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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Fred Olsen Cruises

MS Black Watch

Your Rating:Five Stars
Reviewed by:Angela Cave
# previous cruises: 3
Date of Trip: August 11, 2001
Itinerary: Amazon River

Having just visited this web site and read the rather odd review, I wished to add my own. I am 48 and did not find myself among a lot of 75 year old pensioners - they were, in the main, older people but not exclusively so, and in the main were pleasant and friendly. We have been on two Olsen cruises and on both we were struck by the attentive staff and overall high standard, without the ghastly 'glitz' of some cruises we have seen advertised. On the Amazon cruise we were also impressed by the people on board who were there to educate and inform and this is one of the plus factors - one can learn and have fun at the same time! It depends on your idea of a good time, but I found it a relaxing way to spend two week with no over organisation or'let's all be jolly together stuff' and staff around to help but not intrude.

Public Areas
The public areas were comfortable and spacious - no long queues for anything, and in all cases the staff are courteous and efficient without being effusive. The walk around promenade has great views and there is always a quiet spot to sit and read or sunbathe. The pools are adequate but not overly big, and the variety of bars and restaurants cater for most tastes.Can't comment on the casino - not my style, it didn't seem to have many takers and is, in any case a 'minimalist' table or two, not Monte Carlo!

Food and Service
Personally I did not lunch in the dining room too often, preferring to be outside and not needing to eat a large lunch and dinner. I loved having breakfast by the pool and lunch on deck, and the dining room was excellent. No matter what type of food you provide there is always someone to complain. The food, in my opinion, is excellent and there are enough choices for most people. I did hear someone complain that the portions are small in the dining room - probably the sort of person who wants a 'good roast and plenty of it' - wrong type of holiday for him then!!

We had an outside cabin in the 300's - budget but not the cheapest and found plenty of space, good storage and an acceptable bathroom. The decor was beginning to show signs of wear, but I gather it has now been re decorated, so we will see after our next cruise in the Black Watch in November.

Although I do not like the cabaret type of entertainment in general, it was lively and fun and just what you would expect. The Windmill it ain't, but it was fine, and the addition of a classical pianist to play at different times was a super addition.As for the staff, they worked their socks off to ensure that it was enjoyable and I couldn't fault them - I was exhausted just looking at them and they dealt very well with the ever attendant whingers and moaners (personally, I would have pushed them overboard!!)

Our last cruise was up the Amazon and the port calls were all excellent. We had an overnighter at the Ariau Jungle Lodge - if this is an option for you (and you are fit) then book it now. It was outstanding, very 'Tarzan meets the Hilton' and great fun (watch out for the beetles the size of a baby rugby ball !). As to child care, I am delighted to report there were no smalls aboard, although I gather they do turn up in the summer and I am sure the staff cater for them well. could have done without the afternoon bingo but chacon a son gout!

Who Goes
As for my fellow passengers, they all knew what fork to use and didn't spit in public! As to whether I would invite them to dinner, as with all large gatherings, some I would avoid like the plague, most I would happily share coffee with, and a few I would certainly invite for dinner. P.S. We love things as they are - don't let too many people know or they will all want to come!!

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