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Balmoral Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
252 Reviews

Couples cruise Xmas 2018 Europe Balmoral

Balmoral Cruise Review by Sarah D

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2018
  • Destination: the British Isles & Western Europe
  • Cabin Type: Outside

Staff – some good some bad, certainly not at the level across the board of the more expensive cruise lines but a lot of the staff where great.

Drinks – the drinks package includes so little variety I ended up always paying the top up to have different drinks however it wasn’t very pricey to top up to nicer drinks.

Swimming pools and recreation activities - They have very little and much of what they have is catered to their older clients. Knowing in advance this was a smaller ship with older patrons we took a PS3 with us, on day one the reception staff refused to set the TV up for us so we could plug it in (it needed a different controller to the one supplied as they have their own system that doesn’t allow other HDMI channels) however we asked different staff on day two and they sorted it for us.

As this was a Christmas time cruise we avoided pools as did pretty much everyone else as it was to cold.

Quizzes and shows – you could turn up pretty much as the shows were starting and still get a seat a big change on the larger ships however the shows were very low budget versions of what you get on larger cruise ships they were mildly entertaining at best. With the quizzes we were lucky if we found one per day so we spent quite a bit of time in our room with the entertainment we brought with us.

Photo's & other items to purchase – we didn’t get any pictures done really so didn’t investigate this price. Bathrobes – not available to purchase ☹ Anything extra you may want to pay for was reasonably priced.

Food - Breakfast

Breakfast in room was ok, not much in the way of queues for the buffet and we didn’t try the sit down breakfast.

Food - lunch, snacks and late night food.

Buffet not too busy but variety was very low although quality was very good.

Food - dinner

Sit down meal was largely good quality but amount of food was limited and my husband who is a picky eater struggled to find food at dinner time.

Food - room service

Food was pretty good and was included in the price which is unusual and nice however it was very much snacks no meals available.

Fred Olsen were a good low budget cruise line where the quality is good but variety is limited however the price of this trip was similar to we paid on P&O so I don’t feel the price reflected the fact they are a budget cruise line.

Would happily sail with them again but I want the cost to be dramatically lower than the mid range cruise lines like P&O and Royal Caribbean

Sarah D's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


Cabin was twin beds as apparently they dont really have doubles, decor was ok and room was good size.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

This was actually done in Copenhagen but couldn't add two tours to that one.

The tour was excellent and great fun.

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Tivoli Gardens

Barely an hour in the place despite asking reception staff in advance how long we could expect to get there and having been told 3.5 hours

View All 64 Tivoli Gardens Reviews

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Sarah D
3 Reviews Written
7 Helpful Votes
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