1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Black Watch
We booked a Christmas markets cruise to Denmark and Germany 18 months ago and at no time did Fred Olsen let us know that this cruise would be the first following a 28 day re-fit. We only found out by chance that this was happening just a few weeks before departure. There had been quite a lot of cosmetic changes to the interior décor and the Glentanar Restaurant is much improved but who on earth chose the quite dreadful plastic feature in the centre? As is to be expected after a re-fit there were still residual "snagging" works carrying on even as the ship sailed. What was surprising however, was that there were no announcements or even letters to the cabins letting us fare paying passengers know that these works were still in progress and that “we apologise for any inconvenience caused”. Absolutely “zilch” from anybody, including the Captain and the (mostly anonymous) Cruise Director. The worst area was the cabin TV system. This was inoperative for the whole week and nobody at Fred Olsen seemed to care let alone take responsibility for the issue. All anyone got from the Reception desk was “someone’s working on it”. Very poor customer service if I may say so but then after all Fred Olsen had got our money 10 weeks prior to sailing so why should they care!! On a positive note the new “Black Watch Room” will be very good once they finish hanging the paintings that were still in packaging and left leaning against the walls. There is a £20 per head surcharge to dine in this room and I think that that amount is a fair charge for a distinctly superior meal. It was a great shame that they spoilt it by serving the butter for the bread rolls in those canteen type plastic sachets! Hopefully our feedback to the Maître D on this point will improve matters for future passengers. The crew were as friendly as ever and the entertainment was rescued by that excellent comedian Christopher Gee. The Guest Lecturer – who talked about various aspects of Christmas – was sadly out of her depth and persisted in reading verbatim from her powerpoint slides. Oh, and beware the new coffee station. This has now been transferred from the old Braemar Lounge to just outside the entrance to the Neptune Lounge. There is hardly enough room to swing a cat let alone help yourself to a drink, especially if more than three of you are intent on the same mission at the same time!

The dreaded re-fit consequencies

Black Watch Cruise Review by Sir Peter

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
We booked a Christmas markets cruise to Denmark and Germany 18 months ago and at no time did Fred Olsen let us know that this cruise would be the first following a 28 day re-fit. We only found out by chance that this was happening just a few weeks before departure.

There had been quite a lot of cosmetic changes to the interior décor and the Glentanar Restaurant is much improved but who on earth chose the quite dreadful plastic feature in the centre? As is to be expected after a re-fit there were still residual "snagging" works carrying on even as the ship sailed. What was surprising however, was that there were no announcements or even letters to the cabins letting us fare paying passengers know that these works were still in progress and that “we apologise for any inconvenience caused”. Absolutely “zilch” from anybody, including the Captain and the (mostly anonymous) Cruise Director. The worst area was the cabin TV system. This was inoperative for the whole week and nobody at Fred Olsen seemed to care let alone take responsibility for the issue. All anyone got from the Reception desk was “someone’s working on it”. Very poor customer service if I may say so but then after all Fred Olsen had got our money 10 weeks prior to sailing so why should they care!!

On a positive note the new “Black Watch Room” will be very good once they finish hanging the paintings that were still in packaging and left leaning against the walls. There is a £20 per head surcharge to dine in this room and I think that that amount is a fair charge for a distinctly superior meal. It was a great shame that they spoilt it by serving the butter for the bread rolls in those canteen type plastic sachets! Hopefully our feedback to the Maître D on this point will improve matters for future passengers.

The crew were as friendly as ever and the entertainment was rescued by that excellent comedian Christopher Gee. The Guest Lecturer – who talked about various aspects of Christmas – was sadly out of her depth and persisted in reading verbatim from her powerpoint slides.

Oh, and beware the new coffee station. This has now been transferred from the old Braemar Lounge to just outside the entrance to the Neptune Lounge. There is hardly enough room to swing a cat let alone help yourself to a drink, especially if more than three of you are intent on the same mission at the same time!
Sir Peter’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Black Watch price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews