Arctic Fjords and so much more

Black Watch Cruise Review to Scandinavia

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 26

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Black Watch

Exploring the Fjords of the Arctic

Sail date: July 14, 2017

Ship: Black Watch

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 4102

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

This is a "must-do" cruise which visited some truly amazing places well inside the Arctic Circle. Memories are made of these destinations and visits and should be expetoe ved at least once in a lifetime.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Very smooth and quick

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The main dining room was as expected; the food was OK-to-good with some good menus but also some uninteresting ones as well and some strange combinations such as a starter that featured tuna mayonnaise(!!) on thinly sliced veal wrapped around asparagus. The newly refurbished ship has a reduced-size open-seating self-service buffet which is too pokey and squashed and the newly opened Black Watch restaurant - free at lunch time (with a light lunch menu) but chargeable at dinner - is a waste of space.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Decent-sized pool for swimming lengths given the size of the ship but the jaccuzzi on deck 6 seemed to be closed more often than it was open - for heating, apparently!!! Separate male & female saunas and steam rooms. Large & well-equipped gym and free as well as pay-for exercise classes with the fitness instructor. Many excellent port talks and other lectures; classical concerts; dance lessons and hosted dance sessions; beginners' and improvers' bridge lessons as well as turn-up-and-play duplicate bridge sessions; choir at sea; craft and painting classes; activities such as quizes, Nintendo wii, shuffleboard, quoits, carpet bowls and walking football organised by the ship's entertainment team Or just sit and watch the scenery go by to the sounds of the musical artists (four in all) in various locations around the ship.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The ship's show company were FABULOUS and their shows never disappointed. Guest performers - singers, comedians, dance duo; illusionist; classical musicians all good to outstanding.

Children's Programs

An adult cruise

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
As usual ALL staff met the high standards for customer care on Fred Olsen Cruise ships.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Always clean. The design is good except for the free-flow tea & coffee station which was anything but free-flow as it was too cramped and very congested at peak times. Likewise the self-service buffet as already commented on.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Reasonable size for an inside single cabin. Always well maintained by the cabin steward. Very comfortable (single) bed which would probably be too small for a very large or tall person.

Ship tip

Ask for a cabin upgrade if the ship isn't sailing at full capacity.

Ports of call

Southampton (London), England Did not visit port

Bergen, Norway

5 out of 5
Well worth a visit - Red Bus tour; the Mount Floyen funicular; the fish market

Skjolden, Norway

4 out of 5
Tiny port of call but I did a GREAT bike & hike excursion here

Olden, Norway

5 out of 5
Reasonable-sized typical Norwegian village. Excellent excursion to the Briksdal glacier. Red bus available at the port

Tromso, Norway

4 out of 5
Not very interesting port of call but some places of note, although rather spread out eg Polaria; planetarium & Northern Lights experience; botanical gardens; the Arctic cathedral.

Honningsvag, Norway

1 out of 5
Nice little village and GREAT excursion to the Nord Kapp if you get good weather and visibility which we did on this occasion

Pyramiden, Norway

5 out of 5
Surreal! A guided visit to this ex-mining Russian settlement is a "must", also a trip to the glacier.

Longyearbyen, Spitzbergen, Norway

5 out of 5
Good port of call with shuttle bus into the town. Husky dog yard and/ or sled ride are "must do" visits.

Akureyri, Iceland

5 out of 5
Nice little town to visit. "Must-do" excursions are: whale watching; Myvatn Natural Baths; Jewels of the North

Reykjavik

5 out of 5
Interesting port of call - visit the cathedral and walk along the water front. Plenty of interesting excusuions on offer here most notably the Golden Circle and the Blue Lagoon.

Nanortalik

5 out of 5
AWESOME reception by the local tourist office with excellent open air museum, kayak displays and choral recital in the church. Half a day was too short here.

Disembarkation

4 out of 5
Very smooth but the luggage reclaim area is just a draughty hangar with no obviously visible luggage trollies for passenger use. No comfortable waiting area for pick ups either just the cold, windy drop off/ pick up point outside - thank goodness it wasn't any wetter and colder than it was when we arrived.
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