Balmoral Review

A very disappointing cruise

Review for the Western Mediterranean Cruise on Balmoral
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10+ Cruises • Age 80s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Nov 2023
Cabin: Outside

For our first cruise post covid we chose to return to our favourite ship, Balmoral, to celebrate our joint 80th birthdays. To say we were disappointed would be an understatement! The cabin was tired and the bathroom was really dated with a chipped sink and ancient shower controls. We found the air conditioning in the Ballindalloch to be so fiercely cold that we had to wear our going ashore clothes in the evening to keep warm. Our table was so close to a serving station that a risk assessment would have required us to wear hard hats! Things have changed: no toiletries in the bathroom or even for sale in the shop, no British night, no petite fours after two of the formal nights, no baked Alaska parade ~ I could go on. The cruise included a visit to Algiers but following a dispute over visas the ship called into Palma de Mallorca instead. The shows were acceptable, though the Crew show has been promoted from the late event to the main show ~ another cost saving I guess. We also had to cancel one excursion because of injury and a 10% cancellation fee was applied. As always the staff were lovely which was really the only plus point. So such a shame, as Gold Ocean Club members we have had 170 nights on Fred Olsen ships, most of them on Balmoral and will not return. There is so much choice now.

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