77 Fred. Olsen Braemar Cruise Reviews

Every thing was so easy. Arrived at Queen Elizabeth terminal and cases were collected from us and car taken to be parked. Walked straight into arrivals with no queue. Quick check in, told cabin was ready for us and lunch was been served in ... Read More
Every thing was so easy. Arrived at Queen Elizabeth terminal and cases were collected from us and car taken to be parked. Walked straight into arrivals with no queue. Quick check in, told cabin was ready for us and lunch was been served in Grampian restaurant. The food throughout the cruise was excellent. Portions are not huge in the restaurant but meal is 5 courses so you are never hungry. Buffet style restaurant also available and you can get as much as you like. The whole ship was so clean and all the staff were attentive and friendly. There was a range of onboard activities. The library was popular and had a good selection of books and board games. The age range of the cruisers varied. We are early 50’s and were certainly not the youngest. Yes there are some older people onboard but it was no means a care home. If you are looking for disco type entertainment and casino setting this isn’t the ship for you. If you want good food, good company, be able to relax read, have a glass or two of wine, chill and visit great ports (Braemar is able to get into smaller ports which means closer to centre of towns so no coach or tender needed which was so easy) then this is the ship for you. We travelled with our 13 year old son. There were 25 children on board who had designated staff to entertain them throughout the sea days. This was more for the younger children 4 to 10 years. If you are looking for crèche/children’s area this is not available on this ship but all the children appeared happy and our son said he would definitely cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Isn't It Good? Day One, 18 May 2019. This cruise is to Norway, hence the cryptic title. Brilliant arrangements for boarding the Braemar. We arrived at noon, were met and greeted by the car parkers and porters, strolled straight ... Read More
Isn't It Good? Day One, 18 May 2019. This cruise is to Norway, hence the cryptic title. Brilliant arrangements for boarding the Braemar. We arrived at noon, were met and greeted by the car parkers and porters, strolled straight through check in and security, and were eating lunch by 12.15. Cabins were ready for 1 pm, luggage waiting outside. Don't you just hate airports? We spent a leisurely 20 minutes peering over the balcony watching ship's provisions coming off the back of vast lorry and being shuttled about by forklift. Also observing the arrival of passengers who had followed instructions not to get to port before 1.30. The Heavy Brigade were engaged in a valiant charge up the gangplank. Stormed at with shot and shell, boldly they strode and well. They boarded, but not, not the six hundred (Alfred Lord Thomason). One poor soul was borne away in an ambulance, accompanied by concerned companions. Better than cruising around the fjords in the ship's morgue. On Fred Olsen, dinner seating is fixed for the trip. We are on a table for six and if the company is dire, you have the option of taking another roll of the dice by changing restaurants. Fortunately, we deem this to be unnecessary. However, we will not know until tomorrow whether the other four decided that we are dire! Day Two Anthea does not get the cryptic title of this travelogue. Her soul must be made of rubber. Made it to the gym by seven this morning, despite the clocks going forward and a smidgeon of over indulgence on day one. They seem to have added more equipment or maybe my equipment has diminished. We do not arrive in port until tomorrow, so we could go line dancing, listen to a classical concert, or win a quiz. Instead, we opt for a general acclimatisation day, i.e. boozing, snoozing and shmoozing Tonight the dress code is formal in the main restaurant and the overwhelming majority of cruisers are happy to go along with that, leaving the tracksuit two club to order another ten rounds of Newcastle Brown. The Romanian captain quips his way merrily through his welcome cocktail party and introduces his executive team. In matters maritime, Croatia and Bulgaria rule the waves, leaving the Welsh and Scots to boss the galley slaves. I am happy to report that all our dining companions showed up, so we can't be that bad. Day Three Our first stop in Norway is the city of Kristiansand, on the Skagerrak Sea. Its most attractive feature is a 17th Century quarter called Kvadraturen. White clapperboard houses line the grid planned streets, the last survivors of city wide fires which eventually prompted the city authorities to require all new builds to be in brick. The clapperboard houses are roofed with orange tiles from the Netherlands, the trade exchange being one lobster for one tile. We then move on to the Vest Adger County Museum. Here they have re-assembled a 16th century farmstead, complete with turfed roofs. One of the grain stores has a removable section in the wall to enable the storage of bodies of those who died in winter when the ground was too hard to dig. The smoky dark interiors of the houses accommodated up to fifteen people in two rooms, but if you were young and healthy you slept with the pigs and cows. A woman's most attractive feature was considered to be weight lifter calves for lifting buckets. At first sight modern Norwegian living appears to be very functional and politically correct. The Greens call the shots, beer is £12 a pint, 58% of all new cars bought are electric, and income tax is over 50%. Suddenly, those smokey dark interiors with a wood fire and a bucket of mead don't seem so bad, especially with a flash of bulging calf! Day Four We rise early to watch our progress along the 100 kilometre Oslo Fjord, a route which takes us past the house of the Olsen family. Our boat is followed in by the larger Balmoral, the new rigid inflatable boats (RIBS) make up the rest of the flotilla and a special flag is run up in salute of the company founders when we pass the small village they came from in the 1840's. The scenery is very attractive on a sunny morning and crew bustle around with early morning tea, coffee, hot chocolate, Buck's Fizz, pastries and bacon, sausage and mushroom butties. Breakfast comes later. There are just 5.2 million Norwegians but civic pride looms large in the architecture and layout of Oslo. The decision to have a royal family was made by referendum in the early 20th century. A splendid avenue leads up to the palace, bordered by elegant anti terrorist devices consisting of large metal saucers full of flowers. Norway has the largest public reserves in the world derived from its oil revenues, and this is reflected in grand scale building projects such as the 'glacier styled' opera house. But the highlight of the trip so far is a visit to Vigiland Sculpture Park. Gustav Vigiland was commissioned by the city authorities in the late 19th century to produce statues for public spots. He somewhat over-delivered and there are now over 200 groups of these in a beautiful landscape. Made in iron, bronze and granite they are a exhilarating expression of the human form and experience from cradle to grave. Some are in simple repose, contrasting with others which are engaged in extreme contortions. High above the city is the Holmenkollen Ski Centre. A new ski jump and biathlon arena are under construction and testify to the obsession this country has with the sport. What an excellent obsession! The word 'ski' is Norwegian for flat plank. Ancient carvings depict folk on skis, presumably Nords winning the Bedrock Downhill. Day Five The approach to Arendal is reputed to be one of the most scenic in the world, and very pretty it is. We berth close to the town centre adjacent to a steep cliff with houses on top. A footpath zig zags to the top. Along this and in the garden of the house about three dozen school children perform a dance to a piece from 'Frozen'. This has not been announced on board but all the cruisers with starboard cabins or taking a deck stroll give an enthusiastic round of applause when the performance has finished. A great way of showing of the best side of ŷour culture. Norwegiansare still deeply wounded by the massacre of the children by the right wing nutcase in 2011. The guy responsible is never named and is referred to simply as 'the traitor'. We take a small boat ride around channels and skerries of the archipelago. The hills and coastline are covered with beautiful forests and white clapperboard houses. Apparently the place has won the European award for the best maintained properties. Almost every house has a boat and this is a very popular summer resort. Today, the misty waters are very calm and the gulls and cormorants have it to themselves - apart from us! We go along with the suggestion to dress up for British night. Escapist patriotism and mythical identities run riot in the sing song featuring national twaddle songs, and there is no hint of Xenophobia, even though folk are balling "Red, white and blue What does it mean to you Surely you're proud Shout it out loud." Harmless enough. Probably. Day Six Into the fjords proper this morning covering Maurangsfjord, Fureberg Waterfall and Hardangerfjord. Isn't it good, Norwegian Wood, hums Anthea, the Penny having dropped. All very epic. The minimisation of humans and the omnipresence of nature bring on a serious case of pseuds corner, an overload of awe and wonder, and a swelling of the numinous. It is rumoured that some passengers have had to retreat to their cabins and lie down until scenic sickness abates. Not this one. In the afternoon we get up close to the elements by boarding a RIB. We don bright yellow thermal floatation suits, goggles and gloves and wizz around Eijefjord at up to 40 knots. At one end of the water there is a hydro electric power station big enough to power the city of Bergen. Hardly any of it is visible, as the pipes and turbines have been inserted into the cliffs. On a plateau 400 meters high is an old farm, and in former times the children had to go up and down a footpath to school. "Late again Ibsen. What's the excuse this time?" Norway had universal literacy much earlier than the U.K. And it was one of the reasons why the small nation was economically successful even before the discovery of oil. Before we return to the ship our driver takes us close to the bottom of a tumbling waterfall, and we really feel we've earned a tumbler of Bailey's. Day Seven We go into the Lysefjord during the morning, regarded by those who are supposed to know these things to be the ultimate expression of fjord topography. Royal Caribbean would get wedged in the first bend! High vertical cliffs on port and starboard give way to stretches of open water with mountains receding in rows to a vanishing point. Don't try to paint the scene unless you have mastered perspective. We pass the famous Pulpit Rock and the world's longest wooden staircase (4,444 steps ) which has something to do with another hidden power station. It has become a tradition to bring over a Gang of Sherpas once a year to repair and maintain stone footpaths used by hikers. They have celebrity status, which probably means feature articles in 'Hikey Hikey Ho' magazine. The second and final formal night of the trip concludes with the ever popular crew show, which demonstrates that the workers have considerately more talent among them than we would ever guess over the breakfast table. As I have said in a previous report it is an ingenious way of stirring up the feel good factor all round. The status of the crew is elevated, while the guests feel they're making a small contribution to world social mobility. Indeed, during the final song, in the little bubble of suspended reality that is the Neptune Lounge , "We Are The World". Day Eight The day of the gala buffet. Being new to Olsen, our dining companions can't quite believe their taste buds as they range across sumptuous seafood, the finest cold meats and a giant cooked gammon in a shortcrust pastry, an overwhelming display of cakes and pastries, not to mention the chocolate fountain. "Oh the buzzing of the bees, in the cigarette trees...."etc. We have now left Norwegian waters and are churning our way through the North Sea back to Blighty, the land we love, but also the land of blubbing bungling ministers, broken promises, and Brexit Bollocks. That said, would you really want to live in a land of welfare economics, equality of opportunity way beyond the U.K. model, the highest Human Development Index in the world, the top spot in the World Happiness Report, the Better Life Index and the Index of Public Integrity and Democracy? Perhaps not. But we might like to take a closer look at it! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary and the special offer price was too attractive to turn down. We were let down by Guest Services in Suffolk regarding this but the staff on board more than made up it. Stephen ... Read More
We choose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding Anniversary and the special offer price was too attractive to turn down. We were let down by Guest Services in Suffolk regarding this but the staff on board more than made up it. Stephen and Gustie in the Thistle were great. The food was better than expected with lots of choice. Our Cabin stewardess Patti offered service above expected and James in the Observation Lounge remembered our cabin number after the second visit to the bar. Jeffery in guest services sorted out head offices issues! In my opinion the art works left a lot to be desired. The one in our cabin was awful. It would have been useful to know that all the museums but one were closed In Lisbon on a Monday and Cadiz was closed on Sunday (the days we visited). The drinks package was good for adults but for anyone aged between 12-17 years it was a waste of money unless you were prepared to rot your child's teeth with at least 9 fizzy drinks a day. Yet you had to pay adult prices for the children if you had anyone of this age in your cabin. Very unfair Fred Olsen. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We were very apprehensive With regards to the trans Atlantic part of this cruise as we thought we would be bored being st sea for so long but were extremely pleased with the amount of entertainment on board such as lectures, classes and ... Read More
We were very apprehensive With regards to the trans Atlantic part of this cruise as we thought we would be bored being st sea for so long but were extremely pleased with the amount of entertainment on board such as lectures, classes and facilities available that in the end there was not time to do everything. The quizzes were very good and my wife joined the choir run by Claire-Marie who was very professional finalising with a concert on the last Friday afternoon with the drama and ukulele groups which was well attended by the guests on board. An overall memorable cruise with special attention given on my birthday aboard the ship without needing to tell Fred Olsen anything. The entertainment team, lecturers and guest entertainers were excellent with a variety of entertainment from opera to song and dance, comedy, and the staff evening was excellent. We also were very impressed with all the musicians on board Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Bucket list cruise to see the Amazon River. The whole experience far exceeded all expectations. First time with Fred Olsen Right from the start everything was very well organised. The staff were all very attentive and it was service with ... Read More
Bucket list cruise to see the Amazon River. The whole experience far exceeded all expectations. First time with Fred Olsen Right from the start everything was very well organised. The staff were all very attentive and it was service with a smile through out the whole cruise. Nightmare journey home not good having to fly from Manaus to Barbados to chance crew and refuel as we couldn't get off plane and then more delays because of lack of paper work! I didn't consider this to be Fred Olens fault or even the airline! I felt the size of the ship was just perfect I have been on larger ships but much prefer the size of Braemar. One thing I particularly liked was that there were no problems on deck finding a sunbed especially on sea days it never felt crowded. Dining in the Grampian Restaurant was perfect, a great atmosphere and great service. Good choice of food perfectly cooked and presented. The pool restaurant was also a favourite for lunch time. We used all the restaurants and found them all equally as good. we did not use the grill, felt the extra charge was excessive when the other restaurants were so good. Entertainment was excellent, something for everyone. The ports of call were all very interesting and the tours we went on were all good value for money and exceptionally well organised. Presentations regarding ports of call prior to arriving were particularly good and very imformative. If you didn't get to see it live you could catch up on tv in cabin. A great cruise and would definately book with Fred Olsen again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
My first ever cruise which was a trip with my parents and brother as a special family trip and despite my reservations I really enjoyed cruising. Infact I would go again. We had an inside cabin which was actually not too bad. I missed ... Read More
My first ever cruise which was a trip with my parents and brother as a special family trip and despite my reservations I really enjoyed cruising. Infact I would go again. We had an inside cabin which was actually not too bad. I missed having no natural light but storage was fine and beds very comfortable. The ship, crew and trips were all excellent and I found very little to criticise. The food was fabulous and so much of it you feel compelled to eat far too much. We were looked after extremely well by all the staff. There was a good choice of entertainment throughout the day and the Daily News was great as you could see in advance what was on and pick and choose your activities. The ship (Braemar)was great and the excursions was a real amazing experience. What we saw on the excursions was fabulous even though a few of the trips were perhaps a little contrived and too busy. Fred Olsen runs a very smooth operation and when the inbound flight from Manchester was delayed and we had an extra day on the ship (what a hardship for us) they handled it extremely well and we were all kept informed and able to enjoy the extra day in Manaus. The treatments in the spa were amazing. I even tried to learn bridge. The games room down below with no windows was not ideal though. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
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
Sail Date December 2018
Chose this cruise for a last bit of sun before the winter. We had previously been on the Braemar and really liked the fact that it is a small ship with an intimate feel. It was incredibly good value and I wanted to work with the fitness ... Read More
Chose this cruise for a last bit of sun before the winter. We had previously been on the Braemar and really liked the fact that it is a small ship with an intimate feel. It was incredibly good value and I wanted to work with the fitness instructor, Pat who is the best yoga teacher I have encountered again. Having now been on the Boudicca as well, the layout of the Braemar works far better. It is logical and has an intimate feel, although some of the decor is starting to look a little tired. Embarkation was very quick. Picked up key card and walked straight on. Although we arrived quite late the restaurant was still open with hot food available. The general service, activities and port excursions were all good, and the room, though on the small side was comfortable, however I spent very little time in it other than to sleep! There were a few surprises I did not expect that made this the best cruise experience I have had. Firstly Fred Olsen appointed a new executive chef and the same food went from mediocre to superb compared with the previous trip on Braemar I had in August. Secondly my companion and I found friends on board with whom we had a greatest laugh ever. Lastly the quality of the music and humour provided by Brendan Kidulis, the musician in the Morning Light Pub made it a truly enjoyable experience. A shame the shows weren't of the same standard, however. We enjoyed all the port visits. We chose not to do many tours as the Canary stopovers were all to accessible interesting towns. They one we did do was whale watching on Tenerife which was fantastic. The Cape Verde islands were a fascinating snapshot of Africa and very different from the Canaries. Can't imagine why they have 'green' in the name - brown and windy was more accurate. The overall experience was great, the service superb, and I would not hesitate to book another cruise on the Braemar. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We usually cruise on larger ships than Braemar, mainly P and O and Princess, but were attracted by the itinerary and timing of this cruise. We need not have been concerned about the ship being smaller as it turned out to have many ... Read More
We usually cruise on larger ships than Braemar, mainly P and O and Princess, but were attracted by the itinerary and timing of this cruise. We need not have been concerned about the ship being smaller as it turned out to have many advantages over the larger ships. Embarkation and disembarkation were swift and efficient, more so than on many larger ships. Our cabin was on a lower deck than we are used to and a little smaller, with portholes, but was spotless with pleasant furnishings and sufficient cupboard space. We had tea making facilities in the cabin which is something we like that some cruise lines do not have. We also had a flat screen smart television with pre- loaded films which made up for the lack of a cinema on board. The screen was placed so that you could sit comfortably and view. My husband has poor eyesight so it was a bonus to see the screen clearly. . You are also able to view your on board account and other information on this screen. Our room stewardess was very efficient and cheerful. The cabin was quiet and we were fortunate to have calm seas throughout the majority of the voyage. The Bay of Biscay was a little rough on the return journey so movement was noticeable but for a smaller ship we were pleasantly surprised by the stability! We were assigned second sitting dining but did not use the restaurant as we preferred to use the buffet for all meals and dine when we wanted too. On many ships we have had difficulty finding a free table in the buffet but not on Braemar. We were impressed with the amount of space available, and with the food. The waiting staff were very friendly and efficient bringing tea / coffee to your table at breakfast which meant no queues to get a drink. The whole ship was kept in a spotless condition by a hardworking crew. The weather was excellent for the majority of the voyage so this meant people were able to eat outside. At lunch time there was an outside menu from which you could order fish and chips, burgers etc. We never had any problem with finding somewhere pleasant to sit outside and really enjoyed a prom deck that you could walk right the way around. Braemar has an excellent gym. For a smaller ship it is large, spacious and has all the equipment you could want. It was never crowded. The sauna and steam room were small but adequate for the number of people using them. There was a variety of entertainment on board to suit different tastes. We didn’t go to many shows but the couple we did were enjoyable. We attended a few lectures. These were interesting. The ship included a dedicated games room which was popular with many and a pleasant, comfortable library / reading room. There is a show lounge with slightly tiered seating rather than a larger theatre. This was fine as long as you sat where pillars did not block your line of site. The Captain during our time on Braemar gave ship / port related information at 12 noon over the address system which was a nice touch. We did not do any ship excursions as we were able to do what we wanted independently. Courtesy shuttle buses were provided in the places where there was a longer walk to the main attractions. Port talks on board were helpful and interesting. Reception Staff were very pleasant and dealt with any queries we had efficiently and cheerfully. We were on an all- inclusive drinks package which included house spirits, wines and soft drinks. This worked out very well for us. There were also managers specials included in this and half price cocktails. Fred’s all- inclusive package is said to be one of the best value of any cruise line. The thing which stood out most for us on this ship was the cheerful and friendly attitude of the staff. It was exceptional. Being a smaller ship has the advantage of staff that remember your name and your preferences. Well done to all the Braemar Crew on such a welcoming, happy and fun attitude. This was a very enjoyable cruise with some superb ports of call on a comfortable and exceptionally friendly smaller ship that has managed to fit a lot of facilities into the space available. We would definitely go on this ship again. Ports of call. We would highly recommend this itinerary especially for people interested in history and historical buildings. Malaga We walked up to the castle. Hard work but worth it. There is a public bus, number 35, to the castle if you need it. On the way down we visited the Alcazaba. We bought a joint ticket for both attractions from the castle. Very good value. Valetta, Malta Only a short distance walking distance to the elevator up to the town. Lots to see and do. We visited the Lascaris War rooms and the Saluting battery. Cannon fired at noon. Venice (overnight) Bought a 24 hour Vaporetti pass on arrival and used this to ride on the Grand Canal and to two of the islands in the Lagoon, Burano and Murano. Also took a ride to the Lido. Good value and with a bit of research fairly easy to find the required stops. Chioggia We were here on a Sunday so many shops closed. Easy to find your way around. We walked through the town to the beach and also took a look at the fish market. Half a day was enough to explore. Kotor This is a beautiful walled city, perfect for an interesting stroll, lots of shops within the walls and lovely town squares. Split Another lovely town. 5 minute walk from ship to Diocletian Palace within the walls. Parts of the palace are free but ticket needed for the Bell tower, Jupiter’s temple and the Cathedral. Can buy a 3 in 1 ticket for these. We did not do this though as we decided to find the small but fascinating Froggy Museum which we found interesting and very unusual if strange. Dubrovnik Lovely day. The ship shuttle bus dropped us at one of the city gates (Pile Gate) and once there we got a ticket to walk the walls. We walked past the crowds near the gate and turned to the left where people show their tickets before entering. The member of the staff there directed us to a ticket office on the left which had no long queues. Initial steps hard work but once on the walls it was easier. Very crowded to start with but crowds thinned out away from the city gates. Hot day, with very little shade. Go prepared. We then walked through the main street in the city (Stradun). Found it quite easy to find our way back to this street when ventured into the narrow side streets. Cartagena Docked right near town. Easy walk turning right along the promenade to shopping streets. We then walked back past the ship towards the free Arquelogia museum. Spent an hour in the museum and then continued right and found the elevator to the castle. Bought a combo ticket for the Elevator, Civil War Shelters museum and Castle. The castle was very interesting with great views over the town. Trapani Shuttle bus took us to the town. Only place we had rain. In fact a thunderstorm so we didn’t spend much time exploring. A lot of the shops were closed for a long lunch. Mainly walked around the edge of the town, near the sea . The salt pans near where the ship was docked looked interesting although as it was so wet we didn’t venture there. Lisbon Not our first visit here so we decided to ride the metro and the trams. Bought a ticket which covered all buses, metro and most trams from the nearest metro station to the ship (Terreiro do Paco). Staff very helpful showing us how to purchase the ticket we wanted. Took metro to Parque. Lovely views from Parque Edwardo VII downhill to the harbour. Then we went to Rossio to catch number 12 tram through Castle Hill. This was certainly an interesting experience even though it was very hot and crowded. Riding through the narrow streets of the old town was slow but different. After this we took a larger, less crowded bendy bus to the Belem area. A fun day if frenetic. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have traveled with a number of cruise lines over 20 years but, Fred Olsen keep on giving the very best in all areas. The ships, food and most important the staff. Wonderful destinations too. We traveled with two children 11 and 13 ... Read More
We have traveled with a number of cruise lines over 20 years but, Fred Olsen keep on giving the very best in all areas. The ships, food and most important the staff. Wonderful destinations too. We traveled with two children 11 and 13 years and they were also looked after so well by the two children's skipper staff. We are going to be back again next year.Thank you Fred Olsen for making us feel so valued as passengers. The last lunch onboard was fantastic all you could ever want. We did talk to a number of passenger that made comment about Fred Olsen after travelling with the big cruise lines. All agreed Fred Olsen was by far the best. Particularly the staff and food. The only thing we did not like is having to get off. The cruise we did was 8 nights which was fantastic but, would like to do longer next time. The only was to see Norway as we did this time is with Fred Olsen. A very easy check in at Southampton and boarded the ship directly which was nice. No waiting around. One onboard we tool a look at our cabin 3033 to find a very warm welcome from our cabin stewardess. Bags had arrived too and were placed on the two lower berths. We then went to the Palms cafe for lunch. A very nice choice of food. Not had a choice before of a hot meal so early upon boarding. In the past it has been a light lunch so this was very enjoyable with two hungry children with us. This ship is so easy to find your way around and if you do have a problem very clear deck plans around the ship. Staff too are never far away. Entertainment across the ship was great. Sail away party as we left Southampton added to the overall enjoyment. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This is our second cruise with Fred Olsen absolutely fantastic Staff are brilliant food etc is 5 star plus Staff are always pleasant professional and always willing to help. Food is amazing in all the restaurants there is so much ... Read More
This is our second cruise with Fred Olsen absolutely fantastic Staff are brilliant food etc is 5 star plus Staff are always pleasant professional and always willing to help. Food is amazing in all the restaurants there is so much choice and always available We had the all inclusive the choice of drinks were amazing The bar staff would know what you liked and were on hand at all times. I was impressed that one of the bar staff knew my name from our first cruise which was 2 years ago. The cabin was spotless and the maid was so pleasant The entertainment was very good and also were the guest speakers The ship was immaculate and the crew were always cleaning the decks All the staff on the ship were so hard and always smile. It's a pleasure to sail with Fred Olsen and we will be sailing with them again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
From the moment we arrived at Southampton arrived bang on time 1 o’clock like ticket said staff could not be more helpful cases gone in a blink of an eye , no que in the terminal got the cruise card and straight through customs on to the ... Read More
From the moment we arrived at Southampton arrived bang on time 1 o’clock like ticket said staff could not be more helpful cases gone in a blink of an eye , no que in the terminal got the cruise card and straight through customs on to the ship in less then 20 mins and can I just say she is a lovely ship . we didn’t go for lunch instead we headed for the morning light pub to have a pint of Stella and a whiskey and coke they don’t sell Stella here but the staff are more than willing to go and get one from the neptune bar like always can’t do enough for you . cabin ready 2.30 pm couldn’t wait to unpack and start my holiday the cabin no 8004 what can I say, really nice size ,very clean , nice size bathroom with bath plenty of storage space .the balcony is to die for , nothing above apart from blue sky, I worked it out , it is 67 steps from balcony to the observatory bar , no draft but cocktails and cans of largar , the food in the Thistle restaurant was very good as too was the palms cafe , as for the service nothing too much . entertainment was good can’t praise all the staff enough . all of the ship was clean and tidy all of the time , sea days , plenty to do . if you wanted or just lounge about like we did the weather was great , unexpected for that time of year in northern Spain . Passengers mixed ages all up for a laugh . getting on and off the ship at ports was effort less thanks to the stafff.didn’t what to leave but had to ,just like to say ,£15 a day drinks package no brainier thank you Fred Olsen see you soon Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I fancied a short cruise with some formal nights included, so this 8 night cruise ticked that box! As I stay on the ship the ships life, crew, staff, food, gym, restaurants and entertainment are important to me..and I was not ... Read More
I fancied a short cruise with some formal nights included, so this 8 night cruise ticked that box! As I stay on the ship the ships life, crew, staff, food, gym, restaurants and entertainment are important to me..and I was not disappointed. All were brilliant for me so my rating is 15 out of 10! The older ship has a lot of character for me, views of the seascape almost everywhere.. The cabin was fine with the welcome addition of a fridge.. The TV has been upgraded since i was last on board much better.. Room service was very good too.. Absolutely loved dining in the Thistle restaurant.. Entertainment suited me and followed on from second sitting in the restaurant.. A general spread of various activities, not my bag though..this was a "spa break" for me..so enjoyed the gym and sauna most mornings.. I found the service excellent..:-) I stay on board so cannot comment on the shore excursions.. I will book on Braemar again soon..the small ship really suits my condition...embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze! Enjoy :-) BFN "Grumpy!..." Read Less
Sail Date April 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
Sail Date March 2018
Well I had a wonderful cruise aboard this fine old lady of a ship! I expected a friendly well run ship and that's exactly what I got. Really wonderful cabin - large and kept spotlessly clean by Nim who couldn't do enough for ... Read More
Well I had a wonderful cruise aboard this fine old lady of a ship! I expected a friendly well run ship and that's exactly what I got. Really wonderful cabin - large and kept spotlessly clean by Nim who couldn't do enough for me (and reocmmend the wash and fold service at the end of the cruise, done so well didn't need to iron anything!) I'm used to eating out in London several times a week (oh my waistline!) as part of my job and I found the food to be absoloutely fine. No it wasn't fine dining and yes I could have picked up some points (the only one I DID mind was the packet mash used for the duchesse potatoes but did raise this at the time) but I was there to enjoy myself with my new found friends at my table and I definitely did that. I also ate in the Grill one evening and the food WAS really superb and would definitely recommend. I thought Elliot the Cruise Director was very good - very natural and whilst he did make a couple of mistakes, he was a genuine and lovely guy. The Christian service he gave on the first Sunday was truly heartfelt and appreciated by the quite large audience. His commentary on the tug of war contest on our extra sea day was really fabulous (in fact that was a real highlight of the day!) Entertainment was okay - I've been spoilt by the fabulous shows on the larger cruise ships so not overally impressed. Like another reviewer I noticed the same people in the crew show donning different costumes and doing several dances (from differnt countries/cultures). The costumes were definitely NOT home made/original and had many yards of fluorescent nylon and ruffles. In fact it was so disappointing and 'false' I left after 30 mins. The service from all the staff was very good - couple of exceptions but you'd get that anywhere. Our waiting staff in the dining room were excellent. Service was relaxed but not so much you felt you were waiting an overlylong time and after all - you're on holiday! So to sum up, a fabulous cruise - I've booked for Christmas this year and am already counting the days! Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
It was a cruise for my wife's senior birthday. After forgetting our passports and having to return home after a stay at the Premier Inn the boarding was over in 45 minutes and all cases were unpacked with half an hour of entering the ... Read More
It was a cruise for my wife's senior birthday. After forgetting our passports and having to return home after a stay at the Premier Inn the boarding was over in 45 minutes and all cases were unpacked with half an hour of entering the cabin. We have been on the ship a few time so we knew the layout of it. On our first night dining, I was uncertain of one of the other guest on the table. The second night after he stated that the staff of the ship had an easy life we decided that was a good reason to leave the table. This was the first time we have done it in over 20 cruises. The ship was clean and the ports visited all very nice some we have been to before but this was a chill out cruise. No tours booked. The food was of its normal high standard with plenty of choices. We did not go to any of the lectures so can't comment. What I will prise very highly is the entertainment team. The night shows in both the club and theatre were of a very high standard. The best we have ever had. All in all a great 5-star cruise well done Fred. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The entertainment was excellent on board, especially the Braemar entertainment team with their amazing new " queen" tribute, stunning harmonies from the singers and fast strong dancers, really a highlife of our trip. The team ... Read More
The entertainment was excellent on board, especially the Braemar entertainment team with their amazing new " queen" tribute, stunning harmonies from the singers and fast strong dancers, really a highlife of our trip. The team could also be seen throughout the day chatting and helping passengers, VERY PROFESSIONAL. All staff on board friendly and helpful, what a brilliant short break we had. The food was excellent. A lovely touch to have the hand made chocolate shop available to take delicious gifts back home. The tour to Monet's garden was worth every penny, the guide was also very good on our coach, leaving us to explore the gardens after a very good speech first. The cruise line had organised a brilliant coach shuttle into Rouen which ran every half hour making our exploration of the town relaxed knowing we could come and go as we pleased. Our cabin was bigger than we expected, comfortable beds and everything we needed including tea and coffee facilities. Having a large picture window did make the trip more enjoyable as we could relax with a cuppa and enjoy the views with our feet up when we wanted to. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Braemar is a very happy, friendly ship. Being smaller, it's much easier and quicker getting on and off the ship - didn't have to queue once for anything during the whole cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was slick and very ... Read More
Braemar is a very happy, friendly ship. Being smaller, it's much easier and quicker getting on and off the ship - didn't have to queue once for anything during the whole cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation was slick and very quick with plenty of helpful crew members around to help. Our luggage was outside our cabin when we got on board and the whole experience was trouble free and relaxing. We are seasoned cruisers but this was our first time with Fred Olsen and first time on a smaller ship. Fantastic! We wish we had discovered Fred Olsen before; there are no hidden extras and they are not trying to fleece us at every turn like some cruise lines do. The food is excellent and far better quality than most of the cruise lines sailing from UK. Everything seems to be 'upmarket' in an understated way; even the self-service 'Palms Cafe' has linen napkins and tablecloths. Drinks are reasonably priced in ALL of the bars and the tours are not as expensive as we expected. No gimmicks or 'tackyness'. Cabins are very comfortable and SPOTLESSLY clean. Entertainment was very good. Don't think we will be cruising with anyone else from now on. We chose this cruise as it was an unusual destination for a cruise ship sailing from the UK: River Seine all the way up to Rouen, which was very nice. Would recommend this itinerary for a change from the usual short hops to Zeebrugge, Rotterdam etc. We were docked close enough to Rouen to walk into town (about 35 minutes walk along the riverside walkway) but Fred Olsen put on a shuttle bus as well. The crossing from Southampton was a bit choppy but it was nice to feel you are at sea. All in all, a very pleasant experience and we would highly recommend a cruise on Braemar. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
To celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary and our daughter-in-laws 50th Birthday. We booked this cruise as a group of 4 persons in January 2017. Just prior to leaving the UK my son read an adverse review regarding Braemar on your web ... Read More
To celebrate our 50th Wedding Anniversary and our daughter-in-laws 50th Birthday. We booked this cruise as a group of 4 persons in January 2017. Just prior to leaving the UK my son read an adverse review regarding Braemar on your web site. As a result I rang our travel agent and asked her to investigate. I informed her that if the allegations were substantiated, then to cancel our contract with Fred Olsen. She informed me that there was no corroborative evidence to support any allegation. We flew has independent travelers on February 8th 2018 and stayed in a villa at Enterprise Drive, near Oustins, Barbados. We joined Braemar on Thursday 15th February 2018 at Sugar Berth, Barbados harbour. Embarkation could not have gone better, we were allowed on the ship at 1200 hours whilst the disembarkation passengers were still on board. We were shown to our cabins 6036 and 6034 respectively. The cabins were spacious, clean, tidy and functional. We had an excellent two weeks on board Braemar. I fully agreed with the Captains decision not to visit Jamaica. I had read numerous reports of armed criminal gangs roaming the streets and 'no go areas' being declared by the local police. We had read complaints about dining experiences on Braemar. We dined first sitting in the Grampian Restaurant. The food and service were excellent, personally attended by Rashan (maitre'd). We had lobster (pictures taken to prove if required), and a wide variety of dishes every night. We had an evening in 'The Grill' and it was worth every penny. My wife and I had sirloins and our son and daughter-in-law had fillet steaks, which they described as large and delicious. I was so impressed with the quality of the food I requested to speak to the Executive Chef Mr Robert Swann. My family have cruised with the more upmarket cruise ships e.g. Azamara Quest & Journey and we all agreed that the food served up to us on Braemar was on a par with the Azamara ships. In our opinion Braemar should be upgraded from a 3 star ship to 4 star. We left the ship in Barbados on 28th February 2018 to fly home independently to a very cold and snow covered Manchester. We will continue to cruise with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. Read Less
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
Sail Date April 2017
Southampton is convenient as a departure point,we wanted a less stressful experience than airports and wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords. This cruise ticked all those boxes for us. Embarkation was hassle-free, the ABP parking a bit dear ... Read More
Southampton is convenient as a departure point,we wanted a less stressful experience than airports and wanted to see the Norwegian Fjords. This cruise ticked all those boxes for us. Embarkation was hassle-free, the ABP parking a bit dear but very efficient, as it was for disembarkation. The Braemar is a well run ship, hand cleanliness very obvious and emphasised as it should be. The crew are very helpful, always available and unobtrusive.We had an outside cabin with porthole Windows, a good size and very well maintained. The food- brilliant, plentiful, imaginative and well presented.There were plenty of activities on sailing days, the library is one of the best places to sit in. When it's warm enough, the sun deck is well supplied with loungers and chairs. Entertainment was professional and varied, worth seeing. We would definetly return. The Braemars strength is its crew who make everything so easy and enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Because my friend and I wanted to go to the places this cruise visited. I have cruised a few times and this is the first Fred Olsen and best one I've been on. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, I particularly liked the way you ... Read More
Because my friend and I wanted to go to the places this cruise visited. I have cruised a few times and this is the first Fred Olsen and best one I've been on. Everyone was very friendly and helpful, I particularly liked the way you were given a table at lunch time, the food was presented and cooked well and a good variety. The ship was smaller than I been on before and I felt it was much better and more friendly. The entertainment was superb, also the activities. The night where the staff entertained us was brilliant it was good to see the different customs and dances. I went on a number of excursions which were brilliant with the exception of St Petersburg city visit which I think you need to go on foot (I couldn't walk well that's why I chose this excursion) The whole of the holiday from embarkation to disembarkation went like a dream and most enjoyable. (Thank you Braemar for a lovely cruise) Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was one of the best, most relaxing cruises I have been on. The highlight was cruising along the Seine, to and from Rouen. We also cruised inland to Bordeaux, and that is a beautiful city. Evening entertainment was very good, and we ... Read More
This was one of the best, most relaxing cruises I have been on. The highlight was cruising along the Seine, to and from Rouen. We also cruised inland to Bordeaux, and that is a beautiful city. Evening entertainment was very good, and we were always able to find a seat for the 2nd sitting show. We were seated at a table for 4 and the couple we shared with, Edna and Peter were excellent company. The food was of a very high standard - much better than I experienced on the Queen Mary 2 in October last year. Daytime entertainment for me (57) and my mum (92 but very fit) centred mostly around the quizzes. These were made extra entertaining by the staff who ran them but especially Thomas, who, at the age of 26, was funny and entertaining and really brightened up the day. Only problem was that the quizzes were very popular, and so Fred needs to re-think the venue - the Morning Light pub simply isn't big enough. I also used the gym and was often the only person in the pool - it was a chilly April, but the pools were heated and lovely. Our cabin was lovely and quiet - we were on deck 4 with a picture window. The queues sometimes to get off and on the ship were a bit of a pain, but when when you have several slightly disabled octagenarians it's only to be expected. On the whole our fellow guests were a lively lot and out to have a good time. This cruise was quite expensive, but worth every penny. I'd definitely do the same one again, but it would be even better in the summer! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our sixteenth cruise and our first with Fred Olsen. What a brilliant find. We thought the whole experience was fantastic from the minute we saw the ship in Bridgetown to when we left Braemar in Dover. It was such a pleasure to ... Read More
This was our sixteenth cruise and our first with Fred Olsen. What a brilliant find. We thought the whole experience was fantastic from the minute we saw the ship in Bridgetown to when we left Braemar in Dover. It was such a pleasure to be on a small, VERY friendly ship, we have tired of the glitzy, enormous floating resorts and have now found a cruise line that treats you as an individual rather than a number. We booked last minute finding an absolute bargain in the national press. Fifteen nights cruise, free drinks package and tips plus £200 cash back. We usually book a balcony or outside cabin but this time decided to try an inside. This was perfectly adequate and was very spacious as it was designed to take 4 people, so loads of wardrobe space. What made the cruise special was the Crew, from Captain down to room steward nothing was too much trouble and you were always greeted with a smile. Food was excellent and the Palm Café was another brilliant find. Entertainment was very good and varied with some excellent guest performers. All in all a great 15 days and one we shall definitely repeat. Well done 'Fred' Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We have travelled on three cruises with Braemar so we know the ship well. It is remarkable in the friendliness of the crew and excellent service both in the cabins, the restaurants and around the ship in the various lounges and services. ... Read More
We have travelled on three cruises with Braemar so we know the ship well. It is remarkable in the friendliness of the crew and excellent service both in the cabins, the restaurants and around the ship in the various lounges and services. The port and shore excursions are varied and the ship can get into smaller ports and avoid the need to tender passengers because it is comparatively small. The passenger capacity of about 900 means that the ship develops a community feel even when the cruise is comparatively short. We travel as two couples so that we are very self sufficient but it is noticeable that people on the cruise are friendly and those travelling alone do not stay on their own - they rapidly make friends because the crew organise events where singles are given the opportunity to get together besides sharing other passengers company on the trips. The cabin is impeccably serviced and we really appreciated the fun and kind attentiveness of our attendant Kitty. Dinning is for us a highlight of the holiday. We would describe all our meals as fine dining with varied menu and interesting dishes. The wines are good and excellent value whilst our waiters were all charming and very efficient meeting individual requests ( Ganesh and Aldrin). We were never delayed on embarkation and the cruise director (Alan Tait ) and his team give information clearly and in a very pleasant manner. The communications given over the ships tannoy system are all properly delivered. we appreciate the fact that they are kept to essential matters and they are only delivered in English. this means that you can relax on deck without noisey interruptions. The entertainment was superb. The Braemar show company gave 9 shows and the lead entertainers -Bruce Anderson ( Welsh tenor) Andy Rudge( Comedian) Dain Cordean(magician)provided entertainment that delighted us and everyone in the Neptune Lounge - receiving standing ovations and performing to full houses. We had two weeks of great pleasure and relaxation. Thank you to all the crew and staff of Braemar. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Braemar Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 3.7
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 3.7
Family 2.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.5
Enrichment 3.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.7
Rates 4.0 3.8

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click