Posted July 13th, 2018, 05:35 AM
We booked with Fred Olsen earlier this year when we lost our Adonia cruise and it was not a great experience. Balcony was expensive and poorly laid out - bedside tables at foot of bed for example. Food was ok quality but not much variety. No available specialty restaurant. Limited restaurant hours. Very much like a care home. Waited ages to get on a shuttle bus at each port. Entertainment poor and lounges uncomfortable. I’m struggling to thinking of any aspect of the cruise I enjoyed other than the ports.
Which ship were you on gadabout? We had a dreadful balcony cabin on Black watch and we'd never cruise on her again. However Fred sails from Rosyth so we were very tempted to try again. We booked a Junior Suite on Balmoral and it was just lovely. a million times better than the one on BW. However as you say it was very expensive. The itinerary was great and different and we loved the late nights in port so we spent 4 out of 9 nights eating ashore. However I 100% agree about the lounges and entertainment. My husband, too, said it was like being in a the lounge of our local care home and at times he called it a zombie movie. I'm not being ageist because we're early 60s/ 70s respectively and the good friends with whom we cruise are 80. Age is just a state of mind and lovely though the people were it was all so dull, dull, dull. The worst thing though was the poor attitude of the waiting staff, especially at breakfast or dinner. They were rude to us at times and reporting it to the maitre d' made little difference. We thought the food was well enough cooked but too homely in style. It was also very inconvenient not just be able to pop into the buffet although to be fair when we did use it it wasn't the bun fight we've had in the P&O buffets.
We were affected by the cancellation of Oriana so we've now booked a cruise with Celebrity. However so far I've been really unhappy. It's 13 months ahead of time, and the only balcony cabins being released are the ones in bad locations so we've had no option but to accept one right by the stairs. It was only because we kicked up a fuss that we even got that. The only one they said they had available at first must have been the worst balcony on the ship. Thanks to people on the Celebrity boards I was able to find that out! There are hundreds of balcony cabins available but you can only book guarantee in some categories if you're a couple. I believe this is so you feel you have to book a Concierge category cabin which is kind of balcony plus perks but obviously a few hundred pounds more. We had one the last time we were on Celebrity 10 years ago and didn't think it was worth it. Not a good start at all.
Still to come:
P&O Aurora USA and Canada 16th September 2018
P&O Ventura Bermuda, USA and Caribbean 5th February 2019
P&O Oriana Spain, Corsica and Italy, 17th September 2019. CANCELLED BY P&O
Celebrity Infinity Adriatic, Sicily and Spain, 24th August 2019
P&O Ventura USA and Caribbean February 2020