Cruise BD0918, 4 Night Mini Cruise 01st – 05th August 2009
My trip began on the 31st July when I flew to Edinburgh with Flybe and stayed at the Premier Inn, South Queensferry. This hotel was the nearest I could get to the port of Rosyth where we would be embarking the M/S Boudicca the next day.
After a comfortable night’s sleep and a great breakfast, I was met by Amanda Anderson, Area Sales Executive – Scotland & Northern Ireland and was taken to the Port of Rosyth. I was one of the fortunate agents as I was viewing the ship prior to embarking as a passenger. I was not impressed with the Cruise Terminal, there was no restaurant or bar for passengers to purchase food & drink, instead there were hot and soft drinks machines. My first impression of the ship was good; I liked it, its size and how compact it appeared. Below are a few statistics about the ship:
• The M/S Boudicca has 437 cabins
• The ship holds up to 856 passengers,(maximum of 900)
• Total amount of crew is 360
• It has stabilisers and was last refitted in 2006.
• The Boudicca is a sister ship of the Black Watch.
• Her gross tonnage is 28,400 and is 205 m in length.
• Email/Internet access is available 24 hours a day.
After the ship tour and lunch it was time to meet the other 20 agents and Fred. Olsen Staff in the terminal to check-in for our cruise. We were issued with our cruise cards and met up with whom we were sharing with. I was allocated cabin number 4035 and while I found it very spacious although I thought the television and wallpaper dated the cabin and felt that this was the only part of the ship that let it down. The bed was comfy and we had a bath (not that it was used) and shower combo, which is always nice to have the option. A wee tip, not all cabins have this bath/shower combo so make sure you check this for your client.
Waiting for us was a folder introducing us to the Boudicca and our Daily Times advising us what was on and where, an introduction to Captain (Master) Bjarte Roksund and his Senior Management Team. It was 6pm and we were setting sail for Lerwick. After welcome drinks in the Lido Lounge we made our way to the Tintagel Restaurant; our dining room for this evening (and every evening) and the smiling waiters and waitresses were ready to look after us. They were all so friendly and courteous and extremely efficient throughout our stay. We had a different menu each night and the food was glorious and Amanda very generously treated us all to wine or whatever our poison was.
After dinner we congregated in the Neptune Bar for some after dinner drinks and chit-chat. After a comfortable night’s sleep, I awoke to the views over Lerwick in the Shetland Islands. Breakfast was taken in the Secret Garden Café and the crew were at the entrance with the compulsory hand lotion for all passengers to scrub up before touching any of the utensils at the buffet. (This lotion was given to you each time you dined and when you came back onboard the ship).
After breakfast we all attended the compulsory lifeboat drill and we were taught the SOLAS Regulations (Safety Of Life At Sea) and informed of our muster station in the event of an emergency.
We then went ashore, and as this was a Sunday I was surprised to find so many shops, bars and restaurants open. Lerwick is a very small town but quaint all the same. After torturing the locals in one of the pubs it was time to go back to the ship, I think they enjoyed the banter though?
We were setting sail now for Bergen. I had not been to Bergen before and was so looking forward to it. I was not disappointed, it was beautiful and Amanda had arranged an excursion for us (Introduction to Bergen) so we saw the town in great detail. The tourguide spoke fluent English, the whole area was pristine clean and the sun was shining - we were blessed with the weather. After the tour we had lunch onboard and lay by the pool for the rest of the day and entertained the other passengers – it was a great day and we did not set sail until 11pm.
Our final day was at sea and at this stage in my report I should point out that the amount of activities onboard all Fred. Olsen Ships, whether in port or at sea are extensive. Please contact me for a list of these. The Boudicca Show Company kept us entertained with the swinging 60’s and sensational 70’s plus Elvis “Love me tender” presentations, they were excellent.
After breakfast we had a business session with Amanda and the rest of the Fred. Olsen team. This lasted for only 2 hours and after this we all hit the shops and the bazaar for those last minute bargains and souvenirs and paid our extras’ bill. Although the weather was good it was breezy on deck and some dined inside and others at the poolside café. Tipping onboard Fred. Olsen Ships is a matter left to the individual at their discretion. It was so wonderful to finally see one of Fred. Olsen Ships, the group we had were fantastic for a large group and Amanda Anderson was an exceptional hostess.
For more information on Fred. Olsen Cruises please visit www.fredolsencruises.co.uk
I have almost 200 photographs and if you would like to view these, please contact me. Enjoy the read.
Warm Regards, Brendan.
Compiled by Brendan O’Connor, Bryan Somers Travel.