First for the postives, we travelled for less than £1000 each and the scenery was absolutely beautiful - particularly the Moselle River! We had not been to Germany before and the castles, vineyards and pretty villages were lovely. A river cruise is a slow and relaxing way to enjoy rural parts of Germany that we otherwise may not have been able to enjoy. In terms of our experience of the Fred Olsen river cruise, we believe that there are a number of considerations for future travellers: The ship and staff are not Fred Olsen and may not be consistent with your previous experience. We didn’t have any problems with service but we noted that some other passengers were disappointed. This is an older boat and it has not been renovated recently. It is clean but there are obvious signs of wear and tear, seems quite dark and the bathrooms needed updating. If boat appearance and facilities are important to you, this is not the boat for you. The average age was around 70. If you are in that category, all is good but we weren’t and did feel a bit like an outsider but we did meet some lovely people. There are 2 reasons were will not sail with Fred Olsen again: The cruise was rough around the edges. The communication was amateurish and the ‘daily news’ was a wasted opportunity. The tours were predictable and probably ok if they had been free. The entertainment was basic, the onboard singers were fine but the ‘special German entertainment’ was not good. We had a special buffet which was organised chaos and if that had been the first time they did this then we could understand but it is probable that this was repeated every week. It is disappointing that Fred Olsen are not using this as an opportunity to be distinctive as opposed to providing what felt like a simple and cheap offering. Finally, we feel that Fred Olsen did not adequately deal with situations when things went wrong. Unfortunately the cruise could not finish in Basel due to low water levels. This was totally outside of Fred Olsen control but what was disappointing was how they decided to manage the situation. We had an early connection on the last morning of the cruise and the Fred Olsen organised bus was not suitable. We spoke to the Fred Olsen representative on board (who was very polite and visible on the boat) and he said the company were not planning on offering any alternative and the best they could do was write a letter to our insurance company. In addition we were told that they weren’t even sure where we would end up. This uncertainty and what felt like a lack of support from day 1 really tarnished our experience. As young(ish) people we were able to reorganise things but I could in no way recommend this company to my parents or elderly relatives....not knowing where they are going to end up and having to organise and finance their own arrangements. We have decided not to travel with Fred Olsen again and I trust this review will help others decide if it is for them. We did note that many of the other passengers were loyal Fred Olsen customers and they had already booked future ocean cruises.

Excellent price but not an excellent experience

Brabant Cruise Review by GroomsportGirl

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
First for the postives, we travelled for less than £1000 each and the scenery was absolutely beautiful - particularly the Moselle River! We had not been to Germany before and the castles, vineyards and pretty villages were lovely. A river cruise is a slow and relaxing way to enjoy rural parts of Germany that we otherwise may not have been able to enjoy.

In terms of our experience of the Fred Olsen river cruise, we believe that there are a number of considerations for future travellers:

The ship and staff are not Fred Olsen and may not be consistent with your previous experience. We didn’t have any problems with service but we noted that some other passengers were disappointed.

This is an older boat and it has not been renovated recently. It is clean but there are obvious signs of wear and tear, seems quite dark and the bathrooms needed updating. If boat appearance and facilities are important to you, this is not the boat for you.

The average age was around 70. If you are in that category, all is good but we weren’t and did feel a bit like an outsider but we did meet some lovely people.

There are 2 reasons were will not sail with Fred Olsen again:

The cruise was rough around the edges. The communication was amateurish and the ‘daily news’ was a wasted opportunity. The tours were predictable and probably ok if they had been free. The entertainment was basic, the onboard singers were fine but the ‘special German entertainment’ was not good. We had a special buffet which was organised chaos and if that had been the first time they did this then we could understand but it is probable that this was repeated every week. It is disappointing that Fred Olsen are not using this as an opportunity to be distinctive as opposed to providing what felt like a simple and cheap offering.

Finally, we feel that Fred Olsen did not adequately deal with situations when things went wrong. Unfortunately the cruise could not finish in Basel due to low water levels. This was totally outside of Fred Olsen control but what was disappointing was how they decided to manage the situation. We had an early connection on the last morning of the cruise and the Fred Olsen organised bus was not suitable. We spoke to the Fred Olsen representative on board (who was very polite and visible on the boat) and he said the company were not planning on offering any alternative and the best they could do was write a letter to our insurance company. In addition we were told that they weren’t even sure where we would end up. This uncertainty and what felt like a lack of support from day 1 really tarnished our experience. As young(ish) people we were able to reorganise things but I could in no way recommend this company to my parents or elderly relatives....not knowing where they are going to end up and having to organise and finance their own arrangements.

We have decided not to travel with Fred Olsen again and I trust this review will help others decide if it is for them. We did note that many of the other passengers were loyal Fred Olsen customers and they had already booked future ocean cruises.
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