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Stevepamg

New ships needed?

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Hi  I often wonder what criteria many on the forum chose a cruise.  I am not bothered about the age of  a ship, all I want is for the ship to be well maintained.  What I expect is excellent food and service.  I assume those who favour new ships wouldn't chose a brand new Travel Lodge over a stay at the elderly Dorchester.  It's likely they book cruises through their eyes rather than consider the quality of the product on offer. 

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Hi  I often wonder what criteria many on the forum chose a cruise.  I am not bothered about the age of  a ship, all I want is for the ship to be well maintained.  What I expect is excellent food and service.  I assume those who favour new ships wouldn't chose a brand new Travel Lodge over a stay at the elderly Dorchester.  It's likely they book cruises through their eyes rather than consider the quality of the product on offer. 

 

I agree to a certain extent but first impressions go a long way and never been impressed by the look of Black Watch whenever we have seen her and prefer the choice of facilities that are available on newer ships which are limited on older design ships.

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I haven't cruised with Fred Olsen myself, but from the comments I've heard from people who have, they've said the ships are tired but they still gad a great time on board. I haven't heard any rumours about Fred Olsen getting any new ships but if they were ever to expand, I agree with Waves and that FO should stick to the smaller ships.

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I was actually speaking to some friends yesterday about Fred Olsen as they have just booked Boudicca to Cape Verde later this year. This will be their third cruise with Freds and they find it hard to consider going with anyone else now as they love them so much. They openly admit that the ships are small and perhaps a little tired but said it's the service that keeps them going back.

 

For me, the look of the Fred Olsen ships has always been the stumbling block for me booking. I've commented about this multiple times on the forum in the past and I'm much better and not judging a book by it's cover but what seems to be obvious to me is that once you've taken a Fred Olsen cruise you're more likely to take another as has been the case with my friends. It's the convincing you to try them for the first time that seems to be the tricky part for them and I do think that falls solely down to the ships. One the surface they do look run down and in desperate need of refurbishment. The big question is though, if Fred Olsen built new ships, would they retain the same atmosphere and ambiance on board as the existing fleet? This is a speed bump P&O encountered with the likes of Ventura and Azura being so different to Oriana, Aurora, and Artemis etc.

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I was actually speaking to some friends yesterday about Fred Olsen as they have just booked Boudicca to Cape Verde later this year. This will be their third cruise with Freds and they find it hard to consider going with anyone else now as they love them so much. They openly admit that the ships are small and perhaps a little tired but said it's the service that keeps them going back.

 

For me, the look of the Fred Olsen ships has always been the stumbling block for me booking. I've commented about this multiple times on the forum in the past and I'm much better and not judging a book by it's cover but what seems to be obvious to me is that once you've taken a Fred Olsen cruise you're more likely to take another as has been the case with my friends. It's the convincing you to try them for the first time that seems to be the tricky part for them and I do think that falls solely down to the ships. One the surface they do look run down and in desperate need of refurbishment. The big question is though, if Fred Olsen built new ships, would they retain the same atmosphere and ambiance on board as the existing fleet? This is a speed bump P&O encountered with the likes of Ventura and Azura being so different to Oriana, Aurora, and Artemis etc.

Hi   Fred Olsen have the highest number of repeat number of passengers so they are obviously doing some right.   It's true that the level dining and service is better than many of their competitors and appeal to those who like a more traditional cruise atmosphere and aren't interested in 24/7 entertainment.  Yes the ships are elderly but they are well maintained.   This is not just Fred Olsen most of the ships catering for the 6 star market are also older than  P&O's fleet but I bet most on this forum would select a free vacation on one of these lines over one of the modern ships operated by other companies,

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The only problem that I have noticed is that nearly always when norovirus hits the headlines it is a Fred Olsen ship. I don't for one minute think that it is due to the age of the ship rather than the clientele but if they had a ship like Artemis I would probably consider trying them out. P & O made a huge mistake getting rid of her.

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I travelled with Fred Olsen last month on Braemar and found everything to be in excellent condition. Certainly not tired. I often wonder what people mean when they say 'tired'. it is a well used expression that seems to mean different things to different people. Yes the ships are not the youngest at sea but they are extremely well maintained. If you look at the smaller ships being operated around the world it can be seen that there are many that are around 30 years of age. As for Norovirus it seems that whenever Fred Olsen ships get it the newspapers report it yet I haven't seen any newspaper reporting the Norovirus we had on Ovation of the Seas last week and this ship is only a few weeks old. As for new ships for Fred there was a rumour last year of a newer ship but it never happened. Bearing in mind they have maintained a repeat ratio of 65% for a number of years now it shows that they are finding new passengers to replace those that have gone so they must be doing something right. Last year this ratio on longer voyages rose to 72%. 

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I travelled with Fred Olsen last month on Braemar and found everything to be in excellent condition. Certainly not tired. I often wonder what people mean when they say 'tired'. it is a well used expression that seems to mean different things to different people. Yes the ships are not the youngest at sea but they are extremely well maintained. If you look at the smaller ships being operated around the world it can be seen that there are many that are around 30 years of age. As for Norovirus it seems that whenever Fred Olsen ships get it the newspapers report it yet I haven't seen any newspaper reporting the Norovirus we had on Ovation of the Seas last week and this ship is only a few weeks old. As for new ships for Fred there was a rumour last year of a newer ship but it never happened. Bearing in mind they have maintained a repeat ratio of 65% for a number of years now it shows that they are finding new passengers to replace those that have gone so they must be doing something right. Last year this ratio on longer voyages rose to 72%. 

 

Certainly agree with your comments OWT.  Having been on Braemar for the first time, not Fred, I would certainly return.

By interest did you receive a survey commissioned by Fred  Last week ?

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Certainly agree with your comments OWT.  Having been on Braemar for the first time, not Fred, I would certainly return.

By interest did you receive a survey commissioned by Fred  Last week ?

I did. Some interesting questions there .

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Certainly agree with your comments OWT.  Having been on Braemar for the first time, not Fred, I would certainly return.

By interest did you receive a survey commissioned by Fred  Last week ?

 

It was  great to meet up with you on that cruise. Trust you are keeping well. No survey received. I wonder why wink.png wink.png

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Certainly agree with your comments OWT.  Having been on Braemar for the first time, not Fred, I would certainly return.

By interest did you receive a survey commissioned by Fred  Last week ?

We are fans of Fred Olsen, although we have tried many other cruise lines. I can  endorse what others have said about Fred's ships being well maintained and the food and service being excellent.

 

As a comparison, we went on P & O's Oceana recently with some friends and found the ship to be in dire need of some maintenance. Oddly enough, her scheduled refit has been postponed from December this year by 12 months, which surprises me given her condition.

 

Yes, we received an on line survey from Fred. It was asking what our priorities are when booking a cruise which suggested that they might be making changes or considering adding to the fleet. There has been quite a bit of discussion about it on Fred's FB page.

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We are fans of Fred Olsen, although we have tried many other cruise lines. I can  endorse what others have said about Fred's ships being well maintained and the food and service being excellent.

 

As a comparison, we went on P & O's Oceana recently with some friends and found the ship to be in dire need of some maintenance. Oddly enough, her scheduled refit has been postponed from December this year by 12 months, which surprises me given her condition.

 

Yes, we received an on line survey from Fred. It was asking what our priorities are when booking a cruise which suggested that they might be making changes or considering adding to the fleet. There has been quite a bit of discussion about it on Fred's FB page.

Agree with you Tumbling, I had some friends on Oceana recently and they were not happy with the state of the ship. I am not a P&O fan but have travelled on a few. Best Being Britannia in my opinion. Having been on her twice now. I do wonder if she is getting special treatment with extra budget due to the advertising.

I do Like Fred but not keen on Balmorals observatory lounge.

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We have sailed a few cruises including the Celebrity Silhouette but Fred Olsen cruises are outstanding for the service and quality of the cruise.

We have just got back from a 9 night cruise with Fred to the Norwegian Fjords on the Boudicca. What a wonderful small ship with an excellent staff and crew, nothing is too much trouble!

August 2015 we did a cruise to the Baltic with Fred on the Braemar and thoroughly enjoyed the cruise, destinations and the staff and crew who if anything were better than the Boudicca. 

We have three more cruises booked with Fred on different ships to the Canaries, Caribbean and Indian Ocean so I think you can say we are smitten with Fred Olsen and his small ships with the excellent maintenance and service.

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Yes  I do believe Fred Olsen ships need looking at. Just returned from a cruise to Canada

and we could not dock at the last 2 stops because of the Ice and Snow. now probably it was 

too early in the Year to be sailing up the East Coast of Canada, BUT if it had been a ship not 

as old as the BOUDICCA we maybe could have gone and seen Red Bay, we may even have

been able to sail away on time from Sydney without the threat of the wind too dangerous.

Then maybe Fred Olsen should have known it did not make sense to Cruise to Canada in May. 

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Easter Week on Balmoral. Nice sized cabin, large wardrobe, EIGHTEEN drawers. Just come back from 11nights on Celebrity Reflection. Medium sized balcony cabin - TWO smallish and one half-sized drawers. Suffered several nights from loud drumming from various groups in main foyer, amplified on deck 4. Never had problems sleeping during 4 voyages on Balmoral and once on Boudicca. Nuff said,

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Although we have read the reviews and noted the satisfaction of the cruisers, we have never sailed with either Thomson or Fred Olsen simply because the ships look so dated and unattractive. Call us superficial if you like, but we much prefer being on a ship which looks modern and inviting rather than on an aging, out-dated vessel.

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Hi Squiffy on Port,

Could you expand on what you mean by 'outdated'. Personally I would rather travel on a product that has good food, good itineraries, pleasant staff offering good service than on one of the latest ships that may or may not offer those qualities. Having said that we all have different ideas as to what gives a good cruise experience, each to their own.

Regards,

Oldworldtraveller

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Thought Black Watch looked tired in 2000 when she was berthed next to Aurora in Bergen so cant imagine what she is like now.

Black Watch has had a major makeover and is superb. Did five weeks on it last year, going two cruises on it this year and one on Boudicca. It looked like a proper ship against Britannia, Adventure of the Seas and another RCI. ship in Granada last November.

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Although we have read the reviews and noted the satisfaction of the cruisers, we have never sailed with either Thomson or Fred Olsen simply because the ships look so dated and unattractive. Call us superficial if you like, but we much prefer being on a ship which looks modern and inviting rather than on an aging, out-dated vessel.

So you want a block of flats rather than a traditional looking ship. Fine leave the classic ships to those of us who appreciate tradition, and class 

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Have been on most of Fred Olsen ships. If you are a balcony fan (I won't cruise without one), then cabins tend to be pricey with less to choose from. Food is good but not as good as 10-15 years ago. Facilities are limited with only an excuse for a Casino! Certainly Black Watch has seen better days with staff fighting a constant battle to keep rust at bay. Their others are in better shape. Staff are certainly good but I've found most other lines just as good. If you are keen dancers then Fred is very good, with dance hosts on hand..........an added attraction for many.

 

Why have I been on so many of them when I prefer the larger choice of restaurants and facilities found on more modern ships which are not that much larger and get better deals on balcony cabins?

 

Simply because they frequently have better itineraries, able to moor up at smaller ports and frequently for longer. 

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Cannot comment on all of Fred's ships but have been on Balmoral last year and this year, and did think that there was quite a bit of "touch up" painting going on around the prom deck.

However, the main question is not "paint or no paint" , but "prom deck or no prom deck.

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