Although I haven't done a world cruise on the "Black Watch" I have travelled on several world sectors and have also been around South America, a 72 night voyage. I love that ship and have found it comfortable and friendly. The staff cannot be faulted. There is a fine atmosphere on board and a camaraderie amongst the "all rounders" ie those doing the whole cruise.
It is a personal view but I would recommend that you book an outside cabin for such a long trip. There is a good amount of storage and hanging space. You have the added benefit of TV and coffee/tea-making facilities in the cabin. The cabin stewardesses give excellent service.
There is a good liaison between the Captain and the passengers which adds to pleasure of the cruise. The entertainment is normally good and the daytime lectures etc are of a high standard. There is always a lot going on around the ship if that is what you want. There are also many quiet corners for a good read or a snooze in the sun. As I asume you meant the 2009 world cruise there are some unusual forms of entertainment in the South Pacific like late night star-gazing on the top decks with a commentary from the Captain. Thsi was very popular on the 2008 cruise.
I have found the food first class and the dining room service good and friendly. There is an alternative dining option in the Garden Cafe if you want a change. There are also "ethnic" dining options eg Indian, Thai etc which you may enjoy.
Despite being smaller than many more modern cruise ships it is very stable in rough seas. It was built for long distance cruising.
There is much more detail on the Fred. Olsen website.
I hope you join the "Black Watch" supporters club and have a memorable cruise.
Yes I did make a mistake about the date and do mean 2009, sorry for the confusion.
Many thanks for a very informative and interesting reply to my question.You may have just swayed my mind to give it a try as we only live once as they say.Regards.
We're going on the full world cruise in January too - it'll be our fourth BW cruise (eighth with FO) and we love that ship. We've usually gone for an inside cabin on the grounds that it's mainly just somewhere to sleep - we spend the saving on lots of excursions - but for the world cruise we've got a cabin with a window because waking up in the dark for three months might be a bit too much!
Regarding the comments elsewhere about the size of the ship: True, it's not a floating tower block with tennis courts, shopping malls and climbing walls, but then again it doesn't carry 3000+ passengers. Actually, the Black Watch feels extremely spacious - it's longer and wider than the new Braemar yet carries nearly 200 fewer passengers. Of course it's all a matter of taste, but if you want a classy, friendly, traditional ship then I can wholeheartedly recommend the Black Watch. Perhaps we'll talk in person next year...
Have a look at the 'Berlitz overview' on this site (left of page under Cruise Guide). I quote " The suites and cabins on Decks 7, 8, and 9 are quiet units. A number of cabins located in the aft section of Decks 3, 4 and 5 can prove to be uncomfortable, with noise from throbbing engines and generator units a major distraction (particularly from those cabins adjacent to the engine casing)."
The ship is 36 years old and creaks etc. If you are thinking of spending that amount of time on her I would be VERY careful where your cabin is sited on the ship especially in relation to the engines (vibration) and not too far forward or you get woken by the anchor being dropped very early in the morning.
Consider again, very small ship.
We did a 17 nights on this ship and it was the best holiday we have ever had. Yes it is old.creaky and shows signs of her age. But she is a grand old lady. Enjoy!
Theres plenty of wardrobe space on the black watch - You can have a his and here wardrobe each. - lovely ship - like being in an English country hotel.
Its a very old and small ship. Having been on it not a ship that i would do a world cruise on.
I think its next trip should be to the breakers yard.
I crossed the Bay of Biscay on the Black Watch on the way to the Canaries and did not enjoy it. I was ill both ways.
We did the last world cruise on the Black Watch in a twin outside cabin. Plenty of space - thoroughly enjoyed the trip - almost wall to wall sunshine and calm seas - I think the captain avoided the rain showers! Bay of Biscay going out was a bit rough and Straits of Gibralter coming back - that was the only uncomfortable seas we encountered in 4 months!