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Cruise L1917 Isles of Scotland 1.8.2019 This was our first ever cruise and we had expected much better considering the cost. The M.S. Balmoral had its last refit some 10/11 years ago and it is looking very tired. Our cabin was showing the signs of wear and tear with the bathroom being particularly poor - cracked tiles in the shower and not very clean. Soundproofing between cabins was below acceptable levels. The food was of a good standard but nothing exceptional. Waiting staff were very efficient albeit there was a sense of being rushed. Entertainment was mediocre. I overheard two different people refer to the cruise as "Butlins at Sea". Considering the cost of the cruise it was disappointing to learn that one would have to pay an additional £26 per hour for internet access! We waited until we went ashore to catch up on emails etc! The last straw for us was the disembarkation which took 1.75 hours (and we weren't the last off!). Had we not been asked to vacate our cabins then we could have had some comfort before leaving. As it was the aisles and stairways were filled with people (many elderly) sitting on the floor. An appalling way to end the holiday. However to finish on a positive note, we were able to visit The Orkneys and Shetland which was a delight.

First and last cruise with Fred Olsen

Balmoral Cruise Review by Martyn 33

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Cruise L1917 Isles of Scotland 1.8.2019

This was our first ever cruise and we had expected much better considering the cost. The M.S. Balmoral had its last refit some 10/11 years ago and it is looking very tired. Our cabin was showing the signs of wear and tear with the bathroom being particularly poor - cracked tiles in the shower and not very clean. Soundproofing between cabins was below acceptable levels.

The food was of a good standard but nothing exceptional. Waiting staff were very efficient albeit there was a sense of being rushed.

Entertainment was mediocre. I overheard two different people refer to the cruise as "Butlins at Sea".

Considering the cost of the cruise it was disappointing to learn that one would have to pay an additional £26 per hour for internet access! We waited until we went ashore to catch up on emails etc!

The last straw for us was the disembarkation which took 1.75 hours (and we weren't the last off!). Had we not been asked to vacate our cabins then we could have had some comfort before leaving. As it was the aisles and stairways were filled with people (many elderly) sitting on the floor. An appalling way to end the holiday.

However to finish on a positive note, we were able to visit The Orkneys and Shetland which was a delight.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, Digital Marketing has responded
Thank you for taking time to provide us with feedback following your recent Fred. Olsen cruise - we're sorry that you felt certain aspects weren't as you were expecting. Balmoral has had refurbishments done just at the end of last year (2019) so is looking much fresher now as many cabins were improved. As we're sure you can appreciate, Entertainment is entirely subjective and we realise that it cannot appeal to all of our guests all of the time. We do not have the facilities to offer some of those provided on the larger ships, and our product is more along the lines of a fine country house hotel. The cost for WiFi is competitive within the cruising industry, and it has to be remembered that it is channeled via satellite. Lastly, the vacation of guests from cabins enables our hard-working on board team the opportunity to clean them to the high standard expected of them, but it is unfortunate guests were sitting on the floor as it is requested they sit in the comfort of the lounges prior to be called to disembark. We do hope that you'll reconsider and cruise with us again in the future, however. Kind regards, F. OCL
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

Outside
Cabin D 5033
Tired in appearance and the bathroom was in need of repair - cracked and loose tiles in shower. Inadequate soundproofing between cabins - our neighbours were in the habit of operating their TV at high volume until after midnight!
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