Travel Bureau - Just back from... Fred Olsen Balmoral

Just back from... Fred Olsen Balmoral

Friday 1 June 2018

*SPECIAL OFFER: Free All Inclusive Drinks Upgrade on a great choice of 2019 sailings from Newcastle on board Balmoral, including Norwegian Fjords, Scenic Waterways & River Cruising. Book by 31 October 2018.* 

Our resident cruise expert Philip recently returned from a short but sweet journey on board Fred Olsen’s Balmoral. Philip enjoyed a one-night cruise from Newcastle to Rosyth giving him just enough time to explore the newly refurbished ship. It was a beautiful day to sail out of the Tyne, the ship and the quay were both sparkling in the sun, boding well for the voyage ahead. Leaving the Tyne late afternoon, Balmoral arrived into Rosyth early the following morning, passing under the three bridges as the sun rose. Fred Olsen cruises are excellent value for money, with no overpriced drinks packages, and Philip was particularly impressed by the staff on board the Balmoral, who were friendly and attentive without being overbearing. Philip might have only been onboard for one night but that was plenty of time to debunk a few myths about cruising on the Balmoral with Fred Olsen.

View from a  balcony on board Balmoral

Some people might worry that a Balmoral cruise could be too formal for their tastes when in fact, during the day the dress code in all restaurants is casual and evenings are usually smart-casual. There are formal nights for those who do like to dress up but if you really just want to relax, in-cabin dining is also available.  The Observatory Lounge is a great place to socialise, with an atmosphere that is sophisticated but certainly not stuffy. During the day it offers a bird’s eye view of the journey from one of the highest points of the ship and at nightfall it transforms into an elegant cocktail party setting with a pianist playing beneath a starlit ceiling. On certain days guests can book a Traditional Premium Afternoon Tea in the Observatory and listen to the on-board pianist while being served by white-gloved waiters.  

One of the refurbished public spaces on board Balmoral

Fred Olsen are known for having smaller ships, which does give them a more intimate feel, but there is still plenty of space belowdecks as well as space outside to enjoy the sunshine. If you want to stretch your legs, you can walk a mile just doing five laps of the deck. There’s no need to worry about finding a place to yourself as the ship has plenty of nooks and crannies to enjoy a moment of peace and solitude. To really unwind, head to the tranquil spa, where treatments including massage and facials are very reasonably priced. Moreover, Philip found his cabin (Superior Ocean View on Deck 6) to be both spacious and comfortable, where he could happily watch the world go by through the picture window. The Spey restaurant is also blessed with picture windows, which flood the space with light and mean that you won’t miss out on any of the spectacular scenery.    

Seating on deck

You might also have concerns about the dining arrangements on board Balmoral – no one wants long queues at the buffet or cramped seating. Happily, Philip reports that the ship has two or three main restaurants all serving buffet and á la carte breakfast and lunch with open seating, as well as a sumptuous five-course á la carte dinner every evening. Each day a complimentary afternoon tea is served with sandwiches, scones and cakes, along with fresh tea and coffee. For anyone with food allergies/intolerances you will have the opportunity at the beginning of your cruise to meet with the Maitre’d or Executive Chef to discuss any dietary requirements (but always remember to mention this at the time you make your booking as well). Vegetarian, low fat, low cholesterol, low salt, dairy-free, lactose-free, wheat-free and gluten-free diets are all catered for. 

One of the Balmoral cabins

Now for the food itself! Lunch at Spey was a real highlight of Philip’s trip. The starter was a show-stopping work of art - a Rubix cube constructed of watermelon, feta and cucumber - followed by steak and finished up with lemon posset. A self-proclaimed lemon posset connoisseur, Philip gave this creamy citrus desert a perfect score of ten! Philip also highly recommends booking a meal at The Grill, an in-demand dining experience with the finest, cooked-to-order, high-quality steaks and seafood in elegant surroundings with waiter service. Early booking is an absolute must to secure a table. 

View from the deck with pool

Cruises on board Balmoral are great value, they sail straight out of Newcastle for your convenience and, as Philip can now attest, they provide a fantastic onboard experience. If that’s been enough to whet your appetite.

Give Philip a call on 0191 272 6036 to find out more about cruising with Fred Olsen on board Balmoral. Alternatively send an email to or get in touch via our online enquiry form. See our latest cruise offers here.

Sign up to our Sail Away mailing list to receive all the best cruise offers and news. 


Foreign currency now from Travel Bureau

Planning a holiday, honeymoon or trip abroad? Speak to our team about currency today.

Find out more

Latest Event

More exciting events coming in 2019

Latest News

Looking for a luxurious holiday where you'll want for nothing while exploring the world's most desirable destinations? On an innovative and award-winning fleet that now includes the game-changing new Celebrity Edge? You can...
Expedition cruising is more popular than ever and venturing into inhospitable lands no longer means sacrificing comfort at the mercy of the elements. Following in the wake of cruise lines like Ponant, Silversea and Scenic,...
Starting from 1 October 2019, there will be a new tourism entry approval process in place in New Zealand. The new system will involve an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) form as well as a new tax named the International...
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts opens its landmark debut hotel in its home city of Hong Kong this weekend. Rosewood Hong Kong is an ultra-luxury hotel set on the majestic Victoria Harbour, with spectacular views of the...
Dreaming of exploring the world’s most beautiful destinations on a modern luxury holiday? With Celebrity Cruises’ sensational spring offers, it’s easier than ever to make it happen! Book an eligible Ocean View stateroom or...

Travel Tweets

Thinking about a #honeymoon in #Thailand? Find out why we think it's a brilliant destination for newlyweds and get… 2 days 28 min ago
Earlier this week we were lucky enough to sail on board the highly anticipated #CelebrityEdge. It's safe to say th… 4 days 7 hours ago
Last chance to get tickets for this year's Rugby World Cup in Japan! The final allocation of match tickets goes on… 5 days 4 hours ago
RT @ExploreCanada: It's the small things in life that count. This isn't one of those times. Gros Morne National Park is located along the w… 6 days 7 hours ago
Treat yourself to the ultimate luxury getaway with this amazing Abu Dhabi deal. 5 nights ALL INCLUSIVE at a stunnin… 1 week 2 days ago
Struggling to find the perfect family holiday? Take a look at some of our favourite family-friendly options that ha… 1 week 3 days ago
Wondering where to go next? Have a browse through these thoroughly tempting @carrierholidays, complete with added s… 1 week 4 days ago
Book an Indulgent Escape and travel in style with complimentary drinks, extra baggage allowance and private transfe… 1 week 5 days ago
RT @CNTraveler: These rooftop bars have some of the best views in the world—why not grab a drink? 1 week 6 days ago
RT @CNTraveler: 6 Italian road trips ever traveler should take in their life 1 week 6 days ago