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Cruise Review: Our First Time On Fred Olsen

Cruise Review: Our First Time On Fred Olsen

Jenny Higgins, our Marketing Executive & Sustainability Ambassador, was invited onto Fred Olsen’s Borealis for a week of exploring the Norwegian Fjords. She took her partner along to defy the rumours of Fred Olsen being for the older generations…

When you think of a Fred Olsen cruise, what immediately springs to mind is a very slow-paced journey for the older generation. This was not the case! As a 22-year-old, I absolutely loved it and there was a real mix of ages onboard. How could I say no to being invited on Borealis for the week exploring the Norwegian Fjords up close and personal?

I’m lucky enough to have sailed with many cruise lines, such as Marella Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean & Princess Cruises, and it’s safe to say Fred Olsen is up there with one of my favourites. I would jump at the chance to go back onboard!

Before we sailed

Before we even got to the port, the attention to detail and friendly attitude of the company was prominent from day 1. We had a glossy magazine sent to us a few months before embarkation so we could read about every destination & life onboard, plus personalised printed luggage labels. This kickstarted the excitement for our holiday and created stress-free preparation for our holiday.

Checking in

The day before embarkation, Fred Olsen sent us a text to remind us of the address of our port to put into the SatNav and the time that check in closed to ensure we gave ourselves enough time to get there. Departing from Liverpool was amazing. It was just a short drive from where I live as opposed to the usual 5 hour drive when we depart from Southampton. That is what I personally love about Fred Olsen, there friendly choice of embarkation ports around the UK.

Our Cabin

We’re lucky enough to have stayed in a Junior Balcony Suite. The balcony itself was very generous and I was really shocked at the size of it. The cabin came with great amenities, my personal favourite being lots of coat hangers. They have dressing gowns, slippers, binoculars, reusable water bottles – even a bottle sparkling wine upon arrival!
The shower was the biggest I’ve seen onboard a ship, and the bed was very comfortable and HUGE! Each evening at 6pm, we were brought canapés whilst we got ready. These often included the likes of caviar, scallops, and cold meats & cheese too!

Fantastic Food

Simply amazing! The offering of food onboard and the quality really blew me away. From incredible steak & lobster to home comforts such as mac and cheese and roast dinners on Sunday. They also had more unique offerings such as butter fish curry which was 10/10, genuinely one of the best things I’d ever eaten. I couldn’t fault any meal.

We also really enjoy the poolside cafe for a quick burger or a brilliant salad – one of my favourite light lunches was a spiced prawn and salmon skewer with salad.
The buffet is different to the ones I’ve been in before. You’re taken to a table first, and we only had to share once which was nice. The food was served onto your plate by a chef which I prefer as it meant it was a bit less hectic and everyone stayed in the orderly queue.

We dined in Vasco which was different too, it’s great value for money and an alternative type of Indian to that I am used to.

Afternoon tea was also in the buffet daily, which is helpful if you’re assigned late dining like we were. We could have a few sandwiches and scones in the afternoon when we were feeling peckish.

Spectacular Service

There was a 1:2.5 ratio on our sailing so we felt really looked after onboard. A massive shout out to John our waiter who simply couldn’t do enough for us! The bar staff remembered us and our orders and were friendly welcoming faces as we wandered around.

Facilities Onboard

As silly as it sounds one of the things I loved most was the bathrooms onboard. I felt as though I was at the Ritz!
There was an amazing amount of bars and lounges. There’s such an array of spaces all with different atmosphere onboard such a small ship. The Morning Light pub served as a favourite spot, with shuffleboard & board games to make your afternoon beer more exciting. There are various spots on the ship showing the football which became the most popular spot on the ship during the women’s World Cup finals.

We LOVED the Spa. It was incredible value, we payed £10 each and had the ENTIRE thermal suite to ourselves for the full hour. It was complete with heated beds, 2 saunas, rain showers, a hot tub and even a private balcony – which I imagine would have been lovely in warmer climates!

There was even an art studio onboard which was always a relaxing spot filled with such a lovely atmosphere. Each day there were different arts and crafts classes or simply use the facilities to enjoy your own hobbies.

Exciting Entertainment

We loved the Captain’s toast and canapés on formal night. It is a lovely treat and much different to what I’d experienced before.
We really enjoyed the Mark Shortland show, who was a hysterical magician and comedian. Every night there was all sorts of entertainment dotted around the ship & late night fun too – including silent discos and karaoke!

Mind Blowing Excursions

Kayaking in Eidfjord – This was like something out of Jurassic World. From start to end, the shore excursion ran so smoothly and it was just off the ship so we didn’t have to travel far. The instructors were very lovely too and told us all sorts of facts – including tales of when orcas visited the fjord.

Flam Railway – We did this because everyone told us it was the best thing to do in Flam and they aren’t wrong. This is a must-do activity! Experience stunning views from every twist and turn and the most amazing surprise midway through that will really blow your mind…

Final Thoughts

Fred Olsen is known for catering to a higher age range but as a 22-year old, I had a blast on board and would highly recommend it to people of any age. There was a really good mix of generations onboard and the staff were so attentive, they couldn’t do enough for us.

What we loved the most was the itinerary. We sailed past the most beautiful waterfalls and mind-blowing glaciers. Even on a ‘day at sea’, there was so many incredible views to take in.

For more information, call us on 02380 658 386 or view our Fred Olsen Cruise Deals.

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First Impressions of a Cruise Ship

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