Fred Olsen were recommended by family members. The fact that Balmoral sailed from Rosyth (near Edinburgh) was so handy for us and saved us a flight to Southampton.
Our cruise to Norway far exceeded our expectations and the glorious weather was a huge added bonus!
From the minute we arrived at the port terminal until the day of disembarkation, staff constantly went over and above to ensure everything was perfect. They were so friendly, attentive and generally interested in making sure everything was right and that you felt special. Our waiters in particular, Vilroy and Flacher, were simply excellent!
Although our cabin did not have a balcony, it was well appointed and was very comfortable. It was great to have a bathroom with a bath and shower. The room was quiet and not far from the stairs to the main decks, which was very handy. The room has two upper bunks which were folded away. I'm not sure how 4 people would get on in this room, but it was ideal for two.
We booked our own tickets for the Flam railway and were on the first train of the day. Tickets were sold out on the day so do book these in advance. What a beautiful journey through the mountains and past many waterfalls. There was only a 15 minute stop at the top and many people got off for tours. It meant we were able to have a carriage to ourselves on the way back down allowing us to take photos through an open window. The carriage had been reserved for a group of Japanese tourists so there was no English commentary in this carriage, but it's worth doing if you are keen to take photos. Would also recommend the Flam bakery for lunch or a snack. The aromas of freshly cooked cakes and breads are amazing! After lunch we walked to Flam village (about 1.5 hours round trip). This was a lovely way to see local life and to walk by the crystal clear river.