This was our first cruise with Fred Olsen and from embarkation which is the quickest we have ever known to getting the lift to marquee deck for a very welcome strawberry daiquiri we were immediately impressed with the presentation and cleanliness of Braemar. All the staff acknowledged us and made us feel very welcome from the start. When we entered our cabin we were amazed at the amount of space and also how big the balcony was.
Our first impressions lasted all the way through the cruise. There wasn’t one disappointment and for us the itinerary change to Honfleur made the holiday as we loved it there.
Braemar reminded me of a small country hotel, very clean, neat and tidy, traditionally decorated with welcoming staff who were very friendly and who wanted to make sure we were having a good time.
There was more deck space than I imagined there would be and the sunbeds were plentiful and in very good condition. The open deck areas were cleaned daily and there was always space no matter what time you went on deck.
The service in all the restaurants was excellent. Menus were well thought out and we were on first name terms with our waiters after a couple of nights. The grill restaurant was fabulous and well worth the supplement. The buffet in palms café had a good variety of hot and cold dishes and we noticed that items were replenished regularly rather than then staying under a warming light for too long. In the thistle restaurant at breakfast and lunch, there was a choice of ordering from the menu or helping yourself to the buffet so something to please everyone. The only slightly negative comment about the thistle restaurant is that if the sea is not completely calm then the restaurant suffered from vibration and there was a lot of engine noise, however, this only happened a couple of nights.
We only went to a few shows but they were good and everybody was enjoying themselves. The crew show was very well put together and all the passengers really appreciated the hard work that the crew had put into the show.
During the day there was plenty to do if you wanted to do it ranging from quizzes, carpet bowls, deck games, craft classes but for me reading a book is luxury so I didn’t take part in any of the activities offered. Although most people use some form of e-reader these days, the library onboard was very well stocked and I never saw it empty.
There isn’t a separate casino, it is placed on the walkthrough from the morning light pub to the bookmark café and I never saw anybody at the tables.
We saw a few shows and they were ok.
Had a lovely week and looking to book again next year.