Fred Olsen ships all have self service buffets throughout the day offering breakfast, lunch, afternoon, evening dinner and late night snacks. Please note this is not the 24 hour dining seen on most cruise these days but you won't go hungry I can assure you. Snacks are available on deck but the selection isn't too great [soup, sandwichs, burgers, hotdogs as well as fish and chips (these aren't as good as those served in the Golden Lion Pub onboard Cunard ships)]. I haven't been on the recently extended Braemer but the original sized ship was fine. Unless things have changed their was quite alot of vibration and noise towards the stern especially at low speed which may be problematic if you like a lie in in the mornings. The show lounge was always crowded before the extension and I assume it's worse now. Boudicca is an old ship but is kept in reasonable repair, however the ship is slightly more difficult to get around if your mobility is poor. The menus on both are identical and again the entertainment programme is very similar with guest artists moving around the fleet. In summary both ships offer a reasonable cruising experience but as with all main stream cruise lines cost cuttings have led to a significantly reduction in the personal service you can expect. I don't think there is much to choice betwen the two ships, just pick the most appropriate cruise destination. PS I have booked to go the carribean in Feburary on the Braemer.
What is the best currency to tke on a carrabian cruise to use when ashore.
The answer is US dollars - most shops, cafes, vendors and taxi drivers will accept US dollars, however, have a large number of small dollar bills as they frequently give any change in the local currency.
Don't disregard the "Boudicca" as it is a fine ship, well maintained and comfortable despite her age. The decor is real Fred. Olsen and the food, as ever, is excellent. The staff on all ships are friendly and helpful. I have been on four of the Fred. Olsen ships and will be sailing on their fifth,the "Boudicca", in a couple of week's time. I, personally, would choose the "Boudicca" but which ever you select I am sure you will enjoy.
I was on board Boudicca recently and was not impressed
The self service "Secret Garden" is tiny and you often had to queue
Also breakfast is only served until 9:30 and staff got very impatient if you were still there after that
There is an outside grill serving quite nice snacks at lunchtime (weather permitting)
I was on Braemar before it was stretched and just about preferred it to Boudicca
Having done 8 cruises with 4 different lines it is my opinion that there is much better quality to be had than Fred Olsen -premium prices for a non premium product.
So which cruise line/ ship would you recomend. My friend and I went on the Boudicca last December - it was our first cruise and we enjoyed it but I would prefer younger company and better entertainment - we are young sixties and on a budget.
Sadly Boudicca is Dead, try somebody else with a pulse to join you.
Had a great cruise on Braemar in August this year. Yes, self service in 2 buffet areas. Our first time with Fred Olsen but will go again. Been with several other cruise operators but found Fred Olsen genuine.
Both ships have a self service restaurant equally as good The Braemar has The Palms Cafe & The Boudica has The Secret Garden but only serves until 9pm they seem to want you out quick so that they can prepare for the supper having said that my 12 year son complained on one occasion that there was not much to his liking and they made him some "chips".
Both restaurants have theme nights like: indonesion, indian & chinese which is a change from the main restaurants. On the Boudicca they serve sausage, steak, burgers or fish (all with chips) up on the top deck which are a great brunch when you have missed breakfast. The barbeques are great out on the deck for supper we missed dinner one night so that we could indulge at supper paella was also served I watched them cook it on the Boudicca. I personally prefer the Braemar the staff give a better service and are more friendlier than the Boudicca and I like the layout better (before the re-fit mind). But we still had a great time on the Boudicca this year.
Have just come back from first ever cruise to Greenland on board Boudicca. Yes, there is a self service lunchtime restaurant and outside grills to get food. I cannot say what the food was like in the outside grills as we were in rather a cold climate so they weren't open. However, the food on board was fantastic.