I was lucky enough to experience my first cruise ship visit this week, as I was shown around the Fred. Oslen Cruise line MS Balmoral, and it was a very enjoyable visit. The Balmoral is a 4* ship and is the largest of the four cruise ships Fred. Olsen has in operation with 710 cabins. We were welcomed on-board by our tour guide and introduced to some of the crew still on-board, and then shown around the key areas of the ship.
The entertainment onboard the Balmoral is mainly centred around the Neptune Lounge where there are 2 shows per night, and the Lido Lounge where pianists, singers and dancers are all part of the evening entertainment with quizzes often held in this lounge too. As there are two sittings for dinner, the first show in the in the Neptune lounge is shown after the first dinner sitting, and the same show is performed again after the second dinner sitting so everybody has the chance to experience it.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants onboard the Balmoral, each offering a different dining experience. The Palm’s cafe is a great place to enjoy buffet style dining, where guests can also enjoy themed nights with cuisines from all over the world. The Grill, open on selected days for breakfast and lunch, provides evening al fresco dining dining from a speciality menu. The Ballindalloch restaurant offers buffet and waiter service for breakfast and lunch with a more formal, full service experience for evening dinner, where sittings are at 6.15pm and again at 8.30pm. The Spey and Avon restaurants provide amazing views as it is situated on the highland deck, and offers a buffet and waiter service for breakfast and lunch, with formal dinner sittings at 6.15pm and 8.30pm.
The cabins range from inside cabins to stunning premier suites, and are situated on 6 decks, from deck 3 (The Marina Deck) to deck 10 (The Highland Deck). The best cabins for each grade are located towards the middle of the ship, offering more stability if travelling through rough waters.
As well as a spa and salon, where there is a team of hair stylists on hand throughout the cruise durations, guests can also enjoy full use of the gym, with classes led by a qualified fitness instructor, or relax in the jacuzzi’s after a dip in the pool.
Fred. Olsen offer an amazing range of cruise itineraries, from river cruising through the waterways of Europe, to slightly more exotic cruises around the Caribbean or Thailand.