After cruising with Royal Caribbean, Cunard & P & O (never had any problems) some "acquaintances" persuaded us to give Fred Olsen a try. So we thought, a quick 7 day "Easter Getaway", across the North Sea & up a couple of rivers, what could go wrong !
A letter arrived just before departure stating; "Some F/O Braemar passengers have been affected by mild Gastric Flu, therefore there will be a delay in departing". I phoned their office and was told "some people had taken on-board viral gastric flu from grandchildren, but no one had been positive tested for noro-virus". Fred O Ipswich told us that no Car Park booking paperwork was required as APNR was in place at Harwich, I queried this, as we needed it when sailing from Harwich before and were told we were incorrect.
We arrived at the car park - no ANPR was ever in place, this caused additional delay as well as embarkation due to fumigation. Finally on board, access to our cabin was prohibited as we had to carry our hand luggage & wear the lifejackets for the Evacuation Drill.
We had ordered a double bed with both Fred Olsen & IGLU, at time of booking, but on arrival only two singles were available which, later, they reluctantly joined together, but only two single duvets ever available! Complaint requests for double beds were ignored & rife. I believe they wanted everyone to have single beds so it was easier for nursing. The pillows were flat and extremely hard, as fellow cruisers agreed. We attempted the cabin tea with the supplied minipot UHT"milk which ruined the taste. No fresh milk for tea etc was ever available.
I discovered a headband underneath the only chair, dirt in the shower, the drain cover detached, sealant gaps, missing clips off the hanging shower curtain, the shower fan sucked fumes out of the drain. So much for the thorough cleaning and fumigation of each cabin.
A very small safe (operated by a key) was hidden inside the wardrobe side wall, so you could not see it, two mobile phones and watches, one purse, passports and a wallet filled it. I had to get sideways inside the wardrobe to operate it!
We would often notice a new red sticker over an open door, and could see yet another poor patient laying in bed, no bunk beds in there - the reason for a red sticker often used to denote additional beds.. There were large red bins marked "Gastro" parked in the corridors, the cabin cleaners were wearing full body protection, head covering & face masks.
Excellent, very friendly and an extremely helpful experience all round.
If more Cruise Lines used this Port, we would have no hesitation in booking even more cruisers.
Simply, a joy to use.