This was our first Fred Olsen cruise, and may well not be our last. Braemar is a comfortable ship, an ideal size and much more attractive than the blocks of flats next door! We flew to Barbados, and cruised various islands before returning to Barbados 2 weeks later. The staff were very pleasant, but not 'over friendly' as if seeking tips. We loved our cabin, 7005 balcony suite. Plenty of room, and great to have our balcony. Our cabin was comfortable and quiet. Meals were good, we enjoyed the Thistle restaurant for dinner, and palms for lunch. I have a mobility scooter, and it was easy to use around the ship. The crew were extremely helpful, especially helping us get it on and off the ship. It was a shame that we saw nothing of the captain or senior officers during the cruise. We were first sitting, and for the 2 captain's cocktail parties we were leaving port. The captain did not make himself known around the ship - a shame. We did ask at the start of the cruise if we could have a bridge tour - this only happened after 2 reminders and while we were in port - disappointing. The 3 ladies on shore tours were excellent. Really helpful in making sure I whether I could use my scooter and making arrangements for me when I could. We were disappointed with the entertainment in the Neptune Lounge. The stage is right on top of the front row of the audience - far too close. The entertainment was mixed, the Braemar entertainers were good, but too much unecessary dancing! We had the drinks package as part of our deal - we certainly wouldn't pay for it. Poor quality whisky and gin - you had to pay extra for 'premium' drinks - Bells and Gordons should not be premium. The wine was limited but ok, but you had to pay for liqueurs and spirits. We booked a few shore excursions. The Curacao semi submersible was great - so many fish. Bonaire island tour good, Tortola island tour and boat trip left us wanting to see more of the island. The St Kitts railway was just wonderful - plenty of rum punch and pina colada and a choir! Dominica whale and dolphin watching was very successful. Our main disappointment was Grand Turk. A very dull island, the highlight was 2 cute baby donkeys. Did we really want to be shown the landfill site in the centre of the island? Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise and came back with many happy memories and loads of photos!
We loved our cabin. Plenty of space. A good sized comfortable bed and settee and chair. Plenty of storage space. Bathroom was fine, shower worked well, and good amount of storage space. The balcony was great. Room for chairs and loungers to relax day and evening. Wonderful to be able to watch us coming into harbour, and watch the crew on the bridge nearly next door!
Bridgetown is not terribly exciting. A shared taxi costs $2 each, the walk back is fine.
We took the red train from outside the port terminal, with my mobility scooter on board. Up to George Fort to start with - unfortunately there are a lot of steps up to the fort, so we left the scooter at the security office. Views over the port are fantastic. There's not much information at the fort. Then caught the train again, we were taken round to the museum. Not brilliant I have to say, but next door to the chocolate shop. Then on again around the Carenage harbour area - very picturesque. Back at the terminalwe went to the market to buy spices.
We booked a taxi by email with Vernons Taxis. $90US for 3 hours (in fact we had 4 hours) for 4 of us was very good value. Jason was an excellent guide and driver, and his modern taxi extremely comfortable. We went up to Shirley Heights, Dow Interpretative and nelsons Dockyard. We did it this way so we could take my scooter and make the most of the Dockyard. An excellent day out.
See my review of Grand Turk excursion - written in error!