There is a british line called Fred Olsen Cruise Lines. I've recently become affiliated with them in a way, but to date have very little info on them.
Anyone cruised with them? Any insight on what the differences or similarities between them and other lines I'm more familliar with? I see they do things different for staffing from other European lines like Costa and MSC in that they have predominantly Scandinavian officers and Filipino crew.
Would love some insight from anyone who has cruised them or agents who have been booking this line for a while.
Wish I could help you, Neil; I would love to do some research on your behalf.
I know two of their ships, Black Watch and Boudicca are the former Royal Viking Star and Royal Viking Sky, which I think are abslutely beautiful "classic" ships. I saw Black Watch in Stockholm last summer and she looks great.
If Raoul is hanging around he would probably have the most information on this European cruise line and most likely sailed on it.
I'm sailing on Black Watch in August - so can't answer any questions about her yet. http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo.../icon_wink.gif
Forgot to say - will keep checking back here to see if anyone has anything to add http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo...icon_smile.gif
I have sailed with Fred Olsen on Braemar and am going on Boudicca in July
FO is aimed at a mainly British market (mainly over 50 but not exclusively) and may seem very different to those used to RCI,Princess or Celebrity all of which I have used
The ships are quite classy with the aim of creating a country club at sea
They achieve this quite well as you soon make friends because they carry far fewer passengers and you tend to see people quite often
Entertainment is fairly low key with an on board troup trying (generally un successfully) to emulate West End style shows
There was a British comedian and a dire magician
The show lounge had a resident husband and wife duo who were very good
I think the entertainment would be a shock to the system to those who like the huge theatres on RCI etc but that said we liked the friendly atmosphere and were quite happy to join in quizzes etc
Drink prices are reasonable (at least to the British with the on board currency being Pound sterling)
A pint of beer would cost about £2.40 (approx $4)with a bottle of wine from about £9 ($18)
The service is from the mainly Philipino staff who are delightful -many of them have worked for Olsen for quite a while
The food is aimed at British tastes but is very good and better in my view than RCI and not far off Celebrity standards
Even the self service cafe features linen table cloths and china cups
I see no reason why a non British person should not enjoy the friendly small ship atmosphere of FO but if the mega liners are your thing it is probably not for you
We are ballroom dancers. We were hoping that a British cruiseline would offer more ballroom than North American lines. It would be nice to be on a dance floor where people knew how to follow the line of dance.
Princess and Holland America might offer you more ballroom dancing with the American lines.
When I was on Braemar there was ballroom dancing and FO employ men to dance with women who are either alone or whose partner will not dance as did Celebrity on Galaxy
while I haven't taken a Fred. Olsen Cruise, yet, I was given the opportunity to visit "Black Watch" in Hamburg this past December, and both "Boudicca" and "Balmoral" (the former "Norwegian Crown") are on my list for this year.
Here are a couple of "Black Watch" pictures:
Gallery on Main Deck
Prow shield of the 1953-built former "Braemar" in the Braemar Room on Lounge Deck
The Garden Café on Lounge Deck
Neptune Lounge on Lounge Deck
Explorers' Library on Lido Deck
Ship's model in the forward stairtower on Marquee Deck
The Observatory on Marquee Deck
Fitness Centre on Sun Deck
View over the aft decks
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