Interesting itinerary, including Norway, Svalbard and the Faroes. Black Watch is an old boat, but is comfortable. Other clients are self evidently fairly old, and mainly British. Being smaller, embarkation and disembarkation is quick and efficient. We were impressed with the attention given to sanitation/handwashing, with regular reminders and lots of antiseptic liquid available. We enjoyed the varied, well prepared food. The ship has a number of black tie dinners, but didn't really differentiate the dining experiences on these nights, so I'm not really sure why they bother (and many guests weren't compliant with the dress code anyway). The entertainment was very good, especially the main dance troupe. The crew are exceptionally friendly, and service was always excellent.
We travelled with a walking group so did not go on any FO excursions - however these looked interesting and at a reasonable price.
The reason why we have downrated this cruise is solely because of our neighbours smoking on the balcony adjacent to us (see below). Unfortunately, this means we will not book with Fred Olsen again until they change their smoking policy.
We were immediately downwind of a cabin where the occupants chain smoked, rendering our balcony useless. When our balcony door was open, the smoke funnelled straight into our cabin, and even with the door closed we could still smell smoke through the cabin wall!!
We complained onboard to no effect, and will now escalate this. Our advice - if you are not a smoker, don't book a balcony cabin.
Aside from this, the cabin was well furnished and comfortable.