We travelled on Bolette's second voyage in the summer and were so impressed that we booked on board for this one. A voyage to the Canaries is always one of our favourites as it is around two weeks and is usually a sunshine cruise at whatever time of year.
Check in at Dover was simple and we were pleased to find that the 'probes' used in the Covid test were much more comfortable to use than the last time we were tested there. One of the main passenger concerns was the dreaded Passenger Locator Form ('PLF'). No two passengers seemed to have provided the same information but, in the event, completing a form seemed to be the only requirement and, having shown ours at check-in, they were returned to us and never asked for again. We did all have an efficient mid-cruise Covid test run by the medical team which took only 40 minutes. We assumed that, as all the numerous 'Don't sit here' signs were removed shortly afterwards' from bars and lounges, there was no Covid aboard. Masks had to be worn when moving around the ship but, other than the great pity that the (vaccinated) crew had to wear theirs all the time, Covid precautions were not intrusive .
Our cabin had been changed at the last minute which was mildly annoying but as the stewardess we were looking forward to meeting up with again had moved, and the new cabin was identical on the starboard side of the ship, this was a minor inconvenience. It was apparent that the deficiency in crew numbers had been remedied since August with a transfer of staff from Borealis and the restaurants worked much more smoothly as a result. Only around 700 passengers were aboard so the ship was not crowded. Both Borealis and Bolette have been brought up to standard after purchase from Carnival almost entirely by the crew and more had been done since August. Interestingly, a couple of courts for deck tennis and football were being added which, with the renovation of the children's area and with the planned commissioning of more speciality restaurants being progressed, it looks like Fred is looking to a younger passenger profile in future.
A very nice indulgence with the Suite Dreams package to add to the experience (and waistline). The only downside was that the vast amount of drawer and wardrobe space meant that things were always going missing! If we really needed all that space, we'd never be able to afford the cabin.
Be aware that there is only one UK three pin plug socket in the cabin and that UK razor/toothbrush plugs don't fit the sockets in the cabin so don't forget your adaptors (and bar soap if you use it)
Easy to access and good facilities.
The volcano was the highlight
A busy port but not easy to access the town. A longish walk or frustrating shuttle bus ride. Everything stops at a parade of shops from which access to the town is vis three staircases or a lift (out of order). They are providing a spiral ramp as well but that could be hairy for wheelchair users