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(104 Reviews)

Balmoral

Elegant, calm and homely, Fred. Olsen Cruises' ship Balmoral prides itself on offering one of the most pleasant and comfortable cruises around.

Balmoral is named after the world-famous Scotland home of the Royal Family and the Scottish theme runs throughout much of the ship. Akin to the rest of the fleet, Fred. Olsen's Balmoral is stately in nature with an impressive range of facilities and plenty of room, following an interior refurbishment.

As such a prestigious cruise ship, the Balmoral upholds its reputation by remaining reserved and mature. It's a traditional cruise that is proud of the British history which flows throughout the ship, perfectly complimenting a relaxing and quiet cruise, without the need for modern frivolities. She is small enough to navigate through narrow waterways, giving guests a more exclusive, scenic experience that can't be had on larger ships.

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Ship Stats and Features

Year Entered Service 01/02/1988
Tonnage 43537
Wheelchair Accessible Cabins 5
Number Of Decks 9
Number Of Elevators 4
Number Of Pools 2
Number Of Restaurants 5
Formal Nights Yes
Maximum Capacity 1, 230
Crew 400
Refurbished 01/11/2017

Ship Facilities

Blending the boundaries between entertainment and relaxation, Balmoral prefers quality over quantity and all facilities are perfectly polished. This means that whether you need a light snack or a filling evening meal, every dining area will do more than enough to accommodate your needs. The Grill is a superb dining option featuring sumptuous steaks cooked exactly to your taste and decadent desserts, all enjoyed in an elegant setting. However, this is a popular restaurant so bookings must be made in advance whilst onboard. For a more relaxed ambience, head to the Poolside for an Al Fresco dining experience with menus taking inspiration from the cruising region. Please note that there is a £20pp supplement at The Grill and a £15pp supplement at the Poolside.

Along with every meal, Balmoral's wealth of fine wine aims to compliment every dish with vintage selections from all over the world. You'll have no trouble finding the perfect match for that delicious, grilled Red Snapper fillet you've chosen. Whether casual or formal, dining onboard Balmoral is always a treat.

Entertainment onboard Balmoral ranges from cabaret performances to comedy nights and live music. With '60s and '70s themed nights, graceful ballroom dances and all kinds of shows going on, Balmoral is strictly mature, but also bursting with a livelier side where guests are guaranteed to have the time of their life.

The Neptune Bar acts as the main lounge of the ship with regular live music, cabaret shows and of course, a full range of your favourite tipples. Other venues onboard include the Lido Bar, which overlooks the pool, Marquee Bar, which has an extensive gin menu and Morning Light Pub, open day and evening. Alternatively, head to the Observation Lounge for panoramic views and a pre-dinner drink or traditional afternoon tea.

Spa and fitness

A cruise with Balmoral makes it easy to rest and let your worries and stresses evaporate. The Atlantis Spa has all of the treatments you need to leave you feeling refreshed, including massages, manicures and hair styling. Next door to the spa is the fitness centre which has all the facilities you would expect from a gym back home, plus several fitness classes on offer including Pilates and aerobics for all fitness levels, perfect for those who like to exercise in a more social environment.

Recreation

As you'd expect, all recreation is aimed towards relaxation, with shuffleboard, card games and a tremendous library of books giving you plenty of choice whilst you let the day melt away into the sunset. There are two large, heated pools onboard which are both surrounded by plenty of sun loungers. The bubbling Jacuzzis will provide you with a welcome relief after an undoubtedly busy day on shore. Once the sun has set, why not take a leisurely moonlit stroll on the Promenade, a large open air deck space providing stunning views over the ocean. Before you leave, don’t forget to indulge in some retail therapy at the Balmoral Boutique and take home with you memorable souvenirs, cosmetics, fragrances, fine jewellery and fashion accessories at duty-free prices.

Customer reviews for Balmoral

We wanted to do the Christmas Markets and found a cruise on the Balmoral. Having never cruised with Fred before we didn’t really know what to expect. Couldn’t fault it - from embarkation to disembarkation, there were no issues at all. The staff were brilliant and just can’t do enough for you. We had a superior suite which was spacious and very comfortable. Food was top notch and evening entertainment very good. Great stops and always not too far to go to get into the towns and the markets. We enjoyed it s much we have booked to do it all again in 2020.

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This was our first cruise with Fred Olsen and having just returned from a 10 day Mediterranean cruise with Azamara, we weren't sure what to expect. However, we were not disappointed! Our cabin was surprisingly large and a very substantial bathroom! We were very fortunate in that we had amazing weather sailing from Scotland to Orkney and Shetland and even on our day at sea, we were unaware we were sailing. There were many features on the ship itself which were pleasing - my husband loved the carpets and liked the general decor on the ship. The food was good and the service efficient. For us, it was a huge bonus sailing from Rosyth - only a 40 minute drive from home!

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Well appointed ship with varied passenger groups leaning towards older. The food was excellent and well presented and there was little or no queueing for anything. Good entertainment and superb staff!! Fair prices in all outlets however shore excursions were very expensive.