Balmoral
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Balmoral Reviews

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4.3
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Based on 107 reviews
Cabin
4.3
Service
4.3
Excursions
4.3
Dining
4.3
Activities
4.3
Value for money
4.3
Entertainment
4.3
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We've just had a personal crisis so we were looking for a cruise as a quick getaway, so when we saw this 10 day cruise with Fred Olsen to the Norwegian Fjords we thought why not try it out?  We cruise a lot and to be honest we weren't expecting too much, but in the event we were extremely pleased with the ship. The on-board service is truly first class and the food is above cruiseline average, our balcony cabin was roomy and quite stylish. The main public rooms feel spacious with the exception of the Neptune Lounge which, like most ships of this age, seems cruelly dated. The entertainment was a cut above similar cruise lines but sadly the venue appears to us to detract from the productions.  The weather was well behaved throughout the entire period, apart from spots of rain in Bergen and this always is a bonus on a cruise. As the Americans would say, this cruise definitely exceeded our expectations.

Verified customer
1 cruise
14 May 2011
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From the minute we arrived at the port of Southampton we were amazed at the beauty of the Balmoral and from the minute we got on board we felt the warmth and friendliness of all the staff and crew. The food in all the restaurants was superb and the wine selection was second to none. The cabin was spacious with lots of storage space and was always tidy and well looked after by the house maids. The entertainment again was superb with a different show to see every night. The most impressive point was the genuine friendliness and smiles of the staff and crew. I can only say that Fred Olson must look after their crew because the always looked happy. I would like to thank "Igloo cruises" who were superb in arranging the holiday.

Verified customer
1 cruise
14 May 2011
star star star star no star

Visited Balmoral at the cruise convention and she is a lovely ship. Cabins are a good size and well equipped and the lounges and public areas are lovely - and the pool area is great. We experienced the famous Fred. Olsen food and service at lunch - where we dined on a delicious seafood cocktail followed by beef wellington, cooked to perfection. Delicious and service with a smile.

Verified customer
1 cruise
6 May 2011
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Myself, my husband and two friends took a short break on this ship and had a very enjoyable experience. First of all we had inside cabins which my husband and I had never experienced before, (we had always had a balcony cabin on bigger ships) but we were pleasantly surprised how roomy they were. Plenty of space for your luggage and being able to have a cup of tea first thing in the morning made a great difference to me. Everybody on board was very friendly, all the staff always smiling and couldn't do enough for you. The food in both the dining rooms, breakfast and lunch were good. The evening entertainment team were outstanding. We have been on lots of other cruises (7 in total) and have never seen such talented dancers and a team that could sing instead of the usual backing tracked singing that we had been used to. We were so impressed that they were singing and dancing at the same time. It was also nice to be able to practice our ballroom dancing skills to a proper ships orchestra and people travelling on their own even had escorts on board to dance with single ladies and chaps which I'm sure must have made some peoples holidays. I would certainly recommend that you try one of Fred's cruises; they seem to have got the balance just right. We hope to take another cruise to Norway later on in the year

Verified customer
1 cruise
5 Feb 2010
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Our daughter and her family regularly cruise with the large P&O ships, sometimes three times a year As you may imagine, she has tried to encourage my wife and I to sample a Cruise over a long period of time. As if by compromise, we agreed to give it a try provided that it was a Fred Olsen vessel on a cruise to the Norwegian Fjords. We were not attracted to the larger ships with 2,000+ passengers but friends and our Doctor had spoken highly of the Boudicca and Balmoral. It was the gentle persuasion of the Travel Agent who telephoned one Saturday lunch-time to say that she had limited availability on the Balmoral cruising to Norway and the Orkney Isles that finally encouraged my wife an I 'to go for it' From the moment we arrived at Dover, having driven from East Anglia by car, everything seemed to fall in to place. Well almost everything. We had been attracted to a cruise by the fact that you do not have to haul your luggage around with you. Indeed, having parked our car we were directed to a Mini-bus for transfer to the ship, our luggage having been manhandled with due care by the Mini-bus driver. It was re-assuring to note that one of our three cases was awaiting us when we reached our cabin on board, but alas, we did not see the other suitcases until late evening. Someone had transposed the Cabin Number on the case labels. Having eventually got the cases it did not take us too long to un-pack them and to stow our clothes etc. in appropriate storage this mostly due to the adequate storage in regular size cabin we were consigned to. If you have never cruised, the idea of sharing a holiday with 1300 or so passengers sounds a bit like doing ones shopping in the local Supermarket on a Saturday morning. We were therefore very surprised that the only time we were conscious of numbers was when we gathered in the Neptune Lounge for the evening events. Most events were well attended and well received. We had been well informed that the food on board would be well prepared and well presented - so we were not disappointed. Our friends and family have adopted limited conversations since we returned home "I told you that you would love it" How right they were.

Verified customer
1 cruise
29 Aug 2009
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This was our first cruise to the western med and it was fantastic. The waiters and cabin stewardess were brilliant and I will be going again next year. This will be the start of more to come with Fred Olsen.

Verified customer
1 cruise
17 Aug 2009
star star star star no star

My first experience of cruising and it was only because my friend and I wanted to see the Norwegian fjords and this seemed to be the best way of seeing them. Saw the North Cape too and were very lucky to be there on the first clear sunny day this year. Scenery was wonderful and the captain and all the crew were excellent. Nothing was too much trouble for anyone, the food was excellent, the excursions were good and the weather was an improvement on what Britain was having. We did have a few showers but the majority of the time the weather was ideal. The two shows put on by the crew were very professional - very impressed by the dancers and 3 of the waiters who also sang and danced. I would definitely recommend the Balmoral.

Verified customer
1 cruise
22 Aug 2008