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Black Watch Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
151 Reviews

Fred has blotted his copy book.

Black Watch Cruise Review by DavidMatthews

26 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2016
  • Destination: the British Isles & Western Europe
  • Cabin Type: Outside Cabin

We regularly cruise with Fred and would normally give an excellent rating but not this time. The food was excellent as were the waiters and the staff, the cabin was to the usual comfortable standard but from there on it all goes downhill.

The ship is very much still a "work in progress". The TV system kept giving the information "LAN lost" and closed down, even in port, so the problem with satellite explanation does not wash. We reported this regularly to reception and even missed part of the Queens Christmas speech because of it,but it was no better at the end of the cruise. Because of the weather, or so we were told, the itinerary regularly changed. The announcements were made on the ships system but did not sound in our cabin. This was regularly reported to reception. We were told how it should be set. In the end someone came to our cabin, set it differently to the instruction given to us at reception.

On Boxing day we were supposed to enter the Port of Tyne early in the morning. We did not, instead we went to breakfast with the boat turning in a tight circle and the restaurant floor some degrees from horizontal. Later, up in the aft lounge, deck 7 it was noted that the new glass doors no longer stayed closed. By the evening it was realized that wooden wedges would solve the problem. They were still there at the end of our cruise. How could this possibly happen.

The simple fact is that the ship should not have been put to service until after it had been thoroughly tested and any snagging required carried out. This was obviously not the case as other cruisers, on the first cruse have confirmed. It is now on a world cruise I wonder if the snags have been dealt with yet.

The director of product and services has sent me a letter, full of apologies, but the only compensation she will offer is the equivalent of 20% of this cruise price off of a future booking made before 30th June 2017, otherwise no compensation what so ever.

It appears that because some of the problems (obviously not the lack of a full test) were not of Fred's making that is it! O dear Fred you have blotted your copy book. Such a pity because the organization normally gives such good service.

DavidMatthews's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Outside Cabin
Cabin F 5060

The cabin was comfortable. The temperature was OK after we reset it. Originally the thermostat was set to maximum and it was sweltering.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

London (Greenwich, Tower Bridge, Tilbury)

When leaving the foot passenger entrance the ground is uneven and dangerous


On my bucket list. Fred changed his mind on this one


I have used the port regularly and would recommend the hop on and hop off bus to get to the attractions. Fred did not get us here.

Edinburgh (South Queensferry)

There is a lot to do and see in Edinburgh. The bus no 22 takes you to the town centre from the nearby Britannia Centre. Outside the port passenger entrance / exit.is a stop for an open top tour bus with interesting information on the round tour. You can get on and off as you wish and it takes you to Princes Street and a short walk from the castle and Cathedral. .


I have visited Liverpool on a number of occasions and would recommend the hop on /hop off bus to get to the places of interest.

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