My wife and I chose Fred Olsen, our first time on this line, because it left and returned from England sailing to Iceland at the time we wanted to travel within these locations. The service personnel, maintenance of the ship and quality of the food were excellent. Even the song and dance shows were better than expected for a small ship of only 925 passengers. Only one aspect of Fred Olsen's business model holds me back from giving this cruise a high review, and that is, Fred Olsen's policy of withholding the exact arrival and departure times from the ports of call.
My wife and I, seasoned cruise travelers by now, usually book small-group shore excursions from local providers when we can. But that can't be done unless the tour companies know the exact cruise ship arrival and departures times for pick up and drop off. Fred Olsen lists only the time of day, as in "early morning" or "late afternoon" in their public itinerary. But we know the company knows the specific times because: (1) docking space must be prescheduled with the ports, and (2), having asked seven customer agents about the docking schedule, two Fred Olsen representatives gave me the exact arrival/departure times they read off their computer screens and five told me they didn't know exact the times, only the approximate part of day. Granted, the cruise route was changed six weeks before we sailed and one arrival time was earlier than I was told, but for all the other ports of call, the exact times in port were the same as I was given by the the two open-information Fred Olsen customer reps. I can only surmise that Fred Olsen wants to discourage passengers from booking independent shore excursions. It took a lot of effort to do that. Most people would give up after the first query.
So how were the two Fred Olsen excursions we did book? As expected for large-group, big-bus trips -- okay but nothing memorable or personal.
The room was smaller than we thought it would be but adequate for what we needed. It had plenty of storage space, it was very clean, well appointed, absolutely quite with the door closed and the view was very good as well on deck eight. The large bathroom had a tub, two sinks and a separate stall for the toilet. The public deck plan is misleading. Cabin 8015 is larger than the rest of the cabins on this deck with a larger balcony. And its entrance door is located in a different place than the deck plan illustrates. Reserve room 8015 if you want this category.