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

Just back from... Fred Olsen Balmoral

Friday 1 June 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 flooded 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 cruise@travelb.co.uk 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

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 12:00 to 19:00
Join us on Wednesday 27 June 2018 from 12 to 4pm (personal appointments) or at our ‘In conversation with…’ evening event from 5.30pm. Japan...

Latest News

Renowned for the comfortable luxury of their yacht expedition cruises, Crystal have just announced a full schedule of yacht adventures for 2020. As well as sailing to the Adriatic and Greek Isles, and the Emirates and the...
The latest edition of our quarterly e-magazine 'Discover' is packed with fantastic holiday inspiration.  Read up on all things travel from the hottest hotels to must-have holiday accessories.   Check out the latest issue to...
Save up to £300 per person in the Fred Olsen Summer Sale on selected European cruises sailing straight out of Newcastle Port of Tyne. Discover a choice of remarkable destinations for even less with sailings from July to...
Emerald Waterways is one of Europe's premiere luxury river cruise lines, whose fleet of contemporary Star-Ships offers exciting itineraries coupled with exceptional service. On an Emerald cruise your time on board is as...
The art of Chinese dumpling making, private tours of Victoria Falls and a brand new Kenyan rail journey are all part of Kuoni’s latest touring collection. The latest Kuoni escorted tours collection is now on sale for...

Travel Tweets

Food is a huge part of Japanese culture and just one of the many things that make this unique country such a fascin… https://t.co/5hKLpisge9 20 hours 9 min ago
Join Jane McDonald as she sails around South America in style on board Silversea Cruises' newest ship, Silver Muse.… https://t.co/mDWDEEQ2AA 1 day 22 hours ago
Tired of scrolling through endless sites to find the best deal for your next holiday? Sit back and let your holiday… https://t.co/YKcy9krXaM 5 days 21 hours ago
Discover the destinations that mean the most to Hollywood superstar Idris Elba, from finding family in Ghana and fe… https://t.co/W3va0EUOMT 6 days 23 hours ago
Get a taste of what's in store at our upcoming event with this exclusive sneak peak into our travel expert Joanne's… https://t.co/gnddSsWn0p 1 week 22 hours ago
The many paradise islands and coastal resorts of the #IndianOcean hold a bounty of blissful holiday destinations be… https://t.co/fwqfpe5oSd 1 week 1 day ago
Got an urge to sip margaritas on Mexico's Mayan Riviera? We can help with that! Save up to £655 per couple on this… https://t.co/XPb5bNLvF4 1 week 3 days ago
RT @cnni: The view from a prop plane, helicopter -- or even a hot-air balloon -- is hard to beat on foot. Here are 9 of the most scenic Asi… 1 week 4 days ago
RT @luxury__travel: 5 top tips for planning your luxury honeymoon safari https://t.co/F2hteDjszf https://t.co/QLwZsia8mi 1 week 4 days ago
RT @NatGeoTravel: This mighty natural wonder takes on a whole new power when you witness it in person—although this photo certainly catches… 1 week 4 days ago