Canaries and West Africa
Alan Goff | June 8, 2019 | Fred Olsen Cruise Lines | Braemar
Our first time on a Fred Olsen cruise. Started on 6.12.13 from the Canaries and went to the Cape Verde Islands, then to Gambia and Senegal, then returning to the Canaries. As I said, our first Fred Olsen cruise…. and our last. I may be 65 in years but I’m still into loud music, motorbikes and fast cars, so I think my mental age stopped somewhere about 35! All of the guests on the cruise were much older in years and attitude. The ship was very quiet, with loud snoring being the only noise that broke the silence. No music around the pool area on sea days, very old fashioned and not very good bands attempting to play in some of the bars. As for the decor of the ship; very dated, stuck in a 70’s time warp. If it wasn’t for the Christmas decorations the ship would have looked very plain almost drab. The cruise director kept on saying “the stylish Braemar”. Maybe 25 years ago. Whenever we were on the pool deck, regardless of whether the ship was at sea or in dock, the noise from the funnel was always very loud. And it needed a decoke as the ship was always covered in sooty smuts from the funnel. Perhaps that was why there wasn’t any music. You couldn’t hear it! As for the destinations visited. Cape Verde and the Canaries were fine. But Gambia and Senegal are West Africa at its worst. In Dakar, Senegal apparently the refuse collectors were on strike but no-one noticed! Filthy dirty and being mobbed by “tour guides”, taxi drivers and aggressive children begging was unpleasant.
But on a good note the food was always good and hot, and the staff always pleasant and attentive. But if you want a bit of liveliness on a cruise then don’t go with Fred Olsen.
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