We are the sort who holiday in the quietest, remotest areas so we were nervous but decided this was the way to see the fjiords. What a revelation! Booking a suite with a balcony was definitely the way to go and worth every penny. I spent hours just sitting in privacy watching the mountains and rivers go by. We had no noise problems from other cabins nor at night which surprised us. We could be as private or involved as we wanted to be and the staff on the Black Watch were all wonderful without exception.We enjoyed the smaller size of the Black Watch and have decided we wouldn't like anything much bigger, especially after seeing one or two around the fjiords.Our only criticism was that it did seem silly to stop at Stavanger, where there were more shops, on a Sunday when all was closed, instead of a week day when we stopped at small places with very few shops but that might not be up to the cruiseline.We found Fred Olsen staff helpful and had absolutely no problems.Put it like this - we have already booked another one for 2012! We have even found one from the north of england which saves us going down to Dover although we had no problems with any of that either.
The marquee suite was wonderful with space and facilities. It was expensive but so worth having that privacy. The verandah was very important to us especially as I can on occasion be a little claustraphobic! I spent many wonderful hours sitting on the balcony watching the scenery go by and we had no need to really go on deck to watch anything.
Wardrobes, drawers etc were all spacious in the suite and we had canapes delivered every evening.
We had continental breakfast in our cabin every morning except the last one and that was something we will repeat.
Bergen itself was very interesting and there is plenty to see but the cruise terminal is quite a walk from the town and whilst it wasn't a problem for us, we did think there were people on board for whom it would be a problem. Like most of Norway, it is an expensive place to buy things. There were organised trips but we just wandered around ourselves. With more looking at tourist sites about Bergen we have found a better map and information which we will put into practice on our next visit.
We had prebooked our parking on-line with the Dover port authority and this meant we didn't have to worry about it. They sent us a map with the postcode for the satnav and instructions. We found the whole experience made life easy. People directed us at every stage and our luggage disappeared next to be seen in our room. We arrived at the time as instructed but found lots already there so have learnt a lesson from that! The terminal is fine and the system for going through okay as you do have to wait but at least calling numbers means you can sit and wait and don't have to stand in a big long queue for ages. A very short walk from terminal 2 onto the cruise ship itself. an experience we had worried about in advance went smoothly and probably as easy as they can make it.