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As with other reviewers, we picked the Black Watch cruise to South America for the itinerary. However, we were not prepared for the poor quality of a ship we had happily cruised on 10 years earlier. The embarkation at Southampton was the first let down, as the area was under refurbishment and looked and felt like a building site. The ship itself, despite being described as recently refurbished, appeared in need of a complete overhaul.There were rust patches and jagged metal edges which had just been painted over.Everything was old fashioned from the yale key access to the tiny "staterooms" and safe, to the lack of a fridge. As mentioned by a previous reviewer, norovirus broke out almost immediately, with the crew constantly suggesting that the passengers were to blame due to their lack of personal hygiene. This was obviously impossible as we were all made to apply anti-bacterial handwash at every entrance, especially wherever food or drink were involved. This altered the dining experience completely as the buffet and tea station were now roped off, and everything had to be served by a member of staff involving long queues. This also meant that public areas such as the laundry room and fitness centre were also closed. Anyone who displayed symptoms of sickness was confined to their cabin for 48hours and treated like a criminal, which affected my husband who suffered an undiagnosed heart attack and had vomited.After a more serious attack, the medical centre looked after my husband until we reached Rio de Janeiro and we were repatriated ashore for medical treatment. The medical staff on board were very good, but once ashore the Olsen Port Agent is supposed to care for passengers until the Insurance company take over. This did not happen and we were left to cope in a foreign country all on our own. Another couple was also put ashore for medical treatment at this time and were similarly abandoned by Fred Olsen and the Port Agent. This was a very frightening time for us all, and we felt very let down by the company we had placed our trust in. Having complained to Olsen's the attitude was uncaring and patronising. Passengers beware - if you get ill and are put ashore, Fred Olsen will just sail away and you will be left chasing up everyone for help and advice. You will be on your own.

Very disappointing

Black Watch Cruise Review by evelyn96

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2015
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Outside Cabin
As with other reviewers, we picked the Black Watch cruise to South America for the itinerary. However, we were not prepared for the poor quality of a ship we had happily cruised on 10 years earlier. The embarkation at Southampton was the first let down, as the area was under refurbishment and looked and felt like a building site. The ship itself, despite being described as recently refurbished, appeared in need of a complete overhaul.There were rust patches and jagged metal edges which had just been painted over.Everything was old fashioned from the yale key access to the tiny "staterooms" and safe, to the lack of a fridge.

As mentioned by a previous reviewer, norovirus broke out almost immediately, with the crew constantly suggesting that the passengers were to blame due to their lack of personal hygiene. This was obviously impossible as we were all made to apply anti-bacterial handwash at every entrance, especially wherever food or drink were involved. This altered the dining experience completely as the buffet and tea station were now roped off, and everything had to be served by a member of staff involving long queues. This also meant that public areas such as the laundry room and fitness centre were also closed. Anyone who displayed symptoms of sickness was confined to their cabin for 48hours and treated like a criminal, which affected my husband who suffered an undiagnosed heart attack and had vomited.After a more serious attack, the medical centre looked after my husband until we reached Rio de Janeiro and we were repatriated ashore for medical treatment. The medical staff on board were very good, but once ashore the Olsen Port Agent is supposed to care for passengers until the Insurance company take over. This did not happen and we were left to cope in a foreign country all on our own. Another couple was also put ashore for medical treatment at this time and were similarly abandoned by Fred Olsen and the Port Agent. This was a very frightening time for us all, and we felt very let down by the company we had placed our trust in. Having complained to Olsen's the attitude was uncaring and patronising. Passengers beware - if you get ill and are put ashore, Fred Olsen will just sail away and you will be left chasing up everyone for help and advice. You will be on your own.
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Cabin Review

Outside Cabin
Cabin D 5023
Small and poorly fitted - cupboard doors opened onto rails which could easily have been fitted a few inches further away and banged with every lurch of the ship.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews