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This was our 2nd cruise, first for Fred Olsen. Our room was a balcony suite 9903 on Marquee deck 9. Having heard the reports over the past trees weeks when they had the engine problem we were slightly apprehensive as to if the cruise would be cancelled or not, thankfully no problems on enquiring. We sailed from Harwich, only a 30 mile journey and for once we had someone drop us off, there was not much indication on where to go, the FO map not 100% clear but thinking back obvious. On parking up at the drop off, the port handlers were ready with a trolley right next to the car, this was at 15:40, we then checked in at the departure hall, got our room cards and waited, at 15:50 our deck was called, by 16:00 we were in our room. Several concerns we read about was that the rooms were dated and the ship small, our room was in our opinion fantastic loads of storage inn wardrobes and drawers/cupboards, comfortable double bed, small sofa and arm chair, tea and coffee with kettle on tray stowed away, mini bar all behind a walnut colour traditional timber doors. We had a large patio door with two chairs and a table. The TV was the only poor thing in the cabin, flat screen but square and slow - maybe the reception via satellite link. The dreams package came with this room, so binoculars, flowers bath robes bottle of Cava, with daily canapés and fruit each day at 17:30. So cabin really good, blemish free and fresh looking, 1 minute walk from the Observatory lounge and bar. We can only compare this with a Thomson Celebration Red Sea cruise being a similar sized ship but with 400 less people. There was always plenty of space and we generally sat where we pleased. We had requested a table for 2 at 20:30 and its was there as promised, restaurant staff all very friendly and accommodating, we spend a lot of time talking to other tables so a table for two not essential. Every passenger we sat with spoke and were good company, we are in our mid 50's and were towards to younger band on the ship but everyone we spoke to were happy and cheerful so no need to feel your not with the right "set". Excursions were a limited factor for the older cruiser but many had done them years ago anyway. The FO "enrichment activities" were 3 talks by Ben Still, very interesting but way over my head. Entertainment was ok, we expected a bit better but what the cast did they did well, a need for broad appeal, Comedian was great, Saxophonist good, Lead singers excellent. The South Wales Male Voice Choir were the big hit very friendly , 2 performances on sea days, so the accents onboard were mostly East Englian and Welch. All day shore excursions were expensive +£130 each but were well put together (Olden & Flam) for Bergen we did our own thing. We went for the drinks package being £10.00 a day each, without being greedy this was very good even with wine with dinner, I believe this is going to rise to £29.00 each per day and I can see why, no one we saw had to much. So we learnt that Fred Olsen has a loyal client list, they know what to expect and say when its not right, the ship is not a massive shiny centrepiece it has a heart. I'd cruise on this boat again, its not dated, carpets seemed brand new in the public areas, decor was very good but made traditional cruise, a very friendly ship. People have a right to criticise, only our second cruise and many have had loads others but we really enjoyed it.

Very very good.

Black Watch Cruise Review by Brian1066

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Norwegian Fjords
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Suite
This was our 2nd cruise, first for Fred Olsen.

Our room was a balcony suite 9903 on Marquee deck 9.

Having heard the reports over the past trees weeks when they had the engine problem we were slightly apprehensive as to if the cruise would be cancelled or not, thankfully no problems on enquiring.

We sailed from Harwich, only a 30 mile journey and for once we had someone drop us off, there was not much indication on where to go, the FO map not 100% clear but thinking back obvious.

On parking up at the drop off, the port handlers were ready with a trolley right next to the car, this was at 15:40, we then checked in at the departure hall, got our room cards and waited, at 15:50 our deck was called, by 16:00 we were in our room.

Several concerns we read about was that the rooms were dated and the ship small, our room was in our opinion fantastic loads of storage inn wardrobes and drawers/cupboards, comfortable double bed, small sofa and arm chair, tea and coffee with kettle on tray stowed away, mini bar all behind a walnut colour traditional timber doors. We had a large patio door with two chairs and a table.

The TV was the only poor thing in the cabin, flat screen but square and slow - maybe the reception via satellite link.

The dreams package came with this room, so binoculars, flowers bath robes bottle of Cava, with daily canapés and fruit each day at 17:30.

So cabin really good, blemish free and fresh looking, 1 minute walk from the Observatory lounge and bar.

We can only compare this with a Thomson Celebration Red Sea cruise being a similar sized ship but with 400 less people.

There was always plenty of space and we generally sat where we pleased.

We had requested a table for 2 at 20:30 and its was there as promised, restaurant staff all very friendly and accommodating, we spend a lot of time talking to other tables so a table for two not essential.

Every passenger we sat with spoke and were good company, we are in our mid 50's and were towards to younger band on the ship but everyone we spoke to were happy and cheerful so no need to feel your not with the right "set".

Excursions were a limited factor for the older cruiser but many had done them years ago anyway.

The FO "enrichment activities" were 3 talks by Ben Still, very interesting but way over my head.

Entertainment was ok, we expected a bit better but what the cast did they did well, a need for broad appeal, Comedian was great, Saxophonist good, Lead singers excellent.

The South Wales Male Voice Choir were the big hit very friendly , 2 performances on sea days, so the accents onboard were mostly East Englian and Welch.

All day shore excursions were expensive +£130 each but were well put together (Olden & Flam) for Bergen we did our own thing.

We went for the drinks package being £10.00 a day each, without being greedy this was very good even with wine with dinner, I believe this is going to rise to £29.00 each per day and I can see why, no one we saw had to much.

So we learnt that Fred Olsen has a loyal client list, they know what to expect and say when its not right, the ship is not a massive shiny centrepiece it has a heart.

I'd cruise on this boat again, its not dated, carpets seemed brand new in the public areas, decor was very good but made traditional cruise, a very friendly ship.

People have a right to criticise, only our second cruise and many have had loads others but we really enjoyed it.
Brian1066’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Balcony Suite
Cabin BS 9903
The decor was fresh, very clean no signs of wear, so much storage, cases went under the bed, we were allowed 90kg each.

Previous cruise we had a window and could see much (Thomson) with a full nation door we could lay in bed and still see, weather was really good, so we could also bring back drinks to the room and watch the fantastic scenery as we sailed by..
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews