First Fred Olsen cruise : Balmoral Cruise Review by dogfishdoug
Overall Member Rating
First Fred Olsen cruise
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Initial impressions of passenger mix - mainly UK & older clientele. Although we are in our early 60s, we felt a little young - although, to be fair, many were in 60s & 70s fit & healthy...but there were a significant proportion who were 85+ (regular medical emergencies happened throughout the cruise).
Cabin was a bit of a squeeze, but sufficient storage & wardrobe space. However, soundproofing was poor - you could clearly hear neighbours' conversations. Cabin steward very good.
Ship's facilities were very good for a medium sized ship, easy to get around, signposted quite well & stable ship. Several bars / lounges / good library. Crew were well organised. Quite a few spaces outside, sun deck, promenade deck, & tiered stern for quiet (if cramped) More areas.
Food was of average to good standard UK fayre, reasonable variety with efficient dining rooms + buffet at Palm's cafe, which we used for lunches. Dining room staff were attentive & efficient; good basic variety of wines. Entertainment was UK style shows, although the crew show was better than the professional company...demonstrating a rather talented crew, especially the engine room guys who were an absolute hoot!
Standard fayre for organisation & information. Docking & free time excellent. A variety of tours were available, enjoyed the visit to Mini-Hollywood, where they film the spaghetti westerns.
As mentioned, this was a themed cruise...& I undertook art classes under the tuition of Maurice Greenwood who inspired us to produce our own styles of watercolours...very gentle approach, fun & learned a great deal for someone who had never painted before!
Overall, fair value for money with lots of daytime activities. Less
Time to retire Freedom of the ...
Good but lots of overpricing w...
First Ever Cruise