We had not sailed with Fred Olsen before, but had heard and read a lot of good things about them. So we set off with our sights set quite high. The main attraction was to cruise up the Gironde/Garone to Bordeaux. Embarking on Southampton was straightforward, but we were disappointed with our cabin. Okay, a small ship, but the twin portholes looked out at the dock wall. The majority of the other cabins around us on deck 2, were occupied by Crew. We did not feel like guests. Breamar is a small ship, perhaps not well suited to ocean cruising, but no problems. The Captain was very good at keeping everyone well informed. Food in all venues was very good, and the entertainment also very good, with the staff putting in a lot of effort. Our visit to Bordeaux was all we had hoped, then the next two stops in "green" Spain were good, but an approaching storm made the visit to La Corina unwise. The Captain took evading action an headed as quickly as possible to Homfluer. A decision that suited the majority. So, it was a good cruise, but spoiled by a rather indifferent and innatentive crew. They did what was required, but with a few exceptions, they did not compare very well with our experiences on other ships. We found fellow passengers to be very friendly and chatty, and got the impression that the majority are very happy with Fred, but a lot of them had not tried any other Company. In fact, some had not even tried another Fred Olsen ship, just kept to Breamar. Seems odd, when there is such a huge choice out there. In our case we tended to compare with CMV, similar size ships, but much lower fares, but only slightly lower quality.
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