We sailed from Newcastle and came down few days before. We were giving a check in time of 1-4 pm but our paperwork stated physical embarkation would not begin to around 2pm and we actually arrived at the port a little bit earlier than this at around 12.30. We were checked in straightaway. We then went for bite eat at the café at the port. After this we waited in the departure lounge until we were called. This happened earlier than stated and we were on board by just after 2. We headed to our cabin and our luggage was already there so we started to unpack.
The main dining rooms are open seating for breakfast and lunch but having two seatings for dinner at 6.15 and 8.30. There were usually a good choice of food here and everything we had we really enjoyed. Although we found the meals on the very last night to be limited so ate in the buffet instead.
Buffet was open seating and served breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night buffet. Morning coffee and afternoon tea was also served here. Some of the fillings they served on the sandwiches where a bit odd if I am honest. Otherwise the food was all good. There was even a kids corner at dinner time for the younger cruisers. There was a Asian buffet one evening we enjoyed this and it was well attended. There was no Buffet Magnificient that we have experienced on other Fred olsen cruises.
Entertainment evening - We loved all the shows from the Balmoral show company to the comedians and magician guest acts. They were also well attended. The best show was
Daytime entertainment on some days was limited as this was a port intensive cruise. However on sea days there was lots going on around the ship from quizzes to dolphin racing. To deck quoits and wii bowling.
Around the ship - Balmoral is a beautiful ship with many beautiful public lounges and good facilities for her size. The only real criticism I have is the seats in the show lounge which are quite uncomfortable an laid out a bit silly as if you sitting on the sofas at the table and someone sits in front of you, you cannot see as the sofa seats are lower.
There are two swimming pools, four whirlpools, a gym and large spa also.
The staff on board the Balmoral are amazing every last one of them all very friendly and helpful.
Ports of call where all great the Fjords are a beautiful area to visit. We had some good weather as well.
We did two organised trips with the cruiseline. Well did the Flam railway through them only because they had booked out all the seats on the train. This is one of the best rail journeys you will probably ever do and is well worth the price.
We also did Kayaking this was a truly amazing experience and would highly recommend this.
We had a brilliant time and would not hesitate to sail on Balmoral again. She doesn't have all the glitz and glammer of the new super ships so if this is what your looking for then she is probably not for you. If however if you want a real ship, with great food, great entertainment and great staff then this could be your ship.
We had cabin 9093 a superior inside cabin on deck 9. This cabin was for four people with two upper and two lower berths the lower berths could made up as a twin or double. The room was more than adequate for our needs. However there was only two double wardrobes and this was adequate for three of us for a week but we would have struggled if there had been four of us or a longer cruise. There was also only three sets of drawers. Otherwise the room was fine and was better than expected. The room had a safe, flat screen tv, and kettle. The bathroom was more than adequate for our needs.
Bergen is great little place to visit with lots to do and see a trip on the funicicular is not be missed.
Olden itself is great little village with stunning views and some good little shops for the size of the place. There are two beautiful churches here also. The main reason for stopping here is the closeness to the two glaciers to which you can take tours to. We did a one hour glacier sightseeing tour we felt this was a waste of money and our money would have been better spent on the town train.
Flam railway is wonderful and everyone should if they opportunity ride this railway.View All 212 Flam Railway Reviews