Dated , Dull and Dreary: Balmoral Cruise Review by Spysmum

Balmoral 2
Member Since 2010
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Dated , Dull and Dreary

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Europe - British Isles & Western
Embarkation: Other
From the long queues at embarkation, despite being given staggered boarding times, this proved to be an old-fashioned, limited cruising experience. By the time we finally boarded lunch was long over, and newly embarked guests were heading for lifeboat drill.
We found our way to a deck 4 cabin, to discover we had 2 berths,a tea and coffee tray, and a smallish rusty window.The saving grace was that the bathroom was of a decent size and came with a tub, plus 2 neat little bags of toiletries. After the drill, we went to find some food- but it consisted of an afternoon tea type spread in the crowded Palms cafe, which we decided to avoid on future occasions.
we had chosen to dine late, and had been allocated a table in the smaller Spey dining room , with its lovely sea views. we had requested a large table, but were not afforded our wish. Dining was very pedestrian, and totally lacked imagination and creativity.The wine list had some unusual wines of a decent quality, and was More not overpriced. For our other meals, we lunched in the dining room, as it was so much quieter than facing the overcrowded,badly ladi out self service cafe. though food choices hardly varied and featured salads with tinned vegetables. We prefer room service breakfast when on cruises, but this was limited to cold continental breakfast items. Evening entertainment was offered in the Neptune lounge, but was of a very ordinary standard, and elsewhere a trio played, a keyboard player sang in a lounge, and a pianist played in the attractive Observatory, sea facing lounge. Day time activity was limited to bingo, lecturesand a few deck games.Cabin TV was very poor, with few chanels, and pay-per view films.
The entire ship seemed so dated and dreary, with little to compete with the many other ships offering cruises from UK shores. Less

Published 04/11/12
1 Helpful Vote

Cabin review: B4046 Superior Outside

Initially we were in cabin 4046, but since the window began to leak quite badly during a rough night, we were grudgingly moved to 8012. 4046 is quiet, but small, with 2 bunks, not a bed, adequate wardrobe space and a fairly decent bathroom with tub. 8012 was much larger, with larger window, a bed, and 2 small hard tub chairs. Location was excellent, very quiet, and the large window had a diagonal obstruction from the bridge exterior stairway.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Belfast is now a port to attract many, with its incredible new Titanic Belfast to showcase its wonderful shipbuilding history. Cruise ships berth within the historic city harbour, and a short taxi ride brings you to the architecturally glorious Titanic Belfast. The very building, on the original Titanic slipway, suggests mighty liners, and houses, not a museum, but a total experience. High tech computer generated images bring the interior of Titanic to life from keel to funnels, holograms animate recreated stateroom interiors, and a ride takes you through the noisy caverns of the shipbuilding yard. This is a world class exhibit, and will bring many flocking to the city. Nearby are the tiny Nomadic, the enormous Titanic fitting out dock with its original Pump House, the currently derelict Harland and Woolf offices and 2 gigantic cranes, used for shipbuilding. The city itself has so much to offer, with its grand buildings, warm welcoming people, and easy access to wonderful countryside.
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Cruise ships now berth right in front of the glorious 3 graces- the Liver building, the Cunard building and the White Star. Right by the Cruise terminal is the lovely new museum of Liverpool, with its interesting exhibits of the history of Liverpool as a city and world port. A little further away is the wonderful Albert Dock and its magnificent Maritime museum, currently housing an extended Titanic exhibit, with never seen artifacts. Within walking distance are the 2 Cathedrals, the busy city Centre, The Walker art gallery and of course, the Beatles exhibits.
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