I loved the ship, the food the staff and the ports were beautiful. I would cruise on this ship again. It is an ideal ship for the French Rivers.
The target market for this brand is the 50+ age group. This is reflected in the type of entertainment & facilities on-board. It is also a good option for single travellers as the brand offers a friendly, family feel on-board and you see all types of individuals mixing and interacting. You do see families in the summer months and at peak season like Christmas & Easter when provision is made in the way of “The Little Skippers Club”.
My children love to cruise with Fred Olsen. It’s a wonderful cruise experience for them in summer when the children clubs are operating. They spend hours in the pool, love the shows, love the food and are always made to feel welcome and entertained by the crew.
We had a table for 4 in the main dining room called The Thistle Restaurant. We were on the 1st sitting at 6.15pm. The food and Service in the Thistle was excellent. The staff were very accommodating and very patient and attentive with the children. The children’s menu was quite basic and never changed the entire cruise. Perhaps a little more time and thought could be giving to delivering better balanced meals for children. It would also be nice if they offered dilute juice for children as part of the meal.
We ate every morning in Palms Café and enjoyed the wide selection of food available on the buffet. This venue would stay open for breakfast until 11.30am which is the latest I have ever seen a breakfast restaurant stay open until. This was great when you had a day at sea and wanted to have a lie in.
We did have room service on one occasion and included in the menu was soup, sandwiches and salads.
On Fred Olsen ships they generally offer alternative smaller main dining restaurants. These offer a more relaxed and quieter venue and normally are higher up on the ship with wonderful views. It’s always worth checking if the customers would prefer these venues
July 23rd Southampton
The Embarkation was effortless & we were able to walk straight onto the ship and start enjoying the facilities.
An excellent Lunch was provided in the main restaurant and as the sun was shining, we were straight onto the Lido deck and into the pool
July 25th Bordeaux France
We enjoyed a sunny morning on our approach to Bordeaux enjoying the scenery as we were cruising down the Garonne River and arrived at 3pm. The temperature was 100 degrees, so we stayed onboard until the temperature dropped. Due to the size of the ship we were able to dock in the heart of the city. Bordeaux is a traditional French city abounding with beautiful places to shop, eat & drink. We had an overnight stop here so there was no hurry to get back to the ship & as the shops closed and the bars opened the city had an amazing buzz. When we arrived back at the ship a dance festival was in full swing directly next to the ship which created a fantastic atmosphere both on and off the ship. The next morning still in port we were able to take in more sights and enjoyed a perfect glass of Bordeaux next to the imposing cathedral.
July 27th Santander, Spain
We woke up in Santander to rain showers. So today we opted to take the City Tour Bus to see as much as possible. At one of the stops was a lovely beach and on a sunny day we would have happily stayed here all day. We managed though to see a lot of the city from the Bus. There were great shops, parks & historical places of interest en route.
July 28th Aviles, Spain
We arrived here on a Sunday so most of the shops were closed. We had a lovely walk through the town admiring the beautiful buildings and pretty squares. We sat for a while in a lovely park before finding a taxi to take us 10 mins out of the town to a beach resort. It was a very hot day and all the locals were out in vast numbers to watch the surfing competion and enjoy the festival alongside the beach. This area is very typically Spanish and many of the locals did not speak English.
July 30th Honfleur, France
We arrived at this port to another sunny day and took advantage of the complimentary coach into Honfleur town from the port. This is a stunning port with a beautiful mariner surrounded by wonderful historic buildings. We stopped at one of the river side restaurants to sample the locally caught muscles. The food and drink were amazing, and the atmosphere was vibrant.