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We have always wanted to cruise the fjords and have been looking forward to this holiday for several months. My partner has problems with his breathing and cannot walk long distances, for this reason we chose Fred Olsen because the ships are smaller than many of the other cruise lines. Embarkation at Newcastle proved to be a nightmare, we asked whether it would be far to walk and were told that very little walking was involved and that the shuttle bus would talk us straight to the ship. In reality we were faced with approximately a 300-350 metre walk, then a steep gangway. My partner had to stop several times and lean on the rails, there were no seats to take a rest. Had we been told this we would have asked for assistance (which we did for disembarkation). The ship itself was fine, pretty much as expected. We had booked a superior outside cabin on deck 6 close to the restaurant. The cabin and its location on the ship was fine, however as we were unpacking there were very loud banging noises. We assumed that the maintenance was just because the ship was in port, but no, it continued on and off for the entire duration of the cruise. The cabin had a large window and it would have been great to sit and relax watching the world (well the fjords) go by. Unfortunately this wasn't always possible due to the noise! Very disappointing. Food was generally disappointing. Often cold and tasteless. One or two meals were OK, but on the whole not as we expected. Service was ok, nothing over and above what you would expect for the price we paid. The entertainment was good, we particularly liked the duo 'Amethist' who played in the pub every evening. We had taken advantage of the 'All Inclusive' offer, which was tremendous value for money. The drinks service was very good and the staff friendly. We had only 2 ports of call - Bergen and Eidfjord. We didn't book any excursions because we were unsure of whether they would suit my partner. There was a walk from the ship to the port gates in Bergen but with seating along the way for my partner to rest. We then picked up the 'hop on, hop off' tourist bus tour at the port gates. This worked well and we had a pleasant time. The ship docked very close in Eidfjord and we took the Troll Toll - a tourist train which was excellent .... Some amazingly beautiful scenery and photo stops. The fjords are beautiful and we enjoyed the scenic cruising - the sail away from Bergen was one of the best I have experienced. To sum up, although we enjoyed our holiday and the beauty of Norway, we feel that Fred Olsen do not provide value for money on this occasion. This cruise cost around £900 per person for 5 nights - premium price for less than premium service. Disappointing.

Poor Value for Money

Balmoral Cruise Review by Anngrace43

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We have always wanted to cruise the fjords and have been looking forward to this holiday for several months. My partner has problems with his breathing and cannot walk long distances, for this reason we chose Fred Olsen because the ships are smaller than many of the other cruise lines.

Embarkation at Newcastle proved to be a nightmare, we asked whether it would be far to walk and were told that very little walking was involved and that the shuttle bus would talk us straight to the ship. In reality we were faced with approximately a 300-350 metre walk, then a steep gangway. My partner had to stop several times and lean on the rails, there were no seats to take a rest. Had we been told this we would have asked for assistance (which we did for disembarkation).

The ship itself was fine, pretty much as expected. We had booked a superior outside cabin on deck 6 close to the restaurant. The cabin and its location on the ship was fine, however as we were unpacking there were very loud banging noises. We assumed that the maintenance was just because the ship was in port, but no, it continued on and off for the entire duration of the cruise. The cabin had a large window and it would have been great to sit and relax watching the world (well the fjords) go by. Unfortunately this wasn't always possible due to the noise! Very disappointing.

Food was generally disappointing. Often cold and tasteless. One or two meals were OK, but on the whole not as we expected. Service was ok, nothing over and above what you would expect for the price we paid. The entertainment was good, we particularly liked the duo 'Amethist' who played in the pub every evening.

We had taken advantage of the 'All Inclusive' offer, which was tremendous value for money. The drinks service was very good and the staff friendly.

We had only 2 ports of call - Bergen and Eidfjord. We didn't book any excursions because we were unsure of whether they would suit my partner. There was a walk from the ship to the port gates in Bergen but with seating along the way for my partner to rest. We then picked up the 'hop on, hop off' tourist bus tour at the port gates. This worked well and we had a pleasant time. The ship docked very close in Eidfjord and we took the Troll Toll - a tourist train which was excellent .... Some amazingly beautiful scenery and photo stops. The fjords are beautiful and we enjoyed the scenic cruising - the sail away from Bergen was one of the best I have experienced.

To sum up, although we enjoyed our holiday and the beauty of Norway, we feel that Fred Olsen do not provide value for money on this occasion. This cruise cost around £900 per person for 5 nights - premium price for less than premium service. Disappointing.
Anngrace43’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 6098
Cabin was of a reasonable size and had a large window, which was great for scenic cruising. However, there was deck maintenance work every day which was very noisy (banging and drilling). Only on one of the days were we warned of the noise, despite it continuing day after day.
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