We are recently back from our first Fred Olsen cruise.
Whilst this is the smallest ship we have been on as a family there were lots of great things and a few not so great things for us. We knew there would not be much for Charlie on board however he had a great time with all his new friends from the Entertainments team. I can honestly say the entertainment team were really friendly and put on some great shows. I loved how the stage rose in the Neptune lounge making it a great area for lots of different types of entertainment. Whilst on board for just 5 nights we watched a Rock Show, Music show, comedy act and magician. There was always a singer in the on board pub and a live band in the Lido lounge with the odd karaoke. I would go as far to say some of the best mix of entertainment I have seen on board.
One thing that disappointed me was the drinks. I am partial to a nice cocktail on holiday and found the menu limited. The cruise we booked was on special offer and we were unable to pre purchase the drinks package for the reduced £10 or £15 per person per day that you will sometimes see. Once on board we headed to the Pursers deck to check out the package and we were advised it would be £25 per person per day. Not too bad except they advised everyone in the cabin including Charlie had to purchase now this is something I am not happy with. A 6 year old being charged £25 a day for an alcoholic drinks package so we politely declined. Off we headed to the bar and I noticed on the menu they were promoting this All Inclusive drinks package with house spirits. I went to ask what they were and they were dodgy looking non branded spirits. Think cheap Spanish All Inclusive hotel or headache in a bottle! Not only were the spirits a bit off looking but if you have the All Inclusive package and you fancy a premium spirit (not grey goose) just a branded cheaper vodka like Absolut you can get it for 50% off if you have the drinks package. You need 50% off when a 25ml measure is £4.25 without the mixer. Instead we opted to buy the wine we liked and this was all reasonably priced between £16 – £25 a bottle. They had a great Gin menu and I got to try some that I wouldnt normally try. The other great thing is you can order a litre of spirit to your cabin at a reasonable price and I had a bottle of Vodka delivered for £21. This went down a treat whilst watching the world go by sat on our balcony.
We wouldnt normally book a balcony cabin but as we had a few days scenic cruising we decided to opt for a Superior Suite with a balcony. WOW what a treat, the scenery was amazing. Charlie loved that there was a pair of binoculars in the cabin ideal for Troll spotting in Norway great imagination from Charlie who still thinks he saw a Troll with blue hair on the shore.
I would recommend to anyone taking a cruise through the Fjords to take a balcony cabin so you can take in the views. Its just not the same up on deck with 100’s of others.
The food on board was really good and I enjoyed the Sunday gala lunch. One thing a little odd was that the main dinning room doubled up as a buffet at breakfast and lunch. This gave you the option to order from the main menu and have waiter service or go up and self serve at the buffet. A good idea with lots of choice available but I would rather keep the buffet to the actual buffet restaurant and the waiter service in the main dining rooms. It was just a bit too busy with waiters rushing past and people up and down walking past the table getting food.
Overall we had an enjoyable time cruising however it has made us realise we really do prefer the larger ships. Thats the great thing about cruising there really is a ship for everyone.
Pop back next time to see what we thought of Norway.