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Braemar Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
202 Reviews

Excellent Cruise Line

Braemar Cruise Review by Judy82

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2016
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Superior Twin Outside

We have just returned from our first ever cruise. We went to the Caribbean on the Braemar and I had no idea what to expect but I am very impressed with Fred.Olsen cruises and we had a great time. The cabin was small but well designed and the space was maximised. A lifeboat blocked the view from the picture window but I was advised about this prior to booking. The mattress was comfortable and the room was serviced twice a day and towels were changed twice daily. The room was surprisingly quiet at night and I was never disturbed by noise from the ship or neighbouring passengers.

The service was outstanding, the staff without exception are helpful, polite and friendly and there was not a single instance in the two weeks on board when a member of staff was anything less than helpful.

The food is also outstanding, along with the service in the restaurant with two dedicated waiters who knew our names serving us every night, I would describe the service as exceptional. We were served lobster, venison and Beef Wellington. The breakfasts were buffet style but also with a menu choice and champagne was served on formal days. Lunch was a choice of buffet or a four course meal from the menu.

Against my expectations I loved the formal nights but if you do not wish to participate there is the option to dine in The Palms buffet.

I enjoyed the entertainment too, the Braemar Show Company gave very good performances as did the singer, comedian and magician and the In Tune Band was good with a particularly good lead guitarist.

The cruise line appears to attract a loyal clientele mainly aged 50 + who regularly cruise with Fred Olsen, though there are a few younger passengers. This might be why I did not find many of the day time activities on board of interest, but that did not matter as I like to leave the ship when in port and the itinerary was excellent. I have to say that fellow passengers were very pleasant and friendly, the whole cruise had a bit of a 'family feel' to it.

There was a wide choice of day trips which in my opinion were reasonably priced and were in the main very good.

Braemar is a medium sized flat bottomed cruise ship. This brings many benefits such as being able to access more ports (ie Havana), less people on board means easier embarkation/ disembarkation. It also makes the cruise a more friendly and personal experience. The one downside is that if like me you are prone to seasickness you feel the movement of the ship more when the sea is rough. However, I still think it I probably better than travelling on a huge cruise ship, that does not appeal to me at all.

Overall we had a great time, the itinerary was fantastic and the staff, food and the service was exceptional and I would recommend Fred. Olsen cruises to any apprehensive first time cruiser.

Judy82's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Superior Twin Outside
Cabin B 6073

A small cabin, but well designed and space was used efficiently. The bathroom is small, but again well designed. The decor is pleasant and the room is light and airy with efficient air con. There is sufficient wardrobe space but it should be noted that the view from the picture window is fully restricted by a lifeboat. I was aware of this at the time of booking.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Excellent tour to Atlantic Coast. Informative tour guide.


Good tour of Island but walk to waterfall very muddy due to recent rain and a bit treacherous in parts. Waterfall was not particularly impressive. Tour guide was also the mini bus driver and he ran over a dog.

St. Lucia

This was the best tour. The tour guide Jay was very entertaining, he was great fun. The Pitons are spectacular, the Tet Paul nature trail is beautiful and the lunch which was provided was lovely, with an excellent view of the Pitons.


The beaches were lovely, though we only visited two. The tour guide Charles was fun but ideally the trip should have been longer with a third beach.


The Virgin Gorda trip was cancelled because of rough seas. We went on an Island tour instead. The tour guide was good and we had some stunning views of the isalnd

St. Maarten

We took the water taxi to the beach and the town. It was a lovely beach but crowded mainly due to the fact that there were several cruise ships in port including a 6000 berth ship.

Grand Turk

This trip was called coast to coast and took us to the undeveloped side of the island to a beautiful,unspoilt inlet and to a lighthouse. A good tour of the island.

City Tour

The catamaran tour was canceled because of rough seas. So we chose this tour at the last minute. The tour was the least enjoyable. I have to say the female tour guide was good fun and knowledgable with a great sense of humour who taught us quite a bit about Jamaican Culture. We did not see much of the Island, the tour was mainly driving 30 km down a dual carriageway with a detour to a small town called Falmouth. But Swamp Safari is not very good. It was more of a very small zoo ( admittedly surrounded by swamp) comprising a few birds and mammals in cages and the crocodiles. We were required to wait approx 30 minutes before we could enter. It was very smelly and the treatment of the animals is not particularly humane in terms of how they are housed and some appeared distressed. We had the option of holding a baby crocodile which had its snout clamped with elastic band so it could not bite. And you could pay $5 to be photographed with the hapless creature. Being a swamp area it attracts insects and my husband was bitten. The only vaguely interesting aspect was that the Bond film Live and Let Die was filmed here and some of the filming sequences were shown. Interesting but again not much fun for the crocodiles. I would give Safari Swamp a wide berth.

View All 31 City Tour Reviews

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