company who were the most talented bunch of singers and dancers I have come across. The ship is kept spotlessly clean, with great attention given to hygene. Embarkation was super speedy and luggage was waiting for us upon reaching our cabin. Quite a good mixture of age ranges onboard including some families with children. The only thing the ship lacks in my opinion is a proper theatre, as the main show lounge isn't really big enough to accommodate everyone at peak times. Restaurants onboard were excellent, we were in the Grampian on Deck 8 which is light and airy with large porthole windows all the way round. The self service Palms Cafe is superb, with tables laid properly with starched white cloths and waiters allocating you a table, which is better than other ships I have travelled on. Sadly, there was one big downside for me, the fact the ship is small and flat bottomed, there is a lot of movement which was a problem to me as I am not a good traveller. I spent two sea days feeling unwell, which was a shame. For that reason alone, I would probably not choose to cruise on Braemar again, but for those who travel well, I highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Went on Braemar to the fjords from 23 to 30 May 2015 My husband and I love cruising been on twenty two been with all the big hitters you may says his was first time with Fred Olsen we were a little doubtful after reading some of the ... Read More
Went on Braemar to the fjords from 23 to 30 May 2015 My husband and I love cruising been on twenty two been with all the big hitters you may says his was first time with Fred Olsen we were a little doubtful after reading some of the reviews about this cruise line how wrong we were we have never had such a good cruise The staff were excellent food superb the choice was unbelievable cabin great we had an inside we found it good ten metres from the stairs and lifts so accessible but no noise from them We were on deck four room 4067 room maid excellent she replenished tea coffee every day Bed comfy and two wardrobes 30hangers which was adequate the only minute problem was safe was not big enough to put husbands lap top in Smallish ship but we found observatory good Neptune bar good coral club good morning light pub good in fact the age group approx sixty years upwards wasn't a problem we found all passengers charming friendly and wanting to have a good cruise The attention to detail as far as the food was concerned was excellent beautifully presented And what a choice from beef en croute smoked salmon steaks shepherds pie to fish and chips so there was something for everyone We had a marvellous cruise best ever would we go with Fred Olsen again definitely Not p & o or royal Caribbean or princess the cuts are obvious on these lines try Fred you will not be disappointed Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
For our 40th wedding anniversary we decided on a cruise and as it was our 1st time we chose Saga because of their reputation and smaller ships. When we spoke to the sale advisor's we emphasized why we were booking the holiday and ... Read More
For our 40th wedding anniversary we decided on a cruise and as it was our 1st time we chose Saga because of their reputation and smaller ships. When we spoke to the sale advisor's we emphasized why we were booking the holiday and requested a larger Superior cabin with a balcony as this was a special occasion. Their brochure quotes “Larger cabins up to 270 square feet”. When calling their office regarding other queries we double checked that this cabin would meet our requirements and was assured this was the case. We were surprised and disappointed how small this cabin was, it only had a low oval coffee table with one lounge chair and a dining chair at the other side of the bed as a result it was impracticable to have an intimate meal, which was one of the reasons for choosing the Superior cabin. The balcony of our cabin was so narrow it was impossible to sit down on the chairs provided. A travel lodge room is bigger than this cabin with 2 proper chairs. We later discovered from visiting a fellow cruiser’s standard outside cabin on deck 6 was larger and more like a “large hotel room than a ship cabin” as quoted in their brochure. At no point whilst speaking to the sales advisor's was this explained nor does it show this in the brochure or on line. Had we been informed at the time of booking of these differences we would not have chosen a Superior cabin with a balcony. Having paid £754.00 extra for a smaller cabin with a balcony of little use seems excessive at least. We would also comment on the dining arrangements, these were advertised as being available in the evenings from 6:45pm until 9:00pm as a single sitting, after arriving back from a trip late one evening we went down to dinner only to find we were rushed at every stage from order to dessert Norway was a lovely country but our experience of this cruise was spoilt by the comments above and found the cruise was certainly not value for money. Don't get sucked in to higher priced cabins unless you are fully aware of what is on offer, as all is not as it appears. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was our first cruise on Holand America, and I can say it will be our last. Queuing for thirty minutes each night to get into the restaurant, then waiting another thirty minutes for our order to be taken was realy quite poor. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Holand America, and I can say it will be our last. Queuing for thirty minutes each night to get into the restaurant, then waiting another thirty minutes for our order to be taken was realy quite poor. The main restaurant was in serious need for a refurbishment, and I would go as far as to say it was quite embarrassing . The food in the main resturant on most nights was cold, and was below average. On the positive side the buffet resturant was realy nice, hot and tasty. If you are looking for a luxury cruise Ryndam is not it. The staff in bars were very friendly,and worked very hard. The entertainment was quite good,but I think that was because they had one young lady that was exceptionally good. The children's club were very nice,and did their best with what they had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Never been on a cruise before but have since done my homework on what to expect. Our cruise to the Norwegian fjords on the Ryndam was excellent. These mid size cruise ships have almost the same facilities as the big boys with 3000+ ... Read More
Never been on a cruise before but have since done my homework on what to expect. Our cruise to the Norwegian fjords on the Ryndam was excellent. These mid size cruise ships have almost the same facilities as the big boys with 3000+ passengers. We could always get a sunbed by the pools or on deck. In fact we actually found places to lounge in the sun where no one else was around which amazed us. Food was brilliant and hardly had to queue for anything. Disembarkation on trips was no problem. The staff could not be faulted for their helpful attitudes and we felt privileged to be on board a ship which allowed their wonderful mainly Philippino staff to celebrate their Independence Day and passengers to enjoy the celebrations too. Would thoroughly recommend Holland America's mid sized ships and the experience you will receive. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014

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