• Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips

Balmoral Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
229 reviews
3 Awards

A fine ship but with some odd contradictions

Review for Balmoral to the British Isles & Western Europe
User Avatar
10+ Cruises • Age 80s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2019
Cabin: Outside

We live in Edinburgh, the sailing was from Rosyth, and the itinerary was very interesting. The check in went slowly but smoothly, parking procedure very good. The gangway was very steep, very narrow and entirely stepped, with wide flat areas on either side. Many passengers were elderly, using sticks for support, and found it very difficult. These people make up a large part of Fred Olsen Cruises customer base, and I found this astonishing. We scanned our cards ourselves, with a crew member checking it- not a word, no eye contact from any member of the gangway crew, then, or at any time during the cruise. The ship is beautifully maintained, inside and out, with comfortable lounges and plenty of artwork and photographs. Dining in the Balindalloch restaurant was good, food excellent and waiters very smart in grey suits. The Palm cafe was lovely, with seating overlooking the pool. The food was fine, but coffee generally cold, with staff morale not too good.

The cabin (3072) had been refurbished and was well equipped, with a proper full sized shower area. There was, however, no sound insulation at all. There was almost nothing in the way of engine rumble or other mechanical noises, but it was as though the occupants of the cabins on either side were in beside us! They were selfish idiots with no regard for anyone- we were also idiots for creeping about like church mice!

Entertainment was pretty good- a singer/guitarist in the Morning Light lounge was very good, with a most pleasant manner. The Neptune show lounge was very smart, with a resident 6 piece band. The British song and dance group were good, as were comedy and speciality music acts. There were also 2 afternoon classical piano recitals which were wonderful. The dancing classed in the Neptune were very good, organised by a Scottish Husband and Wife team. Reception and shore excursion staff were very polite and helpful.

Cabin Review


Cabin D

Well appointed, but portholes which let in less light than picture window. Shower/bathroom excellent. Noise from adjoining cabins simply dreadful. Privacy is always a compromise, but we have never come across anything as bad as this. Deck 3 is also served by 1 stair/lift well than other levels. No engine, shaft or any other mechanical noise whatever- docking produced not so much as a bump.

Port Reviews


Beautiful port and town.


Very nice city, lovely cathedral, ship ties up right in the centre.

12 Helpful Votes
previous reviewnext review

Find a Balmoral Cruise

Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.
About UsCruise DestinationsFirst Time CruisersFind A Cruise

Share your feedback

International Sites

© 1995—2022, The Independent Traveler, Inc.

  • Privacy and Cookies Statement

  • Terms of Use

  • Site Map

  • Cookie Consent