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This was our first cruise with Fred Olsen and overall we were quite impressed with the value for money it provided. First of all the Norwegian Fjords were spectacular. The weather was a little unsettled at times, but this did not distract from the views of soaring mountains over the tranquil fjords. Service was very friendly although we did notice a couple of exceptions and Guest Services were excellent and always very helpful. Wi-fi bandwith is pretty abysmal even when in port, I would recommend saving your money and taking your phone or tablet ashore and finding a cafe or other place with good wi-fi. We found a number of the small Norwegian villages had their own hotspots. Although we did not attend all the shows, entertainment and activities were varied and of good quality. Food was however inconsistent ranging from very good to quite poor and often a little cold. We ate dinner each evening in the Avon restaurant which was very comfortable, although they could think about changing the art work on the walls which is quite weird. Breakfast was pretty poor quality and it always seemed rushed. Also, unlike most cruise lines they did not have a place where you could get a light meal such as a hamburger or pizza at lunchtime. We signed up for the all inclusive (AI) drinks package was very good value, although I believe it has been increased from £10 per day which we paid, to £15. AI wines were acceptable as was the gin, although I don’t know where the whiskey came from, perhaps not Scotland! The biggest negative for us was the constant chit signing to authorise payment for drinks and coffee. Quite a ridiculous system and technology options must be available to make this a more efficient and seamless process. The time wasted on the Olsen side must be significant. We only booked one excursion which was a 4 hour Great Ocean Road excursion in Kristiansund. This was because it would have been difficult to arrange ourselves. Other tours we did arrange ourselves and saved quite a bit against similar tours promoted by Olsen, all of which seemed very overpriced. We took a Seabourn cruise the previous year and although we did not expect (or get), the quality of food and service on Fred Olsen, it was much better value for money.

Excellent Value for Money

Balmoral Cruise Review by rwlid

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Baltic Sea
  • Cabin Type: Balcony Junior Suite
This was our first cruise with Fred Olsen and overall we were quite impressed with the value for money it provided. First of all the Norwegian Fjords were spectacular. The weather was a little unsettled at times, but this did not distract from the views of soaring mountains over the tranquil fjords.

Service was very friendly although we did notice a couple of exceptions and Guest Services were excellent and always very helpful. Wi-fi bandwith is pretty abysmal even when in port, I would recommend saving your money and taking your phone or tablet ashore and finding a cafe or other place with good wi-fi. We found a number of the small Norwegian villages had their own hotspots.

Although we did not attend all the shows, entertainment and activities were varied and of good quality. Food was however inconsistent ranging from very good to quite poor and often a little cold. We ate dinner each evening in the Avon restaurant which was very comfortable, although they could think about changing the art work on the walls which is quite weird. Breakfast was pretty poor quality and it always seemed rushed. Also, unlike most cruise lines they did not have a place where you could get a light meal such as a hamburger or pizza at lunchtime.

We signed up for the all inclusive (AI) drinks package was very good value, although I believe it has been increased from £10 per day which we paid, to £15. AI wines were acceptable as was the gin, although I don’t know where the whiskey came from, perhaps not Scotland! The biggest negative for us was the constant chit signing to authorise payment for drinks and coffee. Quite a ridiculous system and technology options must be available to make this a more efficient and seamless process. The time wasted on the Olsen side must be significant.

We only booked one excursion which was a 4 hour Great Ocean Road excursion in Kristiansund. This was because it would have been difficult to arrange ourselves. Other tours we did arrange ourselves and saved quite a bit against similar tours promoted by Olsen, all of which seemed very overpriced.

We took a Seabourn cruise the previous year and although we did not expect (or get), the quality of food and service on Fred Olsen, it was much better value for money.
rwlid’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Balcony Junior Suite
Cabin BJ 8053
Our cabin was surprisingly spacious and would have been a 5/5 if not for the constant diesel fumes on the balcony which meant you could not spend too much time out there and constant rattles in the cabin which sometimes disturbed our sleep. Complimentary water was provided which was a plus and our room was kept clean and tidy at all times.
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