More time please at St Petersburg and Tallin: Black Watch Cruise Review by Vivacious Van
Overall Member Rating
More time please at St Petersburg and Tallin
Destination: Baltic Sea
and lots of different activities during the day (including how to play bridge and learn to dance), then the Black Watch is for you. Try it and see.
Would prefer to sail from and to Southampton as it is much easier from the Midlands. Thought the booking in at Dover an absolute farce. Upon arrival we were allocated a number, told to sit and wait for it to be called out so that we could then book in. It was never called out. After an hour of waiting in vain, we made enquiries to find that the system had disintegrated and basically we were to queue alongside others who had just arrived. Totally inadequate number of seats available within the hall. Why allocate a time for people to book in, if that instruction is then totally disregarded. Surely it would be easier on every-one, if once booked in you could then proceed to the ship.
An absolute mess. Instead of arriving at Dover, whereupon a taxi would take us to the Ramada Hotel where we would collect the car and arrive home at a reasonable time, we docked at Southampton at approximately 9.30 with a three hour coach journey to Dover. Granted it wasn't the fault of the shipping line that the weather was horrendous, but why use Dover if it is renowned for problems when the weather is bad. When we arrived at Dover, it was noted that the P & O Ferries were still running backwards and forwards and that a large ship had docked that same morning. Mmm! There was no help at Dover from Porters as they were busy? with luggage for the return trip. In fact the physical help at Dover was absolutely non-existent. In the pouring rain, I had to gather up my luggage (4 x items), find a trolley (like gold) then stack it myself onto a heavy cumbersome trolley and push it to the reception area. There were no taxis to be seen anywhere, and we had to ask Dover Reception to help out with contacting a taxi company, which she did. All in all, a very wet, bedraggled and fed up person. Agreed it was not the fault of Fred Olsen that the weather was bad, but the extreme lack of help and attitude at Dover was naughty, and when I choose my next cruise I will steer clear of Dover.
Missing Port - Turku, Finland. Complimentary Port Shuttle Bus was available, however we went on a trip - Panoramic Turku. A pleasant trip out ending up in Naantall, a pretty town alongside the archipelago. A much appreciated comfort stop and a coffee and cake in a beautiful timber restaurant followed by 'free time' to explore the area. Ideal trip for those with a limited mobility problem.
Missing Port - Kristiansand, Norway. Arrived on a Sunday. Elected not to go on a trip. Big mistake. Used the 'Noddy Train' (10 Euros per person - big rip off) from the port to the centre of the town. The 'noddy train' would only stop at the one place) Everywhere closed up for the day except the Church and a few bars. Very disappointed. Would suggest 'find an alternative port of some interest or at least with some life'. Less
Cabin review: BC8008 Balcony Cabin
Cabin No 8008. Two fixed single beds. Both comfortable. Just enough room within the cabin for a chair and small round table plus a dressing table with complimentary tea and coffee. Past experience told us how much room we had to store suitcases (between dressing table and balcony doors)so we ensured that the cases could all fold into the one large one. Small balcony, but standard throughout the ship. Small closet, but plenty of storage room within. Cabin had two generous wardrobes with draws, not enough hangers, but I always take some of my own. We had a restrictive view from the balcony, but we had been made aware of that upon booking. Fortunately, it was no problem and the minute viewing restriction was caused through three small 2 x man life boats. The shower was adequate, but I would have preferred it a little larger. The toilet system seemed to run all night which was a bit irritating and the panel board separating the balconies was slightly adrift as it kept banging when there was a wind. Room was easily accessible from the lift and whilst we were on board it was a quiet corridor. Cabin looked tired and could well do with a refurbish and super duper clean.Read All Balcony Cabin (BC) Reviews >>