Went on braemar before it was streched
It is OK for the Caribean but the cabins tended to be small -I believe it was originally designed for 7 day cruises
FO suits the more "mature" cruiser but we went on Boadicca this year aand felt (as did many others)that FOs standards had dropped very noticeably and frankly did not justify the premium prices over the budget lines
That all said most people do enjoy the FO cruises -it really comes down to personal preference
1 word of advice re Braemar-we had a lower deck cabin and the noise was appalling!
Have you looked at Azamara if you like the smaller ships?
We like Fred Olsen cruises very much indeed but, based on our experience of the Braemar, we wouldn't recommend it for crossing the Atlantic. We were warned before we went on it that it had a 'round bottom' [sorry don't know the correct nautical term]which didn't ride big waves well, but took the risk. It is a lovely ship as far as lay-out, cabins, crew etc, but our cruise went through two very rough crossings of the Bay of Biscay and it was a horrendous time. We vowed never again! We may have been unlucky with the weather...but then so could you.
We were on the unstretched version, so maybe enlarging it has made it more stable, but it's doubtful. This ship was designed for calm waters and I wouldn't fancy rough weather on the Atlantic for six days on it!
We were in the Caribbean and it was pitching about a lot then although to be fair the weather was unusually windy
There were many occasions when doors to the outside were shut due to the rolling about.
Thomson destiny is doing the carribean starting this year,hard to beat for entertainment and service.i am not sure if you get "all inclusive" deals on these trips but all tirs are included.
I can't help with the Braemar but we have just returned from a cruise with Fred Olson on the Boudicca. It was fabulous. Small ship, what you lose on the fancy casinos and rock walls is more than made up by wonderful friendly people and a marvellous family atmosphere. We would do it again. The cabin was as big as we had on P & O. We are going again.
My husband and I went on the Braemar in February 2007 ( before it got stretched) to the Caribbean a treat for our silver wedding and loved it immensely, the food, service, crew, couldn't have been more friendly and helpful. We are going on the Braemar to the Caribbean again in January 2009 and are looking forward to this after the Christmas season is past.
The braemar is a lovely small ship. Its very friendly the staff are excellent and its perfect if you do not want all the extras that are on a large ship . We went on her last Feb and are looking forward to our next trip with Fred Olsen shortly. The food is very good and although not gourmet has choices that really covers everyone.
You will simply love this ship, my husband and I have sailed on the Braemar several times and can't wait for our next voyage. We have crossed the Atlantic twice and each time it has been as calm as a mill pond. The food is superb, plenty of choice and well presented.
Don't hesitate go for it.
From Joan, Hoddesdon Herts. (16th Nov 2008) .
Try Holland America; they are a little more expensive, but you get what you pay for. We are off to the Caribbean with them December 09, on the Maasdam, can't wait.