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We were part of the Ramblers Worldwide group on this 7 night cruise. I'd read previous reviews and expected a tired, shabby vessel with ultra smiley staff. Black watch is a small ship therefore the dining room is overcrowded and the staff overworked but deal well with the confines of the room and the number of guest they care for. The food was very good, drinks were pub prices or better. We found Boddingtons on offer at £1.60 a pint. Fred does not seem to like to communicate with customers. I found it very hard to book spa sessions before boarding. Bearing in mind our limited time on board due to our planned walks I wanted to make sure I could enjoy the cruising aspect of the holiday too, but booking ahead seemed an odd request. We boarded as request at 1700 with a dinner sitting at 1815, but had time to shower and change into the clothes we had taken on with us. On arrival at the restaurant we found that the dress code had been relaxed so that we could have turned up in our travel clothes. We probably wouldn't have, but they just didn't tell us. The beds are very comfortable, there is a strange custom of the beds being made up during the day with a counterpane on, but the duvets are folded up at night into a zigzag so that you have to put them straight before retiring, no big deal, just odd. Shower was spacious, everything very clean and not shabby as described by some. Entertainment very good. Coffee shop prices surprisingly good too and the specialist chocolate are a treat. It's not hard to find your way around as it's a small ship, luckily as the deck plans are a bit worn, but the staff are only too happy to help out with direction. The band (orchestra) were excellent but don't smile, perhaps they are concentrating too hard. Crew show is super. The Captain appeared to meet guests twice and spoke well which was impressive as I'm sure there are many things he'd rather have been doing. I'm sure the ship will benefit from it's forthcoming refit but it wasn't as shabby as others will have you believe.

Ramblers Norway Cruise

Black Watch Cruise Review by thriftycrafter

10 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We were part of the Ramblers Worldwide group on this 7 night cruise. I'd read previous reviews and expected a tired, shabby vessel with ultra smiley staff. Black watch is a small ship therefore the dining room is overcrowded and the staff overworked but deal well with the confines of the room and the number of guest they care for.

The food was very good, drinks were pub prices or better. We found Boddingtons on offer at £1.60 a pint.

Fred does not seem to like to communicate with customers. I found it very hard to book spa sessions before boarding. Bearing in mind our limited time on board due to our planned walks I wanted to make sure I could enjoy the cruising aspect of the holiday too, but booking ahead seemed an odd request. We boarded as request at 1700 with a dinner sitting at 1815, but had time to shower and change into the clothes we had taken on with us. On arrival at the restaurant we found that the dress code had been relaxed so that we could have turned up in our travel clothes. We probably wouldn't have, but they just didn't tell us.

The beds are very comfortable, there is a strange custom of the beds being made up during the day with a counterpane on, but the duvets are folded up at night into a zigzag so that you have to put them straight before retiring, no big deal, just odd. Shower was spacious, everything very clean and not shabby as described by some. Entertainment very good. Coffee shop prices surprisingly good too and the specialist chocolate are a treat. It's not hard to find your way around as it's a small ship, luckily as the deck plans are a bit worn, but the staff are only too happy to help out with direction. The band (orchestra) were excellent but don't smile, perhaps they are concentrating too hard. Crew show is super. The Captain appeared to meet guests twice and spoke well which was impressive as I'm sure there are many things he'd rather have been doing.

I'm sure the ship will benefit from it's forthcoming refit but it wasn't as shabby as others will have you believe.
thriftycrafter’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Superior Outside Cab
Cabin B 5047
Would have preferred a double bed. the cabin had space to allow this, but the singles were fixed so that they could not move. They were very comfortable and the linen was good quality. As we booked through Ramblers a double was not an option unless we chose a suite.
Tea and coffee making items were on a tray in one of the 3 wardrobes. Cases fit under the beds easily and there are noisy metal drawers too, one of which locks for use as a safe. The shower is larger than we expected and efficient. Gel and hand-wash pleasant and not overly perfumed.
The cleaning fairy was so good we never saw her, but there was evidence of her visits.
The artwork on the wall appeared faded but may just have been the original colours, the artwork throughout the ship is an acquired taste.
  Black Watch Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bergen
    As above, a small shopping area, we didn't use it. Stunning scenery.
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  • Harwich
    We took a train from Flam and walked down the steep winding path to a station halfway down and completed the descent by train. A super walk passing numerous waterfalls and through a goat farm. There were cyclists also using the track. The train stops for tourists to take photos of a 'faery' dancing Kate Bush style in the spray from a large waterfall on the way, bizarre, but amusing.
    Day 2 From Olden we were taken to the start of our walk by a minibus and hiked past a beautiful mountain hut for stranded travellers to the icemelt river at the base of the Briksdal glacier where chunks of ice bounced about in the flow. A very special experience which our group was privileged to be alone in savouring as the main body of tourists had gone by coach to view another glacier. We passed 4 locals walking their dogs along the track on our return journey. there was another optional walk that afternoon around the outskirts of the town, I didn't take part in that.
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  • Olden
    As previous
    We had coffee at the railway carriage cafe around £4, £3 for an ice cream
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