We chose this cruise because it offered destinations we wanted to visit at this time of the year. Regrettably by choosing this cruise line we made a very costly mistake in terms of what it cost us and a detriment to our health. We left Southampton as healthy individuals and returned home having become contaminated with the COVID Virus. Prior to embarkation I telephoned through to customer services to confirm the protocols on entering the ship with regard to covid. I was told that we only needed to take the lateral flow test on the morning prior to embarkation and to bring the negative test fob with us along with our NHS vaccine certification. Fortunately my wife and I returned a negative flow result so off to Southampton we travelled.
After four days at sea it became apparent to many on board that there was a coved virus outbreak on board. This was manifest after our cabin girl was changed after four days and also our waiters in the restaurant where appearing masked up. This restaurant service for a few evenings was slow and slovenly because of these problems. We also experienced several in-cabin meals being served by cabin staff who were significantly protected with the necessary safety clothing. No announcement was ever made throughout the nineteen day duration of the cruise and was absent from any daily announcement made by the Captain. At every mealtime this problem became obvious as there was numerous tables vacated as the cruise progressed. In all public areas it was evident through people coughing and sneezing that this disease was spreading through the ship. We didn’t know until our return home that my wife and I had been contaminated. During embarkation I raised the issue of just showing our lateral flow fob as being negative was an absolute nonsense as anyone could have cheated this process and the actual cruiser needn’t of actually done the test on themselves. My concern was basically ignored during embarkation.
Another very annoying issue was after speaking to other couples from our deck that we had paid almost £2000 more that these individuals despite booking directly with the Fred Olsen staff. These individuals also had the gratuities included and to and from home transfers and one couple spoken to also had free drinks packages. So by booking directly we paid a very high premium.
The Balcony cabin was very comfortable with no problems just the fact we paid excessively for this luxury despite booking directly with the company. I took this issue up with the Futures Cruise Consultant on-board and she told me I shouldn’t be comparing prices with other guests? What a liberty to have to hear this from a young member of staff. She would have probably advised not to pen a review as well.
So we embarked as very healthy individuals both in our late 70’s and at the time of writing we are both now housebound and suffering from the virus which was caused during this cruise. We regret ever sending for a Fred Olsen Brochure and moreover regret booking directly with your call centre staff. It’s been a very costly lesson for us but the very best feature of this harrowing adventure was docking on day 19 at Southampton.
Give our distain to Mr Olsen for his cruising experience which will NOT BE REPEATED.