The service from everyone was excellent, our stewardess was delightful and most helpful, our room was kept spotlessly clean and well supplied with towels and tea and coffee making facilities. The restaurant staff couldn't have been more helpful and, with an allergy to certain foods, ensured that there were always a number of alternatives for me to select from. They were very smart, hardworking and dedicated to their task of ensuring that everything was to the passengers' satisfaction.
The staff in the drinking lounges were, in the main, on top of their game and very efficient. The entertainment (in various lounges simultaneously) was excellent and catered to all tastes. There wasn't any hassle checking in, as one can get at an airport, and for this reason alone my husband has agreed it has been one of the best and easiest holidays we have had.
Travel operator: didn't use a tour operator, booked direct
We lodged our complaint with the customer service manager on the ship and sent a link to firstname.lastname@example.org but we have had no reply.
We would like to book again, we like the itineraries, but only if Fred Olsen Lines can assure us that cabin standards have been improved. From our experience the cabins need complete refurbishment.
the food in the resturaunts was very good as normal,but the palms cafe food got to be very repetitive .
the ships staff (the vast majority)were once again fantastic there was the odd one or two waiters in the resturaunts who appeared to be lacking in their zeal to serve you (i wonder should i put this down to tiredness).
the day time entertainment staff were suberb,they organised darts/bowls/deck games/quizzes/bingo etc.,and made you feel really welcome(i had a awesome time),the night time entertainment was first class when done by the balmoral team (well done to them all).the rest imported were in my opinion were not so good but you get what you pay for i suppose...all in all we had a great value for money holiday and will cruise again on the balmoral.
Travel operator: cruise deal .tui.
The food we found to be good and varied. There was plenty to eat and the afternoon tea and cakes were delicious. We were amazed just how much some guests managed to eat.
The staff were always pleasant and willing to help if necessary. No complaints there.
We would travel on the Balmoral again as we found it friendly and reasonably priced. It is not all glitz and glamour but comfortable and value for money. We did not have good weather in Norway but it did not stop us enjoying the trip. Dont miss the show put on by the Crew - it was great.
Travel operator: Victoria Travel
Travel operator: fred olsen
After we boarded at Dover and found our cabin - which was an outside one much to our surprise, we went for something to eat in the Palms. What we found was stale sandwiches and cold cups of tea - not a very good begining. We were used to other ships where you could get a hot meal wheneve suited.
Being used to open dining we opted to eat all of our meals in the Palms instead of the set dining rooms.
The breakfasts were very good, lunches and dinners OK if you liked everything with sauces. But we never went without a decent meal, especially good was the ice cream for deserts.
Our problems started the second night on board, I came down with the Norovirus and we both had to be isolated in our cabins. The food from room service was terrible. I had two days eating bread rolls and sometimes a banana. All of the other food they had to offer was either spicey or contained wine sauces. Not what you want when you have a bad tummy etc.
Mike came down with the virus just as I was ready to leave the cabin, so we had another two days looking at four walls, and no clean bed linen. So we missed seeing Tenerife and Maderia.
The rest of the cruise was OK, but we didn't feel well enough to enjoy what was on offer. Lots of the activities were stopped, trying to keep the virus at bay. The only thing they offered in compensation on the boat was free drinks before dinner, which we didn't dare have.
The arrangements in the Palms Cafe was not good. Set meal times do not agre with me, rushing to finish before they take everything away. Not Good.
Some of the crew were great, but they had sailed with Fred. before. The newer ones hopeless.
The entertainment was good in most respects.
Like us, most of the passengers were in the retired age group. and I would not like to cruise with lots of the older end again. I found the men did not like to queue, and would push in whenever they could to get their meals. The queueing bit was due to the restrictions with the Norovirus.
It wasn't the best cruise we have been on, much preferred Ocean Village and Island. We are now waiting to see what compensation we get for being confined to cabin, with nothing much to eat.
We were not allowed to dock in the Cape Verde Islands beacause of the virus.
I think the ship was thoroughly cleaned before the next cruise, which was the world one, but it still had the virus on board for another week at least.
Lets hope this is the last the Balmoral hears of Norovirus.
Good Luck to her.
Travel operator: Fred. Olsen
A small childrens club run due to school holidays gave our youngest 6 hours of fun a day and was felxible so our older child could choose to stay with us if she preferred.
The food was varied and of good quality and the service excellent.
The cabin was fine for us as a family for two weeks and the sea view appreciated but not essential in my view. It was very well kept by our stewardess.
The entertainment included a variety of acts from magic, comedy and singing and danicng. There was always somewhere to go if the show of the night didn't suit your taste.
The Gala Buffet on Farewell night looked beautiful but it was such chaos with spiky elbows at the photography opportunity we decided that to go for the actual eating of it would probably be like entering an Olympic Boxing Ring, so chose not too.
Bar drinks were good value with pints at about £2.55, wine from £11.75, cocktails £3-£4. No added service charge either even though all drinks were served to the table.
Travel operator: Fred Olsen booked through Gills
Travel operator: Fred Olsen - Balmoral
Travel operator: Fred Olsen
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